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Throw out the TV – that’s what happy people do

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 23-11-2008

Happy people spend a lot of time socializing, going to church and reading newspapers — but they don’t spend a lot of time watching television, a new study finds.

That’s what unhappy people do.

“We looked at 8 to 10 activities that happy people engage in, and for each one, the people who did the activities more — visiting others, going to church, all those things — were more happy,” Dr. Robinson said. “TV was the one activity that showed a negative relationship. Unhappy people did it more, and happy people did it less.”

[From What Happy People Don’t Do – NYTimes.com]

While the study can’t definitively say it’s TV that makes people unhappy (versus “unhappy people watch a lot of TV), I think we all know all know it’s likely the former. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise since we all know that gorging on basically everything is bad for you. Gluttony, after all, is a deadly sin. Whether it’s too much steak, vodka, gambling, drugs, or just lying around the beach for years (AKA “sloth,” another deadly sin), too much of a good thing is, well, too much of a good thing.

Perhaps turning off the TV is hardest on us as parents. I know that this week, there will be more of our share of Kung Fu Panda and Wall-E than the kids need. We’ll need it however, if we ever hope to get anything other than canned cranberries on the table on Thursday. But reading this article, which can only confirm your suspicions, might help give me the strength to take the remote control in my hand and press OFF… well, maybe after just one more episode of the Backyardigans.