Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Dark Side of Television

Image by lilie

After reading this study , I may point myself away from the television when I'm crashing on the couch. It's always a challenge to spend time productively while I'm resting, and I have to confess that grabbing the remote is one of the first things I do once my butt hits the cushions. Data from this study makes me re-think hitting the "on" button:
The University of Maryland analyzed 34 years of data collected from more than 45,000 participants and found that watching TV might make you feel good in the short term but is more likely to lead to overall unhappiness. 

"The pattern for daily TV use is particularly dramatic, with 'not happy' people estimating over 30% more TV hours per day than 'very happy' people," the study says. "Television viewing is a pleasurable enough activity with no lasting benefit, and it pushes aside time spent in other activities -- ones that might be less immediately pleasurable, but that would provide long-term benefits in one’s condition. In other words, TV does cause people to be less happy."

I guess this means I need to get serious about developing productive activities that can be completed while horizontal. (And I want each and every one of you to get your mind out of the gutter. For shame.) 

Obviously, I could choose to spend more time on my laptop, but I max out on my daily allowance of ICanHasCheezburger or CuteOverload  pretty quickly. And after I've checked out the Drudge Report and UpsidedownDogs, then spend a few minutes researching a few things that might be useful for Reasonably Well, my tear supply is usually shot. I wonder why looking at a TV screen seems to be less drying to my eyes than does working on the computer or reading? 

I think that activities that provide long term benefits and don't sap energy and can be completed while lying down and don't deplete my tear supply are rather hard to come by. 

It may come to this - that while resting, I should actually rest. A novel concept. 


Diane said...

Just found your website while searching for "foggy brain" (a different post of yours, of course) and am finding it very interesting. I have had a "foggy brain" for the past six weeks and find myself really struggling to concentrate while teaching. Before that I noticed a decline in my sense of smell/taste. It's interesting to me that you have had similar symptoms. I don't have dry eyes, so my diagnosis will most likely be be different (if in fact there ever is one as I'm living in a small town in Italy)but...thanks for blogging!

Julia Oleinik said...

Hi Diane,

Thanks for your comments, and good luck to you in finding an accurate diagnosis. You are right - you may not have Sjogren's, but I do want to point out that many many SjS patients do not have dry eyes or dry mouth initially. My first significant symptom was unexplained fatigue.

Diane said...

Well, I don't know if I'd exactly call it fatigue, but my foggy brain feels like it's 20% still asleep...all day! I struggle to feel alert and pay attention. The body doesn't feel overly tired, however.

I'll see what happens, and remember your diagnosis if everyone runs out of ideas. Thanks again...