Did Timothy Leary watch a lot of television? Probably not. If he did, he might have suggested the path to total happiness would be to turn off, tune up, and drop in.
As posted in Culture News, an “extensive research study” has proven that watching television makes you unhappy. Really. You knew it to be true. Now, so do sociologists.
In a University of Maryland study that took place from 1975 – 2006 (wasn’t this before The Wire?), with 45,000 adults, co-author Dr. John P. Robinson has the numbers to show that television both comforts and leads to a miserable life.
Robinson, who is “a pioneer in time use studies”, comes to absolute conclusions: not only is television used more by people who are not happy in their lives, but using more television makes you more unhappy in your life.
“Not happy” slugs watch thirty percent more television than those of us who are “very happy.” Danger, Will Robinson: “unhappiness leads to television viewing.”
As published in the December issue of Social Indicators Research, Robinson also proves the corollary: “TV does cause people to be less happy.”
What do happy people do? According to Robinson, we read more, we socialize more, and we have more sex.
There’s more: unhappy married couples watch thirty percent more television; happily married couples have thirty percent more sex.
Pity the one whose life spirals down and out from addiction. TV as low-life addiction? “These points have parallels with addiction; since addictive activities produce momentary pleasure but long-term misery and regret. People most vulnerable to addiction tend to be socially or personally disadvantaged, with TV becoming an opiate.”
If you watch a lot of television: you are unhappy; you don’t have a lot of sex; and, you are socially and personally disadvantaged. Got it?
So, turn off the television; tune up and play some music with others; grab a date and drop in to a live performance. You know what will happen — and, your life will be better.
- Bill Reichblum