A Case for TV Part 3- How Much is Too Much? (#8)
Daniel and Andrew Talk about missed opportunities, self-control, how your friends effect your lifestyle, and brain development in this episode on Dead by Tomorrow.
Watch “About Time” on Netflix. The Impact of Television Viewing on Brain Structures: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Analyses
Dynamic spread of happiness in a large social network: https://www.bmj.com/content/337/bmj.a2338.
The Spread of Obesity in a Large Social Network. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa066082.
Having trouble with self-control?
Daniel: [00:00:00] Hello guys, and welcome to the dead by tomorrow podcast. My name is Daniel Winter and my cohost is Andrew Monroe. In each episode, we'll explore topics too important to wait until your last day on earth. As we intro each topic, remember that some tomorrow will be so each new day it could be your final chance to really live.
Andrew: [00:00:18] Hey guys, welcome back to dead by tomorrow, this week's episode, we're going to be covering entertainment, but how too much can be detrimental to your relationships with other people and tune in. And we look forward to connecting with you soon.
We get this one started, we're going to put a disclaimer out there to an extent what we want to let you know is we get it, that there is a lot of information out there that says TV is bad and entertainment's bad. And watching movies can be bad. But what a lot of those studies are really saying. Is that a sedentary lifestyle is bad?
So we want to address that is something we are aware of, and that's not what this is necessarily going to be about. So this is more about how it affects your brain development and how it affects your relationships. And when it becomes a crutch for your lifestyle instead of a boon. So with that said, let's kick it over to Daniel.
He did a little bit of research for us on this, and let's hear what he has to say about some of the studies that actually do say. TV and movies can be bad for you. Daniel, what do you got for us?
Daniel: [00:01:20] Yeah. And so any good researcher, I always start out with Google just to see what's out there.
Andrew: [00:01:25] that's all that matters in life.
Daniel: [00:01:26] Exactly. And it's interesting if you. Take a look, you can find all sorts of things. Talking about I'm watching too much TV being linked to a lot of bad things like obesity, early death. I think there was some talking about colon cancer and a lot of things that people say, if you watch too much TV, this is more or less.
I'm fairly sure there are articles out there that just straight up say, if you watch a lot of TV, You will die early.
Andrew: [00:01:53] Yeah. But again, that's probably that sedentary stuff, if you watch more than 20 hours a week, you're going to die 20 years early because actually you're sitting for 60 hours a week and you're only standing up for one hour a day maybe.
Daniel: [00:02:05] And that's exactly it. So if you go and look at. The actual academic studies behind things for the most part where, where there actually were studies behind these claims, as you did a little bit further into it, from what I found and from what I've seen a lot of times, the underlying cause really is the secondary sedentary lifestyle.
There was one study that I found where they were able to really create a strong correlation between verbal intelligence and watching TV and. Those things were negatively correlated. So the more TV you watch, your verbal intelligent quotient is. Okay.
Andrew: [00:02:42] Explain to me what verbal intelligence is.
Daniel: [00:02:45] Yeah. So verbal intelligence, essentially. it's your ability to analyze information, your ability to solve problems based on language reasoning. So essentially think about reading and writing, having conversations, anything that's related to the more verbal [00:03:00] side of it versus general intelligence or.
And it may be more analytical intelligence. That's going to be math, other things like that. there are a lot of different types of intelligence we haven't stopped.
Andrew: [00:03:11] Is there a different, is it not watching enough TV? Is that why I'm better at math?
Daniel: [00:03:14] The world will never know why you're bad at math mystery.
Andrew: [00:03:17] all Sorry. Didn't mean to interrupt you there. So we got verbal intelligence covered. So it makes your verbal intelligence
Daniel: [00:03:22] lesser or it,
Andrew: [00:03:23] does it have an actual backward slide or does it just stump your growth?
Daniel: [00:03:27] A little bit of both its decrease and then also our predictor of a lower score down the line.
So that was one thing that was interesting. I don't actually really, you want to spend too much time focusing on that. I'm more wanting to focus on the idea of what TV replaces and that sort of being the issue. And one thing that I've heard a lot of throughout life, good things are okay. Things, those can be good and okay.
