Did you know the average Canadian watches 30 hours of television per week?

It seems to be true!  According to a report released by BBM Canada, the average Canadian adult watches an average of four hours and 20 minutes of TV screens and tablets a day.

So that’s a lot of time spent sitting  around…when productive things COULD happen (not that an occasional good episode of HGTV won’t show you a tip or two on how to renovate your home)!

But let’s face it.  Most TV watching is mindless fodder and our ancestors managed successfully without it, so couldn’t we too?  Or at least even the scale to some degree of time spent on other activities?

I thought it would be interesting to think about some other things that would be different, yet enjoyable substitutes for the boob tube.  And who knows you might even enjoy them so here are some ideas!


Call a Friend or Relative

In the technology age it often is tempting to make connections only via email, text, etc.  But imagine the delight of mom or dad, or younger sister if you were to call them and have a conversation over the telephone!


Communication has come a long way in our day and age but certainly hearing a real voice not only embellishes good communication, it shows someone that you really care by making the extra effort!


Moving from the phone conversation, to the other mode of communication that has long been forgotten, how about writing a letter?!

Writing a letter can be therapeutic, personal and again, a real show of engagement towards someone because NO ONE DOES THIS ANYMORE (ok grandma except you).

PLUS ADDED BONUS: You can be reminded of what your handwriting looks like!

Read (paper books)

Did you know that watching a monitor actually is stressful on the eyes?  It’s true.  With this in mind the old school method of reading a paper book and getting engrossed in a real live page turner can not only be enjoyable and increase your imagination, it also can be relaxing.

Also think of the awesomeness of no commercials in between or pop-ups and being able to turn the pages at your own pace (or even flip to the back for the conclusion)!

Play a Board Game

I was at Walmart the other day and I am happy to report that these still exist.  In particular for the low price of $18 I picked up a game of Scrabble.  WOW, blast from the past but amazing.


I played with my better half last night and I haven’t thought that hard about words in years!  The DICTIONARY even came out to check a spelling.

Talk about a fun night of laughs, learning and wait for it…eye contact with my partner!


OK, not my strong suit, but hey I have cook books and one night I actually had a craving for rice pudding.  SO, instead of popping out to the store for my usual dose of Cosy Shack, I actually flipped through an Old Betty Crocker Cook Book and made rice pudding from scratch!

It was delicious, I custom made it with extra raisins, my household thought I was incredible and I had leftovers the next day.


Get Outside

Walk, throw snowballs at your kids, take Fido out, or hey even go for a drive if you don’t feel like walking.  Check out the neighborhood, maybe pick a destination to swing by for a doughnut or coffee.

Life exists outside the living room even after business hours.  Who knows maybe you will see someone or something interesting and isn’t it nice just to get that blood pumping a bit?

You know, all these things are such great alternatives to the tube.  That being said I am interested in what you like to do?

The reality is, TV is a big part of our culture and lifestyle and is enjoyable in many ways.  It is when things become unbalanced and it seems that we watch not for choice but rather for lack of thought of anything else to do that it becomes concerning.

Comments Welcome!

Source: Bureau of Broadcast Measurement Canada (BBM Canada)

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