Things life is too short for: too much TV
Most of us parents try to limit the amount of time our kids spend watching TV on the basis that too much TV means not enough time getting exercise or being creative elsewhere.
While there are no official government guidelines in the UK, it has been suggested that children should watch no more than 2 hours of TV per day, and that babies and toddlers should perhaps not be exposed to it at all.
But what about us adults: how many of us worry about the amount of time we spend watching TV? If you switch on for Emmerdale at 7pm and channel hop all the way through to bed time, you could easily clock up a whopping 28 hours of TV every week, and that’s before adding weekends of sport or afternoon movies, and that sneaky hour of breakfast telly while you’re trying to wake up in the morning.
There’s no denying that TV plays an important role in most households, keeping us up-to-date with news, current affairs and culture, expanding our minds with ground-breaking documentaries, or helping us to escape real-life for a while with a good drama or comedy after a long day.
But do we really need to spend 1–2 hours a day watching soap operas, or even longer staring at endless reels of repeats? Do we get too much TV?
I used to be a big fan of the soaps, especially while my children were babies, when being able to catch up on saved episodes of Emmerdale and Corrie used to make the endless night feeds more bearable.
But recently, having spent a few weeks working on an extra project during my evenings, I have experienced a forced soap opera ban, and I have to say that I don’t miss them one bit.
Even now I’ve finished working evenings, I still steer clear of the soaps, because it is so nice to have my life back! Instead of feeling that I just have to tune in religiously every evening to see which made-up character was having a made-up affair this week, I am free from caring about it, leaving me with many more hours in my week to do something useful like stripping off the old wallpaper that has been bugging me since we moved in, reading some great books that I never had the time for before, or exercising.
Last night, I noticed that Corrie was just about to start as I pressed play on my workout DVD, and that the closing credits were just rolling as I clicked the DVD off, and I can tell you that it felt great to know that I had just used that half hour to get myself in shape instead of vegetating on the sofa watching imaginary people do silly, often hurtful things to each other.
In my book, swapping the soaps for real life is a no-brainer. Give it a go: buy yourself an extra hour or two in every day and see what you could do with it!
This is a public forum and we welcome your opinions. However, libelous and abusive comments are not permitted.