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Chad Love: Television vs. the Outdoors

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March 04, 2009

Chad Love: Television vs. the Outdoors

By Chad Love

One of the first blogs I wrote explored the correlation between television sales and those economic stimulus checks we all got last year. At the time I thought it was a sad commentary on the current state of the American psyche and I urged everyone to put down the remote and forcefully engage reality by getting outside.

I wrote:

"Wasting time seems to have become our main pastime. We desperately need to hit the off button, get outside and make our own reality, but it seems most of us prefer to watch someone else's. High definition, digitally-enhanced surround-sound apathy is still just that - apathy. I don't claim that hunting and fishing will solve our economic problems, but as a stimulus for actually giving a damn about the state of our world there simply isn't a better way to clear the media fog we all seem to be stumbling through."

And here, finally, is the proof that validates my long-held suspicion that absolutely no one out there pays any attention at all to what I think 

From the story:

NEW YORK - Americans watched more television than ever in the fourth quarter, The Nielsen Co. reported Monday, even though the Internet is providing another way to watch. The average American older than 2 years watched television for 151 hours per month, Nielsen said. That was up from 146 hours in the same period the previous year.

That's almost five hours per day. To put that in perspective, it's like watching "The Godfather" and "The Godfather II" every day of your life. If - as the data indicate - TV watching is actually becoming a primary lifestyle choice for an ever-increasing segment of our population, what does that say about our ability to cope with challenges both personal and communal? What does that say about our capacity and desire to care? About anything? And even more troubling, what does that say about the future of hunting, fishing, hiking, camping or any activity that nurtures an appreciation for the natural world?

Yes, things generally suck right now. But when given a choice of grabbing the remote and losing yourself in 500 channels of make-believe or getting off your ass and doing something tangible and spiritually rewarding, I think I'll stick with the latter.

Comments (20)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Sportsman Matt wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I agree with you. The obesety problem, lack of family values, and society in general would be much better if people got out and did things rather than sit infront of the tube. Unfortunately the way industry and workplaces have gone to computers for everything, you end up staring at them for 8 plus hours a day at work, then add another 5 to 6 hours at home because of the internet. Add in being able to watch tv shows anytime you want, and no wonder why no one goes out to do anything anymore.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I regard the television as the most insidious thief of time in our society. For most of the time we spend before the TV set, we are occupied but otherwise unproductive. We read fewer books, write fewer letters, students spend less time on written assignments, dialogue less with family members, and accomplish very little while watching television, though we reportedly witness 1500-1800 homicides (usually with firearms) in the course of a year's viewing. When my daughter left for the campus, we bought her a computer (a requirement for her courses) but did not provide her with a television. Her roommate, not an academically aggressive young lady, arrived with a TV that dominated their small room, and my daughter occasionally had to go to the library or computer resource room to work on assignments. My son seems to have time for television, but not enough time to polish his homework assignments.
Labor-intensive hobbies and crafts that suffer by distraction, such as leathercraft, building scale models, woodcarving and others, are impacted by the TV. We can simply turn it off, but there may be other family members to consider.
There are worthwhile shows on television, no question, and I enjoy them...but prime time network television is geared for a 5th grade education for mass appeal so, if you find the plot entirely predictable and worn out, there is a reason.
I am so conscious of time wasted that I can no longer sit idly in front of the TV; I use the time to process brass for reloading, to polish my shoes, to sort laundry, or any of a dozen mindless tasks, because I need to qualify my time with measurable progress. If not for the History Channel, Discovery Channel, Arts & Entertainment, and the Military Channel, I'd give up all hope for television.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from s-kfry wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

Here is what is going to happen: most fat slob Americans will continue to watch TV and the few of us that get up and get our families outside will end up being healthier (of course) and then being overtaxed to pay for all the medical bills of those who where not responsible and now have their arteries clogged to closure from the grease on the chips they were eating while watching the TVs bought by their stimulus checks. Wait, maybe these are really anti-stimulus checks, they aren't stimulating most people at all!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sb Wacker wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

TV is called 'the Idiots lantern' for two reasons:
1. They're drawn to it like moths to a flame.
2. They use it to light their way.

SBW

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

We're too busy eating our lazy butts into an early grave to even peek outside (must less actually spend time there).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jacee wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I see how Tv/video games/computers are altering our kids too. It is really tough to get them to try something different, to conceive of NOT having the TV on. It worries me when I consider how those kids regard nature and outdoors - they have very little experience with it, and don't respect it. Not sure that I have an answer though.....