But and quickly turn into bad things. If they replace something that is. Better. And I think that's a lot of times our issue with TV is what does it replace if TV, watching an hour of TV a day or a week or whatever that is in the grand scheme of things, that's not a huge amount of time replacement, but if it turns into three hours a day, four hours a day, at that point you're working, you're sleeping, you're eating, you're watching TV.
You're not doing much else. And that's where the real issue comes into place is. How much of it are you doing? How much of it are you?
Andrew: [00:04:23] That's interesting. And you're right. I think that's in line with what we have to say on dead by tomorrow is being aware of how you're spending your time. In our last episode, we talked about how this entertainment consumption can.
Help you develop new opportunities, especially when it comes to new people being met and new friendships being formed. And if you're spending all of your time watching the TV, that means you're sacrificing those opportunities of meeting new people outside of, especially if it's made a lot of people go and watch TV.
When they get off, they make dinner, they watch Netflix. They go to bed that doesn't leave a lot of room for social interaction, right?
Daniel: [00:04:59] Social interaction, or really a lot of other important things, exploring the world, doing a, doing exercise, a lot of stuff. That's really just good for you to be well rounded humans.
Andrew: [00:05:10] And that's, I know we'll get to that down the road in another episode, probably, but there are a lot of extracurricular activities that you and I recommend and, some we disagree on, but for the most part, going and working out. Getting your exercise on having something fun that is physical to do with friends, maybe on the weekend game nights, different things like that, just socializing and bettering yourself physically.
And none of that can happen if you're trading all of your time for entertainment and this isn't just, watching TV, this can be anything. This could be playing video games by yourself. This could be reading some fun books that are not going to really teach you very much, but if you just spend all of your time, No in a book, that's not going to do it in.
Good. And that's coming from personal experience as a guy who definitely makes that choice too often.
Daniel: [00:05:55] So TV is one of those hot, one of those things that when you spend a lot of time [00:06:00] on it, you don't see. An increase in return. And that was another thing that came up a lot in studies is that there is some level of benefit to TV, maybe initially, as far as stimulating your brain and stimulating like your imagination, it really, in some cases, but the problem is that you don't continue to get that same return if you watch more TV.
So if you spend four hours watching TV, it doesn't. Increase in difficulty or complexity or anything like that. Versus if you spent four hours learning to play the guitar each hour, you spend, it's getting, you can do things or a little bit more challenging, a little bit more difficult. So you actually see a return for that effort.
And that's another. Just really important thing to keep in mind. It really is a filler in a lot of ways, and it doesn't grow the more time you put into it, you don't really get anything back. It's really pretty hollow and shallow in terms of
Andrew: [00:06:52] growth. one of the things we talked about was emotional.
I think its intelligence, emotional empathy. One of the things we talked about was empathy and how watching TV and. Really emotional movies could increase your levels of empathy, which is really healthy for a lot of people, especially considering how a lot of the younger generation is actually being raised and being found to have less empathy because they aren't developing deeper relationships in childhood.
So they really have some room to catch up on that empathy level. You can watch the TV and it good to develop that empathy, but you're not going to develop 10 times empathy if you watch 10 hours versus if you watch a movie. And that's good to know, because it's really easy to say that was a good episode or that was a good five episodes.
Do another five because you have the momentum or almost a lack of momentum. And it's really easy to maintain that trajectory instead of saying, all right, cool. I met my hour that I gave myself to watch TV or I'm at my two hours and now I need to get up and do something else. You're like, whatever. I'll do that tomorrow, which as we know is not the answer.
Daniel: [00:07:53] And our whole argument on benefits of TB really center around too. You got to go out and you got to actually apply something from it. It's like just continually, studying for an exam, but never taking the test to actually get your degree. It just doesn't. Do you any good if you don't ever apply it again, you may increase your capacity for empathy because of a movie you saw, but if you don't ever actually interact with anybody.
Doesn't do any good or you might increase your ability to connect with others on different topics. Cause you've seen the latest shows or whatever that might be again, you don't go out and use it really doesn't. Do you any good?
