Television Facts & Figures in America

Category: Life & Society Topics: Children, Television Views: 1824

TV Turnoff Network recently published their research results that startled us. When we noticed the terms, 'average American' or 'average American home' in the data, we knew Muslims contributed to this average. While we are busy building Masajid and Islamic schools out in the communities through out America, we seem to be forgetting the need of a Masjid and an Islamic School within our own dwellings. TV Turnoff Network is an American nonprofit organization encouraging children and adults to watch less television in order to promote healthier lives and communities.

TV Undermines Family Life:

  • An average American watches TV per day: over 4 hrs

  • Time per day that TV is ON in an average US home: 7 hrs

  • Percentage of US households with at least one TV: 98%

  • Number of videos rented daily in America: 6 million

  • Number of public library items checked out daily: 3 million

TV Harms Children & Hampers Education:

  • Average daily time spent by a 1 year old in front of TV: 6 hrs

  • Average daily time in a week for children ages 2-17 in front of TV: 20 hrs

  • Weekly parental time spent in meaningful conversation with their children: 38.5 minutes

  • Hours per year a youth spends in School: 900 hrs

  • Hours per year a youth watches Television: 1023 hrs

TV Promotes Excessive Commercialism:

  • Number of TV commercials viewed by American children a year: 20,000

  • Age by which children can develop brand loyalty: 2 years

  • Percentage of local TV news broadcast time devoted to advertising: 30%

  • Percentage of American children who are seriously overweight in 1999: 15%

  • Percentage of young people who report having had no recent physical activity: 14%


What must be Done?

The medium of Television is harmfully powerful and prevails everywhere. Efforts must be made at individual and as well as collective levels. As individuals we have the power to (a) turn it OFF (b) restrict it to very minimal times, or (c) simply live without it.  Believe it or not, living without TV is ideal and doable too. The author of this article knows many happy families who never owned a TV set and are not diagnosed with any psychological disorders either!

Following are few simple but meaningful alternate activities that may not completely replace but can substitute TV time.

  • Turn your TV off during meals. It is a great time for family conversations. Discover each other!

  • Make Thank You Cards using a Quranic Verse or a Prophetic saying for your non-Muslim neighbors.

  • Read a book together and then debate on it as teams.

  • Dine early and arrange for a family walk in your neighborhood park and pray together.

  • Family Fun - Cook, Write, Teach, Repair, Garden ... whatever ... do it together.

  • Organize a Quiz contest.

  • Organize a field trip to assist needy.

Convene educational workshops, involve parents, teachers, Imams and children and talk about the ills and or benefits about Television. Make groups and have pro and anti advocacy debates. It will be pleasantly surprising to discover the hidden talent within you and others around you. Take lead and be a pioneering community to launch a campaign for a TV free community.

InshaAllah, you will be amply rewarded in this temporal world and the eternal Hereafter. All of us here at Islamicity are committed to not only do our best in informing the readership of this bulletin but begin auctioning off the black boxes.

  Category: Life & Society
  Topics: Children, Television
Views: 1824

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