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

The idiot box has really distorted the how people view reality. I do have a couple of favorite shows but I can discern reality from make believe. Just as soon as I recover from Bronchitis I plan to just that, get outside and enjoy! Now, if I could just break my wife's addiction to "LOST"...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I agree. I hope I will be able to coax my kids away from the Boob Tube in favor of real entertainment and endeavors outside. Whether it's hunting and fishing, Golf, Baseball,Or whatever, as long as it's active and healthy. Currently my kids are too young for these activities and they love the TV, even my 6mos. old. I have to be the "meanie" who says enough is enough, turn the TV off.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

You have to admit that some shows are good, but i almost never watch for more than an hour a day. I don't see how people can watch 5 hours a day, but maybe it's directly related to obesity.
DUH!! GET OFF THE COUCH!!

Nate

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from alabamahunter wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

If I'm watching t.v. it is almost certainly sports. Oh, and I try to catch Jeapordy if I'm home at 6. I'm pretty sure the t.v. has caused the shift of society from the front porch to the various rooms in the house.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I'm proud to say that for the first 15 years of my marriage we only had the 3 or 4 basic T.V. channels. I was in bliss until the wife and kids won over about 8 years ago. Idiot box is an understatement. TV takes mans intelectural progress back to the Dark Ages. There are no talented actors anymore. Just bits of poor dialog between sex scenes and explosions.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from drquackers wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

We don't get cable. I tell my kids we can be insulted for free why pay for it!

http://www.eloquentbooks.com/HuntingWithFather.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wis4_MObTo8

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kolbster wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

im on F&S website 3 hours a day, not on the TV, at least in learning stuff when i am on the site.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

drquakers,
i might have to buy that book!!

Nate

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

Usually I flip through a couple hundred channels, turn the TV off, and look for another of my favorite books to re-read. Maybe I will load a few rounds or clean a few rifle barrels. Frankly if both DISH and Direct TV went away immediately I could care less.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from osobear50 wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

Everyone is talking bad the amount of time spent watching tv but yall are wasting your time playing on the computer. Yall probably spend that 5 hours a day playing on the internet, if not a lot more, and your bad mouthing tv. That kind of sounds hippocritical. I personally only get on the computer at work for a few minutes to check my work e-mail and to take a quidk glance at this site. I do, however, spend more time watching tv. I agree people should spend more time in the outdoors than they do, including me. I watch tv to relax and enjoy something because I can't do the things I want outdoors do to time restrants and family. I have a wife that is a full time student and 2 kids and 1 on the way. I have 2 dogs and only 1 car. I also work over nights so I sleep when ever my youngest daughter takes naps during the day while wife is at school. With only a couple of hours of sleep throughout the day watching tv is the only thing I can do to rest and relax.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I hate "sports" programming involving any sort of overgrown overpaid individuals chasing sperical objects. I dispise the blowhards with "religious" tv shows shilling for money and spewing hate in Yeshua's greek name. I am quite fond of the history channel, discovery, military and link tv on my sattelite dish but I discovered that the system wouldn't let me block the sports or the pseudo religious shills, true I don't have to tune em in, but I was denied the satisfaction of blocking access.
I also often do crafts while observing "Mythbusters", "Weaponsmasters" or this years punkinchunkin contest. While a lot of folks do waste inordinate amounts of time watching drivel I would never have gotten to see a lot of cool weirdness if I didn't have that dish.
I even saw Dave Petzal once!
As far as watching drivel goes, I know quite a few persons who are such incompetant buckets of lard and entrails you don't want them doing anything that might have consequences if bodged up. TV occupies weak minds and prevents them from achieving the mass horror they are capable of inflicting through their gross stupidity and egotism. There are sheep and there are goats (not to mention the wolves and those cuddly big ole bears).
Let the sheep watch 90210, gossip girl and the latest sitcoms devised to distract them. I am not so distracted.
I also will admit to the occasion where after doin some kinda work here on the farm (forking up the poo,fencing, diggin up the spuds or whatever)I will come into the house and collapse in front of that old tv and keep the brain busy while letting the body have a breather. I ain't as young as I used to be, having passed my half century mark and sattelite tv is good for such moments. The feller who pointed out that the computer is a timewaster too also has a point, but at least it encourages me to write things, however inflammatory they may be...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Armchair Mike wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

Hey, I love me some TV. It's the plug-in drug. Outdoor Channel? Sportsman Channel? Come on, y'all! Tivo is the best thing since bottled beer, though. It has completely changed my TV viewing habits. More often than not, I watch 15 minutes of a show, and then I lose interest and go do something else. The pause and replay feature also allows you to do something more important (like sorting brass) while the TV is on without feeling that you might "miss something." You can take control of your viewing instead of being glued to the tube. Well worth the money.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from peter wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

agree.but most people are dumbasses

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Put outdoor education in the schools.