Andrew: [00:08:30] Yeah. And that's something I've got to keep in mind. I know I'm guilty of hopping on the Xbox too often, which is hitting Netflix.
If I'm, especially, if I've had a rough day, it is so easy to say, you know what, today I am going to make dinner and I'm done. That's it. eat food and I'm going to watch TV until 10 o'clock. And I'm going to bed and that's it. And that's, it's not good. And it's hard right now. we're still in the kind of shelter at home going on and it's difficult to go find the social interactions, but they're there.
you can get in with people, you done stuff, alright, Daniel, I'm going to pivot on you [00:09:00] just a little bit, and I want to bring this down to what you and I do. What do you do when you're watching TV? You're consuming entertainment. What is your method to stay in the proper lane?
Daniel: [00:09:13] It's a combination of things.
One thing that is important is just taking time to reflect after days and just look back and see was I happy with the way that day went? Do I feel like today was a good day? Which even more, yeah. President of my mind right now, oddly enough, because the movie I watched last night called about which if you've never seen it, so good.
Highly recommend it. Yeah. so the movie. It's this kind of goofy comedy drama. And at the end of the movie, there's this kind of secret to life secret to happiness, which is it boils down to just living every day. Like you meant to come and live that day. Like you traveled in time on purpose to live out that specific day.
I really love that concept. And that's one of those things that will just really. Quickly, just peak your sense of guilt really on TV. It's just asking yourself if I came to live this day, intentionally would I have spent four hours watching a TV show. Probably not like maybe I spend an hour doing it.
Maybe I've watched one episode. Maybe I'd totally cut it out completely. I'm not sure, but if you really took that mindset of. I came here to live this day intentionally, how would that look? And I think that's a good gut check for me. And then if I reached the end of the day where I feel like, okay, that I would not have lived that day, that way, if I was doing it over again, Then I start to think about, okay, what are things I can start to put in place?
What are measures I can start to use to help me out with that. So that can look like personal accountability. we've talked about that before. If you write something out, then you're a whole lot more likely to stick to it. That can look like social accountability as well, just sharing with others.
Because again, that just dramatically increases your chances of success. And also just looks like changing your environment. So if it's. So easy for me to watch TV because I have the app on my phone and I just watch episode upon episode at night, whenever I'm going to bed. Cause my phone is right there.
Delete the app so that I have to physically go in front of the TV to watch it. little things like that.
Andrew: [00:11:21] No, those are all great.
And it's funny that you mentioned those first two, the intentionality and the social accountability, because I'm going to tell you one example the second there. So that's one of the things I'm actually trying to work on is I've fallen off the train on writing my intentions out every morning. And so I'm working on doing that.
I want to write down what I want to get done for the day. What kind of my major goals are and use that as a template? Hey, if I sit down and I go through that list, have I met my requirements for what I intended for the day? Or am I doing what was supposed to bring me [00:12:00] one step forward 1% better? Or have I missed a goal and do I need to actually go take care of something first before I come back around and relax.
So there you go. Now, one of the things I'm working on right now is. Getting that intentionality written down every morning and making sure that I'm staying on track. So keep me accountable, bro. Look at us. Go.
Daniel: [00:12:20] Yes.
Andrew: [00:12:24] My sister Morgan sent me a meme this morning. It said that podcasts are actually just an excuse now for dudes to have an hour of vulnerability phone calls. I was like, yeah, that makes sense. Everybody that I know wants to podcast. It's really just so you can talk to your bro about. the things you care about without actually just scheduling a phone call and feel like you're doing something.
Daniel: [00:12:47] for all of
Andrew: [00:12:48] you, people that are having to listen to Daniel mine's phone calls to each other. Thanks.
Daniel: [00:12:54] I totally see that. it's such a big thing for guys to do an activity in order to connect. That's something that I'm mindful of as I'm working with a young kids at the church and something again, my sister, Beth and I talk about since she helps a lot with a mentoring program as the director there, it's just, if you really want to connect with a boy, a man, a guy like really, especially if they're younger doing it over an activity, that's the way to make it happen.
