The introduction of the TV set has seen the average household watching four hours of TV per day. (So you see whilst the light bulb gave us more time to do all kinds of things, television has seen us not only sleeping less, but doing less with our time). We have a world filled with grumpy, fat, unproductive (but very entertained) folk. Well, at least that's what the latest research has shown.
The National Sleep Foundation International Poll unveiled that the majority of the northern hemisphere's population are watching TV the hour before they go to bed. We know that watching TV fills your eyes with light which delays sleep onset. We know that the last thing you do before bed positively or negatively impacts your sleep quality. But we cant switch off. And so we have families and work forces and schools fill with the Sleep Deprived.
Since its creation in the 1930s, the TV has become one of the most popular home appliances ever. South Africa was one of last countries to welcome TV into its homes in the 1970s. By 2009, 78% of the world's population had at least one TV set in their household.
Whilst the TV set used to be reserved for the 'family room', it is now found in bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and motor car headrests. Some households provide a TV set per family member to avoid squabbles. And there is the option of DVDs, satellite and, of course, PVR which means you absolutely never have to miss your favourite show. Internet TV, takes viewing even further, as the options are exponential - you can watch live TV being broadcast anywhere in the world or download TV that has been broadcast anywhere in the world. Whoa.
Personally, I have fought and conquered TV addiction. I grew up with a TV in my bedroom with most family fights centering around which satellite channel should be selected. I could sing all the jingles and knew the week's programming. Today, my young family is TV free. I had to go cold turkey. It was killing my conversations and taking up way too much of my time. These days I often have reality-TV marathon cravings but like any successfully recovered addict I have ensured there is very little opportunity.
My new challenge? Whilst we don't have access to TV we do have all the Disney classics readily available. And if I thought I was a TV addict, you should see my two year old daughter in action. I think I am beginning to understand why my parents surrendered and we were all granted our own TV sets in our bedrooms. I may have won the battle but it is going to be a long, hard war.
Which do you love more - your bed or your TV?