This isn't news to anyone who's been paying attention, but it is a very important fact and bears repeating, passing on and thinking about; according to this Reuters article,
The article also points out that this holds true for married couples. Married people who watch lots of TV are not as happy. Happier couples talk more, go to church more and have more sex.
There is a chicken-and-egg question here... some may wonder if TV makes people unhappy, or if unhappy people simply watch more TV. I expect it's both - a downward spiral.
Don't forget, TV also makes people less intelligent... or (less tactfully) "more stoopid".
This all ties in with some things I was saying about boredom earlier this week, as well. When people talk about television as a vast wasteland or a bad influence on society and things like that, there tends to be a lot of focus on programming... on what's on TV, what people are watching. I think TV's most nefarious effects, though, flow from what it is in its essence. It is passive, unproductive, it stifles imagination and robs people of time they might have spent on real relationships, interests and activities.
Why in the world, instead of doing interesting things ourselves, would we rather watch other people doing things? We watch them cook, build things, play games, flirt, joke, laugh, discuss, explore... while we get to do none of that as long as we're glued to a video screen (this is also something kind of funny and pathetic about pornography).
A little television is fine, but the beast has a way of sucking up more and more of your life, a few minutes here and there. It's not just a waste of time, it's a thief of time, and one of the aspects of our culture that needs taming if we are to have any hope of riding out this modern mudslide.