The Television Watching Wolf

The Havamal says, "A sleeping wolf gets no bone, nor a sleeping man victory." The point of this expression is obviously a warning against laziness. In our modern world, we should amend the expression to be, "A television watching wolf gets no boneā€¦"

Watching television can be an enjoyable and, sometimes, an educational activity. The same goes for computer or video game time. It is easy for these activities to start taking up too much of one's life and disrupting productivity.

Health Effects

New research comes out regularly supporting the idea that screen time damages our health. Watching instead of doing other things is sedentary. This reduces a person's metabolism and leads to obesity, Type II Diabetes, heart health issues, and so forth. Add that many people snack on unhealthful foods while watching and the issue grows.


Another problem with watching is that it leads to isolation. If you are watching, you are not interacting with others. Humans are social animals and must interact to stay mentally healthy. The next time you engage in screen time, think about those with whom you could be interacting. (If you don't have someone immediately available in most cases, consider volunteering in your community.)


The health effects on children are worse. They get all the adverse effects that adults get, but children also develop problems with academic performance and, sometimes, behavior. To make matters worse, kids' shows have advertising targeted at children to encourage bad eating and other bad habits. Adults get this too, but are usually less susceptible.

What to Do

You don't have to give up television completely, but you can take steps to keep yourself healthy. When you get home from work, don't turn on the television automatically. Try not to eat while watching television. If there is a show you want to watch, put it on your schedule. Then, watch the show then do something else.

Television is only an enemy if you let it be.

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