Posted by: Zsuzsanna | July 25, 2008

Turn off your TV!

Some statistics on TV watching:

According to the A.C. Nielsen Co., the average American watches more than 4 hours of TV each day (or 28 hours/week, or 2 months of nonstop TV-watching per year). In a 65-year life, that person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube.

Percentage of households that possess at least one television: 99
Number of TV sets in the average U.S. household: 2.24
Percentage of U.S. homes with three or more TV sets: 66
Number of hours per day that TV is on in an average U.S. home: 6 hours, 47 minutes
Percentage of Americans that regularly watch television while eating dinner: 66
Number of hours of TV watched annually by Americans: 250 billion
Value of that time assuming an average wage of $5/hour: $1.25 trillion
Percentage of Americans who pay for cable TV: 56
Number of videos rented daily in the U.S.: 6 million
Number of public library items checked out daily: 3 million
Percentage of Americans who say they watch too much TV: 49
Approximate number of studies examining TV’s effects on children: 4,000
Number of minutes per week that parents spend in meaningful
conversation with their children: 3.5
Number of minutes per week that the average child watches television: 1,680
Percentage of day care centers that use TV during a typical day: 70
Percentage of parents who would like to limit their children’s TV watching: 73
Percentage of 4-6 year-olds who, when asked to choose between watching TV
and spending time with their fathers, preferred television: 54
Hours per year the average American youth spends in school: 900 hours
Hours per year the average American youth watches television: 1500
Number of murders seen on TV by the time an average child finishes elementary school: 8,000
Number of violent acts seen on TV by age 18: 200,000
Percentage of Americans who believe TV violence helps precipitate real life mayhem: 79
Number of 30-second TV commercials seen in a year by an average child: 20,000
Number of TV commercials seen by the average person by age 65: 2 million
Percentage of survey participants (1993) who said that TV commercials
aimed at children make them too materialistic: 92
Rank of food products/fast-food restaurants among TV advertisements to kids: 1
Total spending by 100 leading TV advertisers in 1993: $15 billion
Percentage of local TV news broadcast time devoted to advertising: 30
Percentage devoted to stories about crime, disaster and war: 53.8
Percentage devoted to public service announcements: 0.7
Percentage of Americans who can name The Three Stooges: 59
Percentage who can name at least three justices of the U.S. Supreme Court: 17
Compiled by TV-Free America
1322 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 887-4036

Some more statistics I found online:

– Kids in the United States watch about 4 hours of TV a day (American Academy of Pediatrics).

– Twenty-six percent of US children younger than age two have a TV in their bedroom – often watched from the crib (2000 Kaiser Family Foundation study).

– 36 percent of families leave the TV on almost all of the time, even when no one is watching (2000 Kaiser Family Foundation study).

– For every hour per day of watching TV at age one and age three, the children had almost a ten percent higher chance of developing attention problems that could be diagnosed as ADHD by age 7 (Pediatrics vol. 113 no. 4 April 2004).

TURN OFF THE TV! And while your at it, throw out the video games, too. Our children have never watched TV in their life, but are all above-average students and have no bogus behavioral problems such as “ADHD”. Our oldest is allowed 30 minutes per day on the computer if (1) he is done with his school work (2) has read his daily Bible portion and worked on his memory verses and (3) is done with all chores and his room is clean. On average, this happens about once every 2 weeks because point of #3.

You do your kids and yourself a huge disservice EVERY time you pop them in front of the TV for ANY reason (“educational” programs included). Stop making excuses and TURN IT OFF!



  1. Great post. I didn’t realize how bad the tv was until I quit watching so much. Now I only have it on when severe weather is rolling through our area. I don’t miss it. The commercials alone drive me crazy.

  2. I think I found the next phil kidd keep preaching the word brother.

  3. Hello! Great post! I was wondering if I could borrow your statistics to do a post about tv on my blog? Also your list about what else you can do if you’re not watching tv. That is so awesome. People actually do think that there is nothing else to do, how sad. I’m so thankful to the Lord for opening my eyes and we are truly blessed to be tv free!

  4. Trask Family,

    You may quote any part of this website freely.

  5. Thank the Lord for the Anderson family, the thought of getting rid of the TV for good has crossed my mind alot, but I was never fully committed to giving it up. Pastor Andersons “TV, and The Sorceries of Television” sermons is what finally pushed me over the edge. Four a couple of weeks now we have lived with absolutely no TV, we sold the entertainment center as well so there would be no memory of a TV ever in this house. Joshua 24:15 …as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
    Thank you for your encouragement. Argon Family

  6. The big list of stats was kind of overdone, but I have lived without a TV myself for 20 years when I realized it was nothing but a mindtrap laid by advertisers and people with even less morals. Its effect on the brain is insidious, people lose the ability to follow a train of logical thoughts. What a thing to have as a centerpiece in a family home! All the eyes are drawn to IT, not to each other. Hopefully with your TV switched off, your mind will come to some realizations about what is important in life. And you will discard your paper pope.

  7. I grew up with many TVs in the house. I even had one in my room from an early age. I turned out just fine. I now have one on my desk beside my computer. I’ve seen every Survivorman and Mythbusters episode multiple times and mostly watch shows where I might learn something new like science shows, travel shows, cooking shows, home improvement and the occasional news and movie. I’m 35 and a successful mechanical engineer. It’s all about what you watch. You can either watch some brain draining Jerry Springer, or you can watch something a bit more enlightening and expand your horizons.

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