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The average child watches 28 hours of TV a week. Our children's precious time in front of the tube (or, to more accurately reflect the times, the flat screen) is interrupted by only 3 1/2 minutes of meaningful conversation with their parents a week. I know I was annoyed as a tot when my mom would interrupt the latest episode of Power Rangers to talk about my grades, so that's probably a good thing. After all, the average adult watches TV 5 hours a day (remember, this average includes weekend watching and late night TV binges), so finding the time to talk to their kids must be just as inconvenient for them. When you consider that only half of us think that we watch too much television, we can see just how inconvenient talking to our kids really is.

Strangely, depressed people watch TV the most, and what's more strange, it doesn't seem to improve their mood at all. In fact, TV has a tendency to worsen their depression! Then we have these studies that show that adolescents (people aged 14-21) who watch a lot of TV are more likely to be depressed as adults. What's going on here? TV makes me laugh, makes me cry, makes me nervous, makes me excited - it makes me feel. How could this be true? It can't.

In addition to their TV time, the average person spends 2 1/2 hours on the internet a day. More time is spent on Facebook than any other site. It's how we keep in touch. Now, when I stop to think about all of the high school and college students that watch TV, browse Facebook or Myspace, text on their cell phones, and do their homework all at the same time, it's frightening. Is it that homework is so boring that the only we can cope with it is by distracting ourselves with 3 or 4 different electronic devices? Maybe, but I can't help but wonder when people like that actually have the time to truly think about anything. How can you understand what's going on in the world on a deeper level if you're that distracted? I mean, at the least, how can you possibly understand what you're watching on TV if you're that distracted? Ray Romano deserves more from you. It worries me.

I'm here to tell you that I've seen the future and it's a glowing box. From far away, when it's dark, it almost looks like a light at the end of a tunnel.


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