Things That Make Me Go “Hm”

With the fall TV season starting, it might be good to think about which TV shows you actually want to watch.  Kate and Marianne point out in Lessons from the Fat-o-Sphere that watching TV encourages you to compare your body to the people on TV – who with very few exceptions are underweight and fat-shaming, or fat-shaming commercials.   I’m not saying you should give up something you love, but you could mute commercials or turn it off if there’s not something on that you do love and gain a bit more time to do things you do want to do.

Based on the The American Time Use Survey comes this widget that lets you see how Americans use their day on average.   Clicking on a category, like Work, gives you more information about it; clicking on a group (employed, unemployed, not in labor force, etc) shows the data just for that group.  I get so lost in this thing ;)   Some examples:

  • The Other Leisure category includes reading for personal interest and playing games, including computer games, and averages about 45 minutes a day.  (I average more.)
  • The Personal Care category also averages 45 minutes a day, and includes showering,  grooming, and “an average of 54 seconds spent on ”personal or private activities,’ like having sex.”
  • Socializing — talking with friends or family or attending parties — averages a little less than 45 minutes  a day.   “Phone calls” with friends and family is a separate category and averages 8 minutes a day.
  • TV and Movies averages 2 hours and 45 minutes, though some of that could be combined with socializing.  For men it’s an average of 3 hours, for women it’s an average of 2:32.
  • Computer Use, which includes surfing and updating blogs (but not computer games) averages 8 minutes a day…which seems really really low to me.  Maybe I’m weird? ;)
  • Household Activities clocks in a 1 hr 46 minutes overall, with women spending more time on it than men (2:11 vs 1:19).

Oh, and with flu coming around again, it appears that data actually supports the notion that getting less sleep impairs the immune system.

4 thoughts on “Things That Make Me Go “Hm”

  1. This average day doesn’t resemble mine at all. And they caution consideration when reading it to recall it represents people age 15 and over, and averages 7 days worth of activities into one 24-hr day.

    I imagine my day does look a little different when averaged over 7 days, but still nowhere near what this says.

    I’m having a very hard time believing that so much time is being spent volunteering and reading and so little time on things like web surfing. Did you catch that 5% of men say they spend nearly 30 minutes a day walking? This was one category where men and women differed by a large margin, and one of the things that I find suspect.

    My day would include more time on personal care (getting ready in the morning, potty breaks during the day, lipgloss application), more time eating & meal preparation, a metric shitton more time on the internet (1-8 hours depending on the day). And that’s just off the top of my head.

    • Well, in my life web-surfing is a huge time sink, but I know a lot of people who either don’t own or never really use computers. In my family, my sister and I email and my dad likes to play solitaire, but that’s about it. In my husband’s family no one but him ever touches a key board. I think it’s about what socio-economic/age group you happen to be a member of. We tend to think that what we do is normal.

      As for men walking… well, the guys I work with now walk way more than 30 minutes a day, because they’re in construction and walk constantly. Back when I was a science geek most people I worked with spent 20 hours a day online and only walked to the break room when they either wanted more caffeine. Again it’s all about who you hang with.

  2. A lot more on the computer for me, and a lot more on household activities, which makes sense since I’m a SAHM.

    On TV show I’ve really been liking lately is Midsomer Murders. One of the things I like best is that the women don’t all look the same. There are old women, fat women, thin women, young women, and women attractive in unconventional ways. I get so tired of stuff like Law and Order where I’m always saying to myself, “Now, which one is she?” because all the women look the same except for hair color and outfits. I really, really like seeing women look like individuals.

    Sorry for the long rant.

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