Happy People Watch Less TV, Study Shows

Happy People Watch Less TV, Study Shows
Image Researchers at the University of Maryland found the one activity unhappy people do more than happy people is watch TV. The New York Times reports:

“We looked at 8 to 10 activities that happy people engage in, and for each one, the people who did the activities more — visiting others, going to church, all those things — were more happy,” Dr. [John]Robinson said. “TV was the one activity that showed a negative relationship. Unhappy people did it more, and happy people did it less.”

The study doesn’t indicate whether TV-watching is a symptom or a cause of unhappiness, so turning off the TV won’t necessarily make you happier. Have unhappier times in your life involved more TV-watching, less, or the same as happy times? Let us know in the comments.


  • Give up the TV and newspapers altogether for a month and see how much better you feel. You’ll also feel more in control of your life too. Then only watch and read things that inspire.
    I haven’t watched or listened to the news in over 6 years, believe me I’m not missing out! My life is fantastic. After-all, happiness is just a habit, like TV and misery.

  • My parents got rid of our television when I was twelve, and although I have lived in some houses with television, I haven’t ever owned one. My husband and I don’t have one, and I can’t imagine having the time for one. We just do too much. I believe television is one of the many drugs we use to escape from life. Most people use it like a drug. Habitually (usually at least once a day for an extended period). Outside of social situations (using the ‘drug’ alone). As a means of escape. And many people have formed a dependency. Try telling people that you don’t have a television. They stare at you in horror as they ask, ” What do you DO?” As if there is nothing worth doing that couldn’t be replaced with television. I do not think television itself is bad, it’s just that it is abused. People watch television without analysing what they are seeing; they have taken it on as a ‘necessary’ part of their lives and cannot imagine life without it. Television also creates in people the sense that they must be constantly entertained, rather than constantly engaged. When used like this, television, like many other escapist drugs, can be very dangerous. This is where I see a link to unhappiness, because television has given us the illusion that entertainment by the world is what creates our happiness, rather than positive engagement with the world – which is what really creates happiness.

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