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“Even as phones and tablets extend their reach into daily life, a bigger screen remains supreme. According to the market-research firm Nielsen, the average American household watches nearly eight hours of television a day. If people are working and sleeping and doing anything else at all, how do eight hours of TV even fit into people’s days?
Nielsen has been measuring TV viewership since 1949. These days the company keeps tabs on nearly 60,000 households with special “meters” that attach to people’s TVs and track what they’re watching, when, and for how long—information that’s highly valuable to advertisers and TV networks. What becomes clear, on a closer look at viewership data, is that the eight-hours-a-day statistic is a very blunt figure, because viewing varies dramatically by age, race, and other variables.
When Nielsen started measuring TV viewership, American households were averaging four and a half hours a day. This figure rose steadily over the course of the century, but the biggest jump came in the 2000s, when it peaked at almost nine hours. Now it’s a little under eight.
Eight hours a day is, it maybe goes without saying, a lot of hours. What kind of TV watching does that figure capture? The eight-hours figure covers “traditional TV use”—which is live TV plus shows recorded on a DVR or watched on-demand—but not watching things on a computer or a streaming device such as a Roku. That latter category accounts for about another hour of TV time, on average.”
JJ Editor's Picks
"Not even what one might think of as the most basic tenet of any religion, a belief in the existence of God, is a prerequisite: Agnosticism is a key principle of at least one major school of Hindu philosophy."
"The presidency of any particular incumbent is relatively short... but the precedential consequences of impeaching a president without complying with the specific provisions of the Constitution “as it was written” are enduring."
"After news that a judge allegedly provided sexual favors to Bar Association president Efi Nave in exchange for her appointment, several politicians said in their responses that the Judicial Selection Committee needed to be the “Holy of Holies.”"
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"Eating out, ordering in. Throw in a bagel here, a coffee there, and it all adds up. "It's definitely a challenge for people my age to save on food.""
"Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. "
"Here in the good old U.S. of A, the third annual Women's March planned for Jan. 19 is in serious trouble, thanks to irreconcilable political disagreements."
"Nature, however, with its endless cycles of death and rebirth, fascinated her. Walking in the woods, she developed a method that has become the hallmark of her poetry, taking notice simply of whatever happens to present itself."
"Modern parents haven’t stopped playing favorites; they’ve just stopped doing it openly. Though few parents today will admit they have a favorite child, studies indicate that about two-thirds of parents do."
"The first science-based diet that tackles both the poor food eaten by billions of people and averts global environmental catastrophe has been devised."
"Sphen and Magic looked like they would make great, diligent, careful egg-warming parents. They made the biggest nest, and they sat on it constantly."
"How YMHAs, followed by synagogue-centers, and finally JCCs have tried—in different ways—to balance Judaism and Jewishness, by bringing Jews together in intellectual, spiritual, and physical pursuits"