Things You Do While Watching TV

The average American household has TV on for seven hours of the day. While this number is almost as mind-numbing as television itself, it begs the question, “where do people find the time?” The answer is simple: multitasking. If Americans do one thing more assiduously than watching TV, it’s watching TV while doing something else. The following are a few of the things we love to do with the TV on:

1. Eat

TV and eating go together, just like the peanut butter and jelly you eat in front of the TV each night. Eating alone is boring. Sometimes, eating with a friend is boring. For these reasons, it is necessary to have an unbiased third party present, which is where television fits in perfectly. The perfect conversation starter, tension breaker, and attention keeper, TV was virtually made for dinner time. Need further proof? The TV dinner industry generates $30 billion annually. Compare that to the $0 billion generated by the Read-a-book-with-dinner industry, and it’s easy to see why TV and food go together so nicely.

2. Work Out

Not only can working out with the TV on help to take your mind off of the task at hand, but it can also be the only way to complete the task.

Working out in front of the TV can be done by those on individual work out plans, or by those who need the assistance of a trainer to get through their routine. Exercise DVDs, along with programs and videos on demand, are the easiest and cheapest way to work out with a trained professional from the comfort of your own home. Video games like the Wii Fit are revolutionizing the way people exercise, which means it can be expected that even more people will be breaking a sweat in front of the television in the years to come.

3. Do Paperwork

Students, teachers, and bosses know that sometimes the only way to get through a mundane activity is to have something even more mundane on in the background.

Whether you are trying to write a paper, grade a stack of reports, or finish your quarterly paperwork, the endless pile of letters and numbers can be mind boggling and eye-numbing. Without the proper distraction to steal your attention for just a few precious minutes at a time, your brain would literally melt. TV provides the welcome distraction that so many people need and provides the white noise that so many people want.

4. Cook Dinner

As any culinary expert or kitchen novice will tell you, most of cooking is in the waiting. Sure, there are moments of intense focused required, but most of it is measuring, stirring, or waiting for the timer to go off.

What better partner to get you through this potentially boring process than television? By having a TV on, the stay-at-home chef can enjoy some relaxing programming while waiting for the oven to preheat, water to boil, or delivery guy to knock quietly on the back door. No matter what your level of culinary expertise, a television helps keep the act of cooking from being bland.

5. Surf the Net

Thanks to innovations in online streaming, Wi-Fi and combining-all-the-stuff-you-need-into-one-place technology, people can now easily surf the Web from their own television.

True, surfing the Web with a TV on has been around for years, but only recently has the ability to surf the web from the TV become accessible to the masses. Now, instead of being forced to watch a boring program or movie, people can easily surf the Web for boring emails and websites. My, what an amazing time it is!

6. Fall Asleep

Though late night TV is anything but exciting, the reality is that most people need some sort of distraction to fall asleep at night.

While it is a depressing fact that this country has become so overwrought with ADD that the average person needs a distraction in order to fall asleep, the fact remains that TV serves as a sort of bedtime story. Television is just engaging enough but still boring enough to facilitate a slow lull into sleep. Once again, the industry knows this, as sleep timers are now standard on every television set. If only they could create a way to stop from rolling over on the remote…

7. Paint Your Nails

Painting your nails requires a steady hand, an eye for the fashionable, and 15 minutes of drying time. With the average sitcom running 30 minutes, it’s the perfect window to pretty up while catching up on some TV.

The only problem with this particular activity is that using the remote becomes a unique challenge, which means you had better pick a show that you enjoy or have a partner manning the controls. Otherwise you could find yourself trapped with crappy TV and no way out, which is a fate far worse than death.

Although the way people view and share media is changing, it’s hard to imagine that there will ever be a world without television sets. TV is the perfect accessory for all of the mundane activities we do in a day, which is why there is literally no end to the amount of things that can be done while watching TV.

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