Last week there was a statistic in the Daily Camera about the number of hours people watch TV on average per month. The number astounded me… 151 hours!!! That equates to about 5 hours per day! I just can’t imagine. Not only can’t I imagine, but it has gotten me thinking about the inundation of commercials this puts into our brains. These commercials teach us about eating fast food and taking lots of medications.
When I was in nutrition school in NYC, we had a speaker talking about commercials. Although I can’t remember who exactly it was, the impression he left has not gone away. Basically what he presented was how commercials lure you into thinking that your life is not complete. Companies present you with these idyllic lifestyles, showing people that are healthy and happy. They then indicate this would not be the case if it weren’t for a certain drug or food that the people in the commercial are consuming.
Whether we like it or not, this gets into our subconscious and we start down the path to finding this nirvana that only comes with something outside of ourselves. It is a wonder we are overweight, obese, taking too many medications and generally not healthy? Think about it.
How many hours a day do you watch TV? What do you gain from it?
I would like to challenge you. Buy a little notebook. For at least one week, write down how many hours a day that you sit in front of the tube. Record the shows you watch and mostly record what is being advertised during that time. Then, do the following:
- Ask yourself if the show stimulated your brain in some healthy way.
- Watch how much you respond to those commercials.
- Do you get hungry for some fast food that would have never crossed your mind had you not seen an advertisement for it?
- More than that, do you respond?
- Do you go out and eat some junk food that not only doesn’t fulfill you but supports you being less than healthy?
- Last, do you find yourself thinking that “If only I took that medication I too would feel better!”
Is this the way you want to live your life? Do you want someone else influencing you what to eat and what medications you are told you need to take?
I believe this process will help you to take back control of your own life. Once you see how much marketing can influence your thoughts and actions you may choose to do something different.
Start making a list of things you can do that stimulate your brain, offer you exercise, make you notice the amazing world around us, and provide you with a social setting where you can have great conversation rather than all just staring at the tube together. Once you have your list, start implementing some of those things into your evenings and weekends rather than watching television. I think what you will find will be a richer, more rewarding life that provides you with healthy alternatives to the dreaded marketing gurus on TV!