Obesity? Solved.

Whiny, incompetent, highly dependent brats? Solved.

Gun fear and ignorance? Solved

The list goes on. Kids are so lazy and sheltered and weak in every sense, these days

The time people waste on TV and video games is unbelievable. Huge epidemic.

"I even saw Dave Petzal once!"

The man! The myth!...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I regard the television as the most insidious thief of time in our society. For most of the time we spend before the TV set, we are occupied but otherwise unproductive. We read fewer books, write fewer letters, students spend less time on written assignments, dialogue less with family members, and accomplish very little while watching television, though we reportedly witness 1500-1800 homicides (usually with firearms) in the course of a year's viewing. When my daughter left for the campus, we bought her a computer (a requirement for her courses) but did not provide her with a television. Her roommate, not an academically aggressive young lady, arrived with a TV that dominated their small room, and my daughter occasionally had to go to the library or computer resource room to work on assignments. My son seems to have time for television, but not enough time to polish his homework assignments.
Labor-intensive hobbies and crafts that suffer by distraction, such as leathercraft, building scale models, woodcarving and others, are impacted by the TV. We can simply turn it off, but there may be other family members to consider.
There are worthwhile shows on television, no question, and I enjoy them...but prime time network television is geared for a 5th grade education for mass appeal so, if you find the plot entirely predictable and worn out, there is a reason.
I am so conscious of time wasted that I can no longer sit idly in front of the TV; I use the time to process brass for reloading, to polish my shoes, to sort laundry, or any of a dozen mindless tasks, because I need to qualify my time with measurable progress. If not for the History Channel, Discovery Channel, Arts & Entertainment, and the Military Channel, I'd give up all hope for television.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sb Wacker wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

TV is called 'the Idiots lantern' for two reasons:
1. They're drawn to it like moths to a flame.
2. They use it to light their way.

SBW

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sportsman Matt wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I agree with you. The obesety problem, lack of family values, and society in general would be much better if people got out and did things rather than sit infront of the tube. Unfortunately the way industry and workplaces have gone to computers for everything, you end up staring at them for 8 plus hours a day at work, then add another 5 to 6 hours at home because of the internet. Add in being able to watch tv shows anytime you want, and no wonder why no one goes out to do anything anymore.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jacee wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I see how Tv/video games/computers are altering our kids too. It is really tough to get them to try something different, to conceive of NOT having the TV on. It worries me when I consider how those kids regard nature and outdoors - they have very little experience with it, and don't respect it. Not sure that I have an answer though.....

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from s-kfry wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

Here is what is going to happen: most fat slob Americans will continue to watch TV and the few of us that get up and get our families outside will end up being healthier (of course) and then being overtaxed to pay for all the medical bills of those who where not responsible and now have their arteries clogged to closure from the grease on the chips they were eating while watching the TVs bought by their stimulus checks. Wait, maybe these are really anti-stimulus checks, they aren't stimulating most people at all!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jjas wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

We're too busy eating our lazy butts into an early grave to even peek outside (must less actually spend time there).

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

The idiot box has really distorted the how people view reality. I do have a couple of favorite shows but I can discern reality from make believe. Just as soon as I recover from Bronchitis I plan to just that, get outside and enjoy! Now, if I could just break my wife's addiction to "LOST"...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I agree. I hope I will be able to coax my kids away from the Boob Tube in favor of real entertainment and endeavors outside. Whether it's hunting and fishing, Golf, Baseball,Or whatever, as long as it's active and healthy. Currently my kids are too young for these activities and they love the TV, even my 6mos. old. I have to be the "meanie" who says enough is enough, turn the TV off.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

You have to admit that some shows are good, but i almost never watch for more than an hour a day. I don't see how people can watch 5 hours a day, but maybe it's directly related to obesity.
DUH!! GET OFF THE COUCH!!