Andrew: [00:13:28] dude, I am still struggling on. We present with people when I'm not doing some kind of activity with them. Like it's still hard for me to just. Sit there and be still with them or be quiet. I'm not even going to pretend I've got that one down yet. If I'm with people, we have to be talking. I struggle to not be doing something or talking to them about doing something.
I don't know what to do with myself. It's wild that girls are wired differently. It's so strange to think that is not how they act, because in my mind, I'm like, Oh my goodness, I am letting this person down. I need to come up with something really quick. And actually they're totally cool.
Daniel: [00:14:07] It's weird.
Something that I feel like it's a little bit of a double-edged sword on the whole entertainment front is it can be really valuable as a connection point for us guys. You and I play Xbox regularly with another group, and that's a really great way to build up relationships and maintain relationships within a group of guys.
a plus for entertainment, but a minus I feel is that very rarely, whenever we're playing war zone, do you go into, having really deep in-depth conversations and all those sorts of things. And so I think it does shelter. A little bit of that opportunity for vulnerability and whenever there isn't something going on and all you can really do is talk, then you tend to talk a little bit more deeply.
So I think it was one of those things that it sort of cuts both ways.
Andrew: [00:14:58] Absolutely.
[00:15:00] You actually had put something in whenever we're doing research on this topic and you had talked about. Actually counter to a rule that I hold dear to myself. And it's the five people that you surround yourself makes your average. And that's like a thing I've read everywhere. And I throw it at people all the time, Oh, who is the five closest people that you're average, but you had a different, not quite different, but a different way to put it.
So I want to hear your thoughts there and maybe argue with you if I disagree.
Daniel: [00:15:28] it's not that I disagree with that idea or that concept. It's. Really, I don't disagree with it at all. It's just that it's a lot bigger than five people is what it really comes down to. So the whole concept behind that, it's really, it's actually a quote, it's not a study or anything like that.
About the, you're an average of the five people that you spend the most time with. It's just the fact that we really rub off on each other and it's the whole. Proverb of show me your friends and I'll show you who you are, that sort of thing. But what's interesting about that is if you take someone who is your friend and they become obese, then your probability of becoming obese increases by 40%.
and so it gets interesting though, because if you, your friend is a friend of somebody who becomes obese. And you don't even know that kind of third level friend, your chance is still increased by 20% because that sort of passes down downstream all the way. And so I think that if we're going back to this idea of, Hey, we're saying like you should improve yourself and all that sort of thing, blah, blah, blah.
And we're in this place where it's like, Nobody can judge me. I'm doing me like you, do you, whatever it is, it's like actually has a purpose, big impact on society as a whole, and like a lot bigger impact than you realize. So you really Oh. Went to your friends, you owe it to them, the friends of your friends and all the way downstream to be a little bit more mindful about how you're approaching your life and approaching your day.
Andrew: [00:17:02] totally agree with that. I was hoping to disagree with you on this one, but one of the big sort of say themes that I've been keeping in my mind was a quote that I heard. I've probably heard it a lot, but it only started paying attention to it recently. And it's a rising tide, lifts all boats, and I've really latched onto that.
And I strongly believe in that now. And so that makes sense because countries where obesity is not what it is in America. I have a bunch of friends, all over the. Place and just different communities around the world. And it's funny talking to them because every once in a while, and like per person that's every once in a while, but as a whole, it happens a lot.
They'll make a joke about America and what a joke we are because of the obesity rate here. And it is, it's a community effort on our part that we have allowed. So many people we care about to become obese and, Oh, there's, we can go down that hole. We'll save it for the fitness episode. But [00:18:00] there's a documentary on Netflix that is really interesting to buy that Indian guy has sawn Minaj, I think is his name, which I probably butchered, but he does the daily show and he's Netflix special.
He has one on how America's making the rest of the world fat. And it takes that idea that you just talked about. Where it's not just the five people, but it's, everybody's surrounded with, and it goes to global scale where America is that it'll be for making all the other countries more obese by us being such a fat nation and You got to watch it.
