The Social Cost Of Television Viewing – a tongue in cheek view

Doom sayers are oft warning us of the social costs of drug or alcohol use–but what about the horror of television addiction??

The average American spends over 4 hours a day watching TV (Nielsen Media Research http://www.nielsenmedia.com/nc/portal/site/Public/menuitem.55dc65b4a7d5adff3f65936147a062a0/?vgnextoid=4156527aacccd010VgnVCM100000ac0a260aRCRD ). This is more than half the time the average American spends working. The average fulltime worker in the US earns 43,000 dollars a year. This means that by watching television for 4 hours a day the average American is losing 21,500 dollars a year in terms of lost productivity. Multiply this by the population of the United States, 304,059,724. Hence the social cost of television viewing in the United States is $6,537,284,066,000. Let me spell that out–six trillion, five hundred and thirty seven billion, two hundred and eighty four million, sixty six thousand dollars!

According to NIDA (The National Institute on Drug Abuse) “The economic cost to society from alcohol and drug abuse was an estimated $246 billion in 1992. Alcohol abuse and alcoholism cost an estimated $148 billion, while drug abuse and dependence cost an estimated $98 billion.”

( http://www.nida.nih.gov/EconomicCosts/Index.html )

Clearly drug and alcohol abuse are a mere drop in the bucket compared to the horrifying scourge of television addiction! The social cost is 2,600 percent greater!!

So why is our government giving out HDTV vouchers to feed this addiction? The forces of Big Television are far reaching and powerful indeed!!

Copyright © 2009, The HAMS Harm Reduction Network

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About Kenneth Anderson

Kenneth Anderson is the author of the book How to Change Your Drinking: a Harm Reduction Guide to Alcohol. He is also the founder and CEO of The HAMS Harm Reduction Network.
This entry was posted in Alcohol, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, social cost, television addiction, tv addiction and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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