Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Great Brain Drain



Are you one of those people that suffer from seemingly incurable insomnia? I am. What does one do in the wee hours when one should be asleep...hmmm...I clean house, read, pace, meditate, take a bath, eat or watch television.
I have no problem falling asleep, it is the staying asleep that makes me nuts. I have often joked about starting a service for new parents whereby I come sit with their babies in the middle of the night since I am NOT sleeping! Over the counter medications do not work for me and prescribed medications do not work until the next morning. So more often than not, I watch television. There is nothing educational, entertaining or worthwhile to watch in the wee hours. I watch anyway. I once purchased $200.00 worth of exercise videos. The actual cost was supposed to be much lower but they threw in a bunch of "free stuff". Those paid programming people know who they are dealing with at that time. Throw in lots of sleep deprivation, working full time, taking care of everyone's needs and what do you get...more television watching. Too tired to exercise, think or start a project, one sits down and turns into a slug. The thing is the more you watch, the more exhausted you become, television is not conducive to a good night's sleep. How many vampires, werewolves, chain-saw murders, walking zombies can you watch back to back and expect to rest that night or morning.
The Annual Turnoff for 2008 is April 21 - 27th. Maybe we can all wean ourselves and our children from too much television. I am not exactly sure when I started watching too much, I just know that there could be days where I never turned the thing on and was perfectly happy doing something more productive. 98% of Americans have at least one television in their home.
I'm not saying how many we have, my husband is more addicted than I am. 40% of Americans watch television while eating dinner. I did not grown up this way. We had one television and it was off during dinner. That was the time we actually talked to one another. My husband's family has always watched television and had televisions in every room. He still has trouble not watching t.v. while he is eating. The average child sees about 30,000 television commercials in one year and 200,000 violent acts before he or she reaches the age of 18. Incredible! 59% of Americans can name the "Three Stooges", only 17% can name three Supreme Court Justices. How about you, can you name three Supreme Court Justices? without "googling"! I'm not giving up "Project Runway" or "Top Chef" however, I will go back to my old habit of not watching so much television. Personally, the longer I sit in front of a television the more I feel my brain draining. Turn the thing off, go outside and play, read something worthwhile, create some art or talk to someone! Are you with me, can you tune out the television, practice now for small amounts and see if you can "turn off" for a week in April! You might actually like it.
The above "facts" about television were taken from the website http://screentime.org

3 comments:

Michelle said...

Good Point! We keep the tv off during dinner! Anna could care less. Hunter is my tv hog!

persistentillusion said...

"There is nothing educational, entertaining or worthwhile to watch in the wee hours."

This is SO TRUE.

marlajayne said...

Connie, the "experts" say that no child under the age of two should be watching television and that older children (including preschoolers) shouldn't watch over two hours per day. Some programs like Sesame Street and perky little Dora still get thumbs-up, but others like Baby Einstein (that's not actually a "show") supposedly do more harm than good in the vocabulary and language development areas since there's no interaction between the child and another. In my humble opinion, however, I say moderation is fine.