Cause it's really interesting. And there's a lot of really cool. Okay, cool. Is the wrong word, really disturbing, but interesting facts that come up in it about how we have Coca-Cola and McDonald's world trade be effected by us essentially exporting fast food and high fructose corn syrup and that kind of stuff.
Yeah, it's frightening. You can see it at every level. You can see it at five people and you can see it at the million plus country level.
Daniel: [00:18:58] It's one of those things. That, again, it goes both ways. If you are friends with people that are happier, you tend to be happier. And then if your friends are friends with people that are happy again, that passes down.
So this is. Again, our team has to hijack the entertainment episode with this or ulterior motive of relationships, connections, and saying, Hey, this is so valuable. And so in past episodes, we talked about how friendships and relationships help you to perceive the world. Better and just make life easier.
And then we talked about how connections with others having really increases the empathy in your brain. And the big picture impacts of that. And then our last thing is saying, Hey, relationships are important. Friendships are important to saying all of the good and all of the bad that gets passed around and magnified.
And you doing good for yourself really can have such a. Such a bigger impact than you even realize. Huh.
Andrew: [00:20:02] And that's a call to action on following through with does take the latest show. I saw recently Mandalorian too is, might have Boba Fett. So I'm thrilled. And I'm thinking about Mandalorian too right now.
So when that comes out, go watch that show and then use that to. Find new people in your life and help elevate their lives, bring them your passions and bring them the best parts of yourself and help them be better people just by showing them what's best about you. You don't have to improve everybody you meet, but if you can share stuff, that's good about you.
That would be so cool to share around with more people. And maybe we can. Changes as tide be the tide that changes the tide, as you say, but do that be a part of the solution, not a part of the problem. And don't get stuck in the black hole. That is Netflix. Enjoy it. Read the good books, play the cool video games, watch the new tech talk videos and make those cool dances, do all this stuff, but don't get sucked into where it becomes a [00:21:00] personality feature.
If you don't make it part of your identity.
Daniel: [00:21:06] I personally, one of the rules I have for myself is that I really try to limit my solo assumption of entertainment. So I have the mindset of, if I'm watching a TV show, watching a movie with a friend or friends, if I'm playing a video game or a board game or whatever it is with a friend or friends, I don't want to have myself at all.
If it's 12 hours that we're doing it. We're doing it for 12 hours, zero limits. If there's a relationship involved, but if it's me by myself, then I'm really strict with myself or I tried it.
Andrew: [00:21:40] That's good. and this is anecdotal again, if you're solo consuming, which sounds like drugs or something, which it is think an hour is generally a good time limit.
You can burn an hour. So to say, and burning an hour is scary. Time is a really precious resource and you aren't letting money on fire. So why are you lighten your time on fire? And some teacher told me that once, but past an hour, that's when you really start needed, you need to take a deeper look into what you're doing, I think.
Daniel: [00:22:04] And if we can, I flip all the way back to a question we asked in episode two, this kind of icebreaker that my friend Kevin LAN asked, which is what is the thing that you're most ashamed to share that you're. That you don't share at a party. If you're first meeting somebody, ask yourself that question and it asks, why are you ashamed of it?
Is it because you're worried that somebody might judge you for your interest? And it's weird, nothing wrong with that. don't feel guilty about it. Just share and be vulnerable. But if it's because you're indulging in that thing in an unhealthy way, whether it's indulging an entertainment, that's just straight up, not.
Healthy not good for you or indulging in something that's benign, but doing it to a degree that's unhealthy, then again, that's another good gut check. Yeah.
Andrew: [00:22:49] for our animator who is out there and rather than, and have something else to talk about, we need a good image here. don't be like, I like anime and they're like, that's cool.
Daniel: [00:22:57] And you're like, that's it.
Andrew: [00:22:58] That's all I do. That's you're hurting us. We, you, things, people to accept. Dragonball Z into their lives.
I want to address something that's not TV. that is more in line with the animated talk we were having. In the first episode, I was at the coffee shop with Shalomi the other day, one of the baristas was like, Hey, do you play D and D? And I was like, heck yeah, man, whole thing, and got all excited. And. Dirt out and all that jazz.
