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The Pros and Cons of Television Time

The Pros and Cons of Television Time

A percentage of people will argue that television is nothing but garbage, while others will demand that TV is a tool for good. Some people blame television shows for all of the world’s violence, while others see it for being a resource for education. Who is right and who is wrong? Well, it is not as simple as that. The truth does not come packaged nicely in a concrete answer, rather it is more of a discussion with compelling arguments on both sides.

The Pros of Watching Television

Those who are opposed to television time might ask if there are any advantages to it at all. Yet, here are some of the pros of watching television:

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  1. Television is a cheap and easy source of entertainment in this life that is quite busy and expensive. It provides us with access to international news, making it easy to stay informed about world news.
  2. There are also channels that are exclusively educational that increase our knowledge about the world around us. PBS and Discovery are just a few of the educational channels available.
  3. DIY channels provide access to information on cooking, home improvement, investing, and so much more. Many people even use television to help them learn another language.
  4. Television also provides a way for people to realize dreams or goals that they didn’t even know they had, and it can give them a push in the right direction.
  5. Social Surrogacy is the term used by psychologists to explain how television can make people feel less lonely. It sort of fills the shoes of absent family or friends. Television also helps people to expand their minds through watching others travel and being taught about different cultures and societies, giving us a broader understanding of the world that we live in.
  6. Television events like the Olympics or an award show can gather families and friends around in a central location, where they are able to discuss their thoughts and feelings on the particular event.

The Cons of Watching Television

This list could go on and on, but here are a few of the highlights.

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  1. The violence, crime, and sex depicted on television shows can have negative impacts on young, impressionable children. Some researchers argue that the kids that see these violent acts are more likely to reenact this violent and aggressive behavior.
  2. Watching too much television is also bad for your health. Watching more than 3 hours of television a day may contribute to behavior problems, sleep difficulties, health issues, and lower grades.
  3. Too much television can also make you antisocial, and it is potentially a waste of time. The time that is spent watching television could be spent doing something productive like being social with other people, doing physical activity, enjoying the outdoors, reading, chores, or homework.
  4. Some people fear that television brainwashes people into consumerism. Advertisers target children and on average, children will see 40,000 advertisements per year, many of them being for snack foods and alcohol. The motive is to get consumers to buy.
  5. Television can be seen as making people shallow, because that’s what the majority of the content is. Many programs do not go into detail about issues, or they actively present them in a way that is biased. It has also been said that too much television can ruin relationships. This happens when someone is spending too much time watching the TV, and not enough time with the ones that they love.
  6. Oddly enough, television can also be addictive. Those who watch a lot of TV may find it harder to stop. Some studies have found that as much as 12% of TV watchers are unhappy with the amount of TV that they are watching, and would consider themselves addicted and feel incapable of stopping this habit.

To conclude, television time can both positively and negatively affect the viewer, although children tend to be affected more adversely than adults.

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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