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Television started entering American homes on a more widespread basis during the 1940s. At this same time in rural areas, television made its way into homes, retreated then was reintroduced into rural homes during the late 1940s through the mid to late-1950s. Today, more than 110 million American homes have a television.

Many homes have two or more televisions in them. It’s reached the point where it’s expected that you’ll have at least one television, and not just any television. It has to be a wide screen high definition television with surround sound.

Why it might be time to get rid of television

Television has replaced front porch conversations, board games and other indoor and outdoor social activities. It has also become a babysitter for developing children, including infants and toddlers. Although placing children in front of a television for one or more hours a day provides parents and caretakers with less distractions, it could hamper a child’s social skills. Additionally,when parents turn on educational programs, they might think that their child is learning simply because their child is watching and listening to programs that focus on reading, learning the alphabet and counting.

Until children are tested or parents ask children questions to measure how much they are actually learning, thinking that children are, in fact, learning because they are watching educational television shows is an assumption. But, children aren’t the only reason to turn off the television or consider taking television out of your home entirely. Other reasons to reduce or eliminate television usage in your home include:

Increased physical activity – Unless you’re running on a treadmill while you watch television, you’re probably sitting or lounging in bed. Less television could encourage you to be more physically active. You might get outdoors and soak up the benefits of more natural light.

Improved relationships – Remove television from your home and you may have little choice but to speak more often and more deeply with your relatives.You actually might have to actively listen to people while they speak with you.

Less isolation – Deeper conversations lead to improved relationships which can keep you from feeling isolated. Instead of turning to the television to watch other people engage in relationships on reality TV programs, you can focus on creating your own real life exciting and rewarding relationship experiences.

Better health – You and your children’s attention spans may increase after you take television out of your home. You could also reduce your risks of developing conditions and diseases like diabetes, obesity and hypertension.

Less than 60 years ago, it was normal for Americans to entertain themselves without watching television. That was a time when families gathered every evening around the dinner table. Neighbors interacted on a first name basis. People actually knew their neighbors’ children and grandchildren and treated them like extended family. Nearly every adult in a neighborhood looked out for children and teens. Face to face conversations were highly valued. Perhaps it’s time to return to that way of living, even if only for one to two days a week.