We start talking about D and I can't. I went on this rant about why I love D and D as a social interaction so much. And this is hopefully what I want people to do when they're coming from that conversation. You go some conversation about the Netflix show. Riverdale is a good example. You watch Riverdale really popular.
There's a D and D theme going on in the background of it. And I think it's like actually a bad thing, but whatever it's still makes you think to me D and D coverage, there's a couple of things we've covered in this episode. It takes in the social aspect. So you're building rapport, you're [00:24:00] doing teamwork-oriented exercises with people and not exercises in terms of the physical gym exercise.
But in terms of. Solving problems together. So you're covering that ankle. And then on top of it, you're also getting work your imagination, and you're getting to have fun. Cause it's a game you're enjoying it and work with people, but it's not as super involved the game. And the minute by minute time clock, since socializing and getting to build a deeper rapport with people that you probably wouldn't get in a normal situation without.
Having known him for a lot longer. It's hard to sit and talk to somebody for three hours and it gives you that opportunity to change the tone, look at something, blah, blah, blah, and then go back to a conversation because the, of plays a lot slower. So to me, DND is the perfect solution to the next step in our relationship.
Let me rewind just in case anybody's confused. We're talking about Dungeons and dragons, not mattress store. Whatever else you think D and D might stand for. So in Benson dragons, you're getting to tell a story. You're cooperatively writing a story with friends or with people you don't know, and you really get to see who they are as a person or who they think they are as a person who they want to be as a person.
And you get to show them kind of those parts of yourself that are on that side. And then there's all this really good social value in it. And on top of that, you can have some really wild really fun times. And there's all these great stories that come from DNBi and it's like its own thing without the danger of blowing a knee or watching a movie, not actually, haven't talked to anybody to me, D and D is this awesome opportunity for people
Daniel: [00:25:31] I'm with you there?
The biggest knock I have on watching movies with people is that you. You don't get to really talk during the movie. So it's fine if you talk to them beforehand. Yeah. And then all of the debrief and talk afterwards. That's all good. And I feel like that's a really crucial part. If you're watching a movie with somebody, make sure you get some time to talk about how much you liked it or didn't like it afterwards
Andrew: [00:25:55] after the movie.
Daniel: [00:26:01] Yeah. D and D is one of those things. I don't have a ton of experience in it. And I feel like if you do a long. Campaign with the same group of people, you probably get to go into more of the in-depth social aspects, but an alternative is to make it D and D, which is Dungeons and dragons and drinking.
so I, one of my absolute favorite memories with some of my Frisbee buddies involved playing a D and D game that, Kevin Land back again. And my friend, Pat, they put together this just kind of one-shot campaign for a group of us to play, after a tournament. And. It was just so much fun.
I don't feel like I necessarily knew or grow, grew to know a lot about that. Yeah. Individuals that I was playing it with, on a deeper level or anything like that. I just had so much fun with them and it was [00:27:00] just such a fun interaction and way to blow off some steam. And again, it.
It's just such a great memory to go back to with any of those people that did create a stronger connection. Cause we can always reminisce about that. We can talk about that. It's like
Andrew: [00:27:14] a shared experience that you all were like, Oh yeah, we did that thing together. We have a relationship now.
Daniel: [00:27:25] All right. So that wraps up our series about the Bennett fits and then also some of the pitfalls of entertainment. And for those of you that listened, I'm sure you caught on to our secret. I'm going to say Grable because that's an adventure time reference. And if you've seen any of the episodes, you'll get what I'm saying.
There's the underlying thing was relationships and just the benefit of those. And What we hope you do from here is just again, think intentionally about how you're consuming entertainment, the entertainment that you're consuming, both on the aspect of. How can you share that with others? How can you make that a connection point with others, but also what is that replacing in terms of time?
And so just being mindful of that's all we're really asking. We're not saying watch TV even more. We're not saying watch TV less. We're not saying any of that. We're just saying, just think about it, just consider what you're doing and then make sure that you're taking the opportunity to connect with others and that you're using your interests to do that.
That you're not robbing yourself of that. Chance we're robbing others of that chance. So thanks for coming by. This is dead by tomorrow with Daniel and Andrew, and we'll see you next time.