Monday, November 17, 2008

The Sad Box

People who claim to be generally unhappy watch more TV than those who claim to be generally happy. That’s according to a survey of 30,000 American adults conducted between 1975 and 2006. Of course, because this is a survey and not a scientific study, the conclusions are up in the air. For one thing, this doesn’t indicate whether people watch more TV because they’re unhappy or if watching more TV makes them unhappy. I know every time Bravo announces another Real Housewives show I die a little inside, but that doesn’t stop me from sitting on the couch for hours at a time. One hypothesis is that unhappy people can tend to have social phobias that lead to more solitary TV watching. Or that addiction to TV can push out more fulfilling activities like sex, drinking heavily, sex, and getting drunk. And there’s always the very real possibility that people lie about being happy. Just because you’re smiling, it doesn’t mean you’re not dead inside. See: John McCain’s debate performances. More details here.

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