Television use is now at an all time high in the United States. In a typical home, the TV is now turned on for 8 hours and 18 minutes per day, and is actually being viewed more than 4 of those hours. By comparison, the average American gets only 6 hours, 40 minutes of sleep every night! That much time viewing television has consequences. With kids, more than 170 studies going back over 28 years have concluded that heavy media exposure increases the risk of adolescent obesity, smoking, sex, drug and alcohol use, attention problems and poor grades. And with adults, the news isn’t much better.
That’s why when I watch the news about the current financial crisis in America, I worry about the negative impact it must have on people who watch it so much. Anyone watching 4 or more hours of TV a day is going to have a skewed outlook on life. So to avoid the negative news from the media overwhelming you, just remember:
1) Don’t overreact. When the news is negative, too many people panic, and make decisions they regret later. Is this financial crisis serious? Yes. But it’s not time to freak out. Things change, but it never hurts to remember your priorities. Either we live by priorities or by pressures. This financial crisis might be God’s wake up call to remind you of your original vision and purpose.
2) Get Back in Balance. Are you still learning, giving, and moving to the next level? Maybe it’s time to cut back on TV viewing and return to the basics – studying, supporting ministries that matter, and sharing my faith with other people. Live your life outward, not inward.
3) When You watch TV or other media, make sure it counts. Stop wasting your time watching mindless TV and start focusing on programs that matter. The best television can actually enhance your life and bring your family together.
Real friends and relationships feed your spirit, so re-think how you use the media, and reconnect with friends and family.