Too Much Screen Time/ Mises Institute

We’re Told Americans Have No Free Time, Yet We’re Watching More than Four Hours of TV Per Day
We are repeatedly told that basic human rituals are falling by the wayside. Why don’t we all sit down to dinner as a family anymore? Why don’t we spend time with each other anymore? Why are we all sleep deprived?

Sometimes these problems are blamed on people spending too much time devoted to kids’ intramural activities or other types of school- and recreation-based activities. Some analysts note people can’t tear themselves away from their smart phones in order to go to bed at a decent hour.

But very often, we’re told, this lack of time comes down to too much work. The articles covering these topics are full of anecdotal evidence of people with multiple jobs, long commutes, and crushing work responsibilities.

These problems no doubt afflict many people. They’re certainly an issue for people at that state of life where couples have school-age children, and have a host of bills from many responsibilities that comes with raising a family.

But, the anecdotal evidence is contradicted by years of data showing people aren’t nearly as hard pressed for a few free moments as is supposed.

Specifically, consider the 2019 Q1 data provided on media consumption by the Neilsen Company. According to their extensive sampling of TV, smart phone, and video game console users, American adults spend an average of four-and-a-half hours per day watching television. The spend an additional 54 minutes using TV-connected devices such as DVD players and video game consoles.

neilsen2.PNG
People over fifty watch the most television and generally consume the most screen-based media. People in the 50-64 age bracket watched nearly six hours of television, and spend an additional two hours and forty-seven minutes on smart phones. People in the over-65 category watched even more television than that.

Not surprisingly, people in the 18-34 age group consumed the least media overall, and also used televisions the least. Those people have younger children — which makes TV viewing harder — and may be spending more time outside the house with friends. In this group, people watched on average one hour and fifty-four minutes of television, but were on phone apps for three-and-a-half hours.

Across age groups, media consumption ranged from nine hours to nearly thirteen hours. Per day.

But to err on the conservative side, let’s remove radio time — which could just be part of the daily commute — and “internet on a computer,” which could be chores and work time. Even if we do this, we find Americans are on average watching videos, playing video games, and consuming media seven or eight hours per day.

And yet, media outlets and pundits are often telling us that ordinary people absolutely don’t have time to prepare a meal or maintain friendships. Given the data here, I’m skeptical of these assertions.

Now, these are averages, so it may be that people are very squeezed for time during the week, but then consume enormous amounts of media on the weekends. Certainly, there are people out there who consume live sports programming virtually all day on Sunday during football seasons. But then that would imply these people at least have time to spend with friends and family on weekends.

neilsen1.PNG
But if people have more than seven hours per day on average to watch re-runs of Friends, watch in-depth analysis of NBA games, and fire up the Playstation, why can’t they manage to get eight hours of sleep?

If this data is correct, then the anecdotal evidence just doesn’t add up, and it’s simply not the case that people don’t have time to do anything other than work, eat some fast food, and then do it all over again.

This isn’t to say that poverty doesn’t exist or that everyone is more or less average. We’ve all encountered people who at least sometimes work multiple jobs or are pushed to their limits by family obligations, work, and medical problems.

But the statistical data on media consumption suggests this isn’t the typical experience.

Crime Pays in Blue Cities

Crime Stays
Taki November 23, 2019
Crime Stays
photo credit: Bigstock
NEW YORK—Things are heating up, in both London and Nueva York, as this place should correctly be called. Two flunkies writing in the N.Y. Times announced to the fools that read the most anti-white and anti-male newspaper on record that Boris is committing gaffes and could, like Trump, be a dead man walking. It’s wishful thinking and the premature celebration confirms that the media can no longer be trusted, certainly not here in the land of the depraved. (The flunkies seek quotes from obscure British left-wing academics and loftily present them as “the people.” Their detachment from the workaday world is hilarious.)

In the meantime, here in the Bagel a drug pusher facing 100 years behind bars is photographed walking free and saluting Governor Cuomo for his bail-reform law. “Cuomo for president,” crows Jose Jorge in Spanish, leaving a Manhattan court without plunking down a penny for bail. Cuomo’s bail-reform bill is to help courts avoid a logjam, and has set around 900 dangerous criminals free. (Jorge was an innovative drug dealer. He mixed fentanyl with heroin for an extra kick, killing lots of his clients.) Never mind, the law is the law, and we all know that there are no criminals, only oppressors. According to the honchos who rule us, we need more tolerance for public disorder and for the city’s worst instincts. Ditto in London, I am told, where the present great mayor oversees knife crime last seen in Carthage after the Roman arrival.

