Do You Watch More TV than a Brit?

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Do you watch too much television? Hint: If you are watching television NOW while reading a post about television, on a blog about television, then the answer is probably yes. But more importantly, do you watch as much television as a Brit? According to a recent study, the average adult in Great Britain spends 3.5 hours per day watching television. Those are only the average people — probably chavs, a word you learned from the original British version of Shameless. Television is so educational! The high-class types only watch the Downton Abbey Christmas special.

Let’s see, carry the one, that’s about ten years of their lives watching the telly. And more than a third of them (37%) admit to eating at least one meal every day in front of the television. But given British “cuisine” who can blame them for wanting some distraction? What accounts for so much time spent watching a screen that doesn’t watch you back? Socialism probably. The welfare state. They’re all getting fat on their bangers and mash, and they’re all on the dole because if they worked the taxman would take all their money, plus they’re scared to go outside because of scary Muslims.

Dangerously snarky.

Dangerously snarky.

But before you start feeling superior to those lazy limeys, did you know that according to the internets, Americans spend an average of 5.11 hours a day in front of the television machine? That’s some percentage more than Brits do, but we can’t figure out exactly what because we were educated before the Khan Academy was a thing, and back then they had sneaky cartoon commercials for sugary cereals that rotted our brains but looked just like regular cartoons with iconic characters like talking tigers and bears, and sometimes they even were the characters from the regular cartoons.

They also taught us that sharks mostly eat breakfast cereals.

They also taught us that sharks mostly eat breakfast cereals.

But who says that 30 or 50 or even 100 hours a week is too much? Is watching television really bad for you? Where’s the proof? If it was bad, wouldn’t it come with a warning? What if you only watched the channels that were good for you? (Like PBS and Discovery and that other one?)

I only watch it for the articles.

I only watch it for the articles.

What it comes down to is this: Are you comfortable with the amount of television you watch? Because if it’s not a problem for you, then it’s not a problem, and you can quit anytime you want, and screw your bossy bossypants for warning you about coming in late — that was Regis on The Today Show and he won’t be around forever! And there’s NOTHING wrong with spending an entire weekend preparing for the Mad Men finale by watching the whole series again and again on AMC even if you forgot to go to some sibling’s wedding. And who’s to say really that one can ever know “too much” about the Kardashians?

Marion Stein

Marion writes television recaps and reviews for the Agony Booth, and books you can find over at Amazon.

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