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Tuned In to the Misery Channel

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H. Armstrong Roberts/Retrofile/Getty Images

WATCHING TV MAKES YOU MISERABLE:

People who watch more television are less happy overall. A 30-year General Social Survey concluded that happier people tend to be socially active, and that unhappier people tend to watch TV (the actual act of watching TV was identified as pleasurable and positive in the short term, but correlated with unhappiness in the long term). The contradiction between the short-term and long-term effects of TV could have to do with the way it influences a person’s worldview. Before his death in 2005, communications theorist George Gerbner argued that television gives people a false image of the world — that its sensationalism makes people unconsciously believe, and therefore act, as though the world is worse than it actually is. He called this “Mean World Syndrome.” (AskMen.com)

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