TV Statistics Depress Me…
For those of you lucky enough to get to through the NYT Week in Review this week (mine typically sits on the nightstand until I recycle it 3 days later), you may have picked up this incredibly depressing gem:
The average amount of time spent watching TV is
4 hours and 43 minutes per day.
Just re-read that sentence again, didntcha?
Not surprising, as I read the article 3 times trying to understand what part of the statistic I had missed or did not understand. My mind couldn’t get around it.
Confession: my kids have just come off a ‘big television’ weekend–so I assure you that I am not holier than thou on the topic. This weekend, they watched movies with their friends as the parents ate dinner in relative merriment and with an ice cold margarita. Both nights.
But even then, it still put the grand total at about 200 minutes of programming. Scary to think that what they watched all weekend is only 70% OF WHAT SOME SEVEN YEAR OLDS WATCH EVERY DAY.
And that, my friends, is sad.
The happiest, most peaceful days in my house are library days, when my kids dig through a sack of 40+ paperbacks, gangly legs flipped over the armchair, no one responding to what they want for dinner. They are immersed, absorbed and independent. It is blissful.
I wish I had some pithy market research that talks about how reading improves kids’ critical thinking, enlarges their sense of imagination, gives them a way to downshift and recharge. I don’t have all those numbers–but god, my intuition just tells me that data is out there. (Please please share it if you have it.)
I’ll steal a phrase that I have heard recently and adapt it for my own use:
If you want your kids to read….you go first.