By Diana Zarowin - NYU Graduate
According to a recent Nielsen study, the average person watches over four hours of TV per day. That’s more than almost any other activity (outside of school and sleep…and for some people, 4 hours is actually more than the amount of sleep they obtain each night!). Longer than eating, showering (I hope for your water bill’s sake!), and working out.
We get it. Some use TV as a method of relaxation at the end of the day, while others use it to stay in the loop about cultural phenomena (oh, hello, Game of Thrones! Yes, I may not watch but I don’t live under a rock). Either way, TV is a big part of our lives. Now, there are ways to get even more out of the experience.
Exercise During Commercials
This one’s for all the exerciseaholics (#guilty) out there! Commercial breaks can last up to five minutes, depending on the length of the overall show. Instead of watching mindless commercials about Ajax soap and the Samsung Galaxy (you have an iPhone anyway, and you know you’re not going to switch), get up and do some jumping jacks or crunches. Raise that heart rate up just in time for the episode to return. Your mind and body will thank you for not becoming a couch potato.
Motivational Study Breaks
Here’s where Netflix comes in. Let TV-watching serve as study break bursts. Since you can continually start and pause shows online, you should always feel free to take many breaks while doing homework or grinding away at a paper. Give yourself a little TV reward after you’ve completed a legitimate amount of work. You can never go wrong with some re-energizing.
Choose Your Shows Wisely
Turn TV into a talking point! Don’t use me – still stuck in the 90s on Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Gilmore Girls – as an example. Both are great shows, yes, but popular programs like Modern Family and Blacklist can create real common ground in conversations – serious or not.
Do The Chores That Have Piled Up
TV time is the best time to get your chores done. Wash the dishes that have been sitting in the sink all week, Swiffer the living room floor, tidy your apartment, complete mindless to-do list tasks – the list can go on and on. Make multitasking gratifying, all while catching the latest episode of Scandal. (We’re big fans of yours, Kerry Washington!)
Call Your Mom
Back to the commercials…these bursts of mindless TV time provide you with the perfect opportunity to call your mom (or dad, sister, brother, best friend, dog…you get it). Take advantage of these free minutes and check in with the people you love. We’re all so plugged in these days, that sometimes it’s nice to actually make the extra gesture and call someone. Hear their voice, let them listen to yours. Try it. You might just do away the texting after. Just kidding!
Want to Write for NextGenVest and help students around the world? Email email@example.com with yourname and school.