Happiness and watching TV

Happiness and watching TV

If you’re looking for happiness in life, you might want to turn off the TV. A new study which included 34 years of data and 45,000 participants displayed one striking conclusion — unhappy people watch 20 percent more TV than their happy counterparts.

The average American watches an average of three hours of television a day. It’s easy, it’s mindless, and according to the new study, it’s depressing.

So how do happy people spend their time?

The University of Maryland’s Dr. John P. Robinson, who co-authored the study, found while unhappy people watch more television, happy people spend more time reading or socializing. “What happens in general is that people sit down to watch a bit of television and gradually that tends to be their evening, and the more they watch the lousier they feel,” he said.

Beltsville resident Diondre Lewis said she understands the link between turning off the TV and personal fulfillment. “Interacting with other people, engaging your imagination with a book — it makes perfect sense,” she said.

The study also found TV viewing could increase significantly as the economy gets worse. Kristen Ruffin, who is currently unemployed, can believe it. ‘searching around on the Internet, looking through the paper — what’s left to do — watch TV,” she said.

The study doesn’t answer the question, are people unhappy because they’re watching television, or are they watching television because they are unhappy? The study’s author says either way, the pursuit of happiness will not end here.

“You have your own script in life,” Robinson said. “Live it out.”

The study finds people hard-hit by the economy may find that television provides a good escape, but it also says that the short-term pleasure doesn’t outweigh television’s less positive effects in the long run.

Original source – http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/1108/571018.html