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T.V. Turnoff



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During the course of a year, the average viewer will watch about 22,000, or approximately 184 hours (seven days and 16 hours worth) of commercials. That’s a whole week of ads every year, which is about one week too much.

A 30-minute sitcom runs 22 minutes minus commercials and promos, which means roughly one quarter of our television viewing time is spent watching ads and network promos.

If it wasn’t for hockey playoffs, I’d probably be an active participant in TV Turnoff Week. When playoffs wrap up in June I promise to voice my righteous indignation and turn off the boob tube for at least a week.

Read all about the TV Turnoff Week campaign, and the different anti-commercialism and pro-living forces influencing the movement. Adbusters has also posted a list of Action ideas that groups can use to break the TV habit, from going bowling to buying used televisions and hosting a good old-fashioned smash-in. Visit the Media Carta section, which protests the idea that the global information superstructure is just a puppet in the hands of a handful of international mega-corporations . You may never watch television the same way again.

This page, assembled by the Media Awareness Network, contains the bulk of statistics and reports prepared by Statistics Canada concerning Canadians and television. If you’re going to get righteous about turning the television off, you’re probably going to butt heads with roommates and/or family members – it’s a good idea to have some hard statistics to back you up.

If your children are watching too much TV – or the wrong TV – Media Awareness also offers ideas for parents to help modify and manage their children’s viewing practices, in terms of both quantity and quality. There are articles on the effects of TV violence on children, and ways to manage their exposure to adult content.

The Media Awareness stuff is slightly less – how to put it? – fear-mongering than the information provided on the Canadian Horizon Corporation site, but every parent and cable addict owes it to themselves to give it a read. Here’s what you can expect: "The typical American child will witness 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of televised violence in his lifetime." And "Body metabolism (and calorie burning) is an average of 14.5 per cent lower when watching TV than when simply lying in bed."