Who’s gonna fix this mess? Certainly not the fuzz. The coppers are under siege here, having water poured over them, also milk, and overseeing marches spewing vile anti-NYPD invective taking place every weekend. I watched a cop car full of fuzz doing absolutely nothing as bikers rode on sidewalks dispersing shoppers on Madison Avenue. And sympathized with them. Law-abiding citizens are now a minority, so why should a copper enforce a law that’s not so important? And guns are making a comeback, not that they ever went away. Illegal gun seizures are at their lowest rate in five years, and that’s because the NYPD shuns seizing guns after the mayor and the police commissioner fired a totally innocent officer for applying a legal chokehold on a 400-pound man who died. The broken windows theory has flown out the window.

“When the zeitgeist says that the only thing worse than crime is locking up those who commit it, it’s party time for the bad guys.”
Yep, the city is in serious decline, public disorder is rampant, and the will to combat it is nil. Of course, you’ll never read this in the Times, only in the Post and the WSJ. I sometimes wonder why a newspaper like the Times chooses an onslaught of insanity and masquerades it as fairness and compassion. The paper almost celebrates criminals, although in my book being convicted of a serious crime does not make one a hero, especially when everything else has been decriminalized. Living in well-guarded buildings, as I do, in exclusive sections of the Bagel, as most people who work for the Times do, helps. They read about crime firsthand in the Post.

Law and Order, the symbol that Giuliani rode to victory and the rebirth of the Bagel thirty years ago, is now perceived as fascist, and a racist plot by the minority, the law-abiding folk. And at times it turns funny, as when the present mayor uses tax money to hand out gifts to those who show up for court dates. Rob a store, mug an oldie, and get a free baseball ticket for eventually showing up as you walk free without having to post bail.

Mind you, as I said, I don’t see much of this mess on the Upper East Side. But when I recently crossed the bridge to Brooklyn for a party, I did witness a small march of about 500 to 1,000 with a large yellow banner that read: “Punch a Cop.” This was on the border of Queens and Brooklyn, where my nice but totally lost cabdriver had taken me. I asked him what he thought about the calls for violence against the police. His English was limited—he was from Ghana—yet he did say no good, no good; but then he was a hardworking cabbie with no time to protest against fascism, racism, sexism, and the rest of the isms.

The Bagel is in flux. More than half of its 8 million residents are foreign-born—4.5 million, to be exact. The majority of the foreign-born are under 35 and did not live under the halcyon days of Giuliani. The gangs are mostly Hispanics, with Dominicans among the most violent and brutal, and there’s not a damn thing that anyone can do about them. They deal in drugs and murder, and the lousiest mayor ever, Bill de Blasio, makes sure the cops do not cross the line and step on the poor darlings’ civil rights.

Am I painting too bleak a picture? Not if one lives in Queens, the Bronx, or certain parts of Brooklyn. As in London, here in New York the rich are protected, almost by osmosis. The gangs know where the weak live, where the poor are. And now when the zeitgeist says that the only thing worse than crime is locking up those who commit it, it’s party time for the bad guys. The set-’em-free mindset means bad days ahead for those who least deserve it. My problem is I can’t make up my mind whether it’s better to be knifed in London or shot in Nueva York.

Subscribe to Taki’s Magazine for an ad-free experience and help us stand against political correctness.

Sign Up to Receive Our Latest Updates!

The Newly Released inspector General Report

Do you remember Comey twisting in the wind while trying to explain away the Clinton email scandal? Here it is again with a different author, IG Horowitz.
It rambles on about this and that on both sides of the argument without any clear findings of abuse or unlawful actions. What a waste of time and money all of this has been.
The deep state is running the show in DC like it has since the CIA was invented and probably before that.
The message here for any aspiring politicians wanting to come to Washington and change the way the deep state runs things is, “don’t get sideways with us or you and your allies will pay a price” just like Kennedy did. Then they take them into a smoke filled theater and show them the Zapgruder films.

Trump the Mixed Bag

The economy under Trump is setting record numbers in job creation in all demographics, which should be collecting record numbers in federal revenue.
Unfortunately under Trump the national debt has risen to record levels. He wants to drain the swamp but he just keeps giving it money to help it grow.
In the middle of the big impeachment drama, both parties came together late one night and under the radar, reauthorized the patriot act funding. This show us that there is little difference in the two political parties when it comes to spying on Americans and deficit spending. On the biggest important issues they agree and find compromise. On the less important political issues, they fight to the death.
I see it all as a distraction, and a most obvious one. We are being fed a shit sandwich, our only choice is what kind of bread.