PJ Media

Why Aren't People Happy?

This a href=”http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB120709012659781613-jCmAlsUphFj80TFLI_XBhdSeISg_20090402.html?mod=rss_free”WSJ article /a (Hat tip: a href=”http://www.proteinwisdom.com/”Dan Collins/a) suggests that many people spend their time unwisely and that we watch too much TV:br /br /blockquoteWomen, folks under age 65, those divorced or separated, lower-income earners and the less educated were likely to spend a bigger chunk of their day in an unpleasant state…br /br /Instead, there’s been a significant increase in the hours devoted to what the authors call “neutral downtime,” which is mostly watching television. Women now spend 15% of their waking hours staring at the tube, while men devote 17%.br /br /Watching TV may be low-stress and moderately enjoyable. But people aren’t mentally engaged the way they are when they’re, say, exercising or socializing.br /br /”I wonder whether there are self-control problems when it comes to watching television,” muses Prof. Krueger, an economist at Princeton University and another of the study’s co-authors. “I wonder whether people would feel better about their lives if they spent their leisure time doing something that was more interactive and more engaging.”/blockquotebr /br /My guess is that many people are unhappy because those who watch a lot of TV have expectations of life that are too high–that is, the boob tube has them thinking they are supposed to be the next American Idol and instead, they are at a job they don’t like or in a situation that is less than what they consider ideal. The life they think they should have vs. the life they are actually leading might lead to depression or at least a feeling of unhappiness. I have about three TV shows I watch lately, re-runs of emFrasier/em, emDrew Carey/em, and emMama’s Family/em. None of the characters in these sit-coms is doing too well. My life, by comparison, looks great. I am happy.