Nate

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from alabamahunter wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

If I'm watching t.v. it is almost certainly sports. Oh, and I try to catch Jeapordy if I'm home at 6. I'm pretty sure the t.v. has caused the shift of society from the front porch to the various rooms in the house.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I'm proud to say that for the first 15 years of my marriage we only had the 3 or 4 basic T.V. channels. I was in bliss until the wife and kids won over about 8 years ago. Idiot box is an understatement. TV takes mans intelectural progress back to the Dark Ages. There are no talented actors anymore. Just bits of poor dialog between sex scenes and explosions.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from drquackers wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

We don't get cable. I tell my kids we can be insulted for free why pay for it!

http://www.eloquentbooks.com/HuntingWithFather.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wis4_MObTo8

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kolbster wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

im on F&S website 3 hours a day, not on the TV, at least in learning stuff when i am on the site.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 60256 wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

drquakers,
i might have to buy that book!!

Nate

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ishawooa wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

Usually I flip through a couple hundred channels, turn the TV off, and look for another of my favorite books to re-read. Maybe I will load a few rounds or clean a few rifle barrels. Frankly if both DISH and Direct TV went away immediately I could care less.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from osobear50 wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

Everyone is talking bad the amount of time spent watching tv but yall are wasting your time playing on the computer. Yall probably spend that 5 hours a day playing on the internet, if not a lot more, and your bad mouthing tv. That kind of sounds hippocritical. I personally only get on the computer at work for a few minutes to check my work e-mail and to take a quidk glance at this site. I do, however, spend more time watching tv. I agree people should spend more time in the outdoors than they do, including me. I watch tv to relax and enjoy something because I can't do the things I want outdoors do to time restrants and family. I have a wife that is a full time student and 2 kids and 1 on the way. I have 2 dogs and only 1 car. I also work over nights so I sleep when ever my youngest daughter takes naps during the day while wife is at school. With only a couple of hours of sleep throughout the day watching tv is the only thing I can do to rest and relax.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

I hate "sports" programming involving any sort of overgrown overpaid individuals chasing sperical objects. I dispise the blowhards with "religious" tv shows shilling for money and spewing hate in Yeshua's greek name. I am quite fond of the history channel, discovery, military and link tv on my sattelite dish but I discovered that the system wouldn't let me block the sports or the pseudo religious shills, true I don't have to tune em in, but I was denied the satisfaction of blocking access.
I also often do crafts while observing "Mythbusters", "Weaponsmasters" or this years punkinchunkin contest. While a lot of folks do waste inordinate amounts of time watching drivel I would never have gotten to see a lot of cool weirdness if I didn't have that dish.
I even saw Dave Petzal once!
As far as watching drivel goes, I know quite a few persons who are such incompetant buckets of lard and entrails you don't want them doing anything that might have consequences if bodged up. TV occupies weak minds and prevents them from achieving the mass horror they are capable of inflicting through their gross stupidity and egotism. There are sheep and there are goats (not to mention the wolves and those cuddly big ole bears).
Let the sheep watch 90210, gossip girl and the latest sitcoms devised to distract them. I am not so distracted.
I also will admit to the occasion where after doin some kinda work here on the farm (forking up the poo,fencing, diggin up the spuds or whatever)I will come into the house and collapse in front of that old tv and keep the brain busy while letting the body have a breather. I ain't as young as I used to be, having passed my half century mark and sattelite tv is good for such moments. The feller who pointed out that the computer is a timewaster too also has a point, but at least it encourages me to write things, however inflammatory they may be...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Armchair Mike wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

Hey, I love me some TV. It's the plug-in drug. Outdoor Channel? Sportsman Channel? Come on, y'all! Tivo is the best thing since bottled beer, though. It has completely changed my TV viewing habits. More often than not, I watch 15 minutes of a show, and then I lose interest and go do something else. The pause and replay feature also allows you to do something more important (like sorting brass) while the TV is on without feeling that you might "miss something." You can take control of your viewing instead of being glued to the tube. Well worth the money.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from peter wrote 5 years 6 weeks ago

agree.but most people are dumbasses

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from shane wrote 5 years 5 weeks ago

Put outdoor education in the schools.

Obesity? Solved.

Whiny, incompetent, highly dependent brats? Solved.

Gun fear and ignorance? Solved

The list goes on. Kids are so lazy and sheltered and weak in every sense, these days

The time people waste on TV and video games is unbelievable. Huge epidemic.

"I even saw Dave Petzal once!"

The man! The myth!...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment