Faithlife Sermons

Hours Of Tv In A Lifetime

Notes & Transcripts

Dear Yahoo!:

How many hours of TV does a person watch in a lifetime?


Chesterfield, Missouri

Dear Joey:

Not to be confused with the hours spent watching Lifetime, one figure we've seen bandied about is 150,000 hours. That's based on a 72-year life expectancy. We suspect that number might be a bit aged, since Americans are now sticking around longer, up to an average of 77.9 years.

 The folks behind TV Turnoff Week say that the set drones on 7 hours and 40 minutes a day in the average American household. Sounds excessive, until you realize that includes the entire household. When we're talking individual eyeballs, it drops down to a little over 4 hours per person.

 However  Nielsen Media reports that Americans have hit boob-tube peaks of eight hours and 11 minutes in the home and 4 hours, 35 minutes per viewer--and that was before sociologists declared TV to be the most common human activity after work and sleep.

 So, say we round off to 4.5 hours a day for 80 years. Assuming you've been clicking the remote straight outta the womb, you could be talking 131,400 hours spent with the likes of William Shatner, Tony Danza, and the blonde cylon from "Battlestar Galactica."

 But are we talking about white noise or opiate-quality viewership? Finding that out is the stuff of academic study and focus groups. Plus, given the growing popularity of stuff like iPods and cell phone, the whole time-shifting concept and, of course Web surfing, those viewing hours could be lengthened or shortened. Naturally, the watchers will be watching, so look for some new numbers coming to a screen near you.

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