“We looked at 8 to 10 activities that happy people engage in, and for each one, the people who did the activities more — visiting others, going to church, all those things — were more happy,” Dr. Robinson said. “TV was the one activity that showed a negative relationship. Unhappy people did it more, and happy people did it less.”Is this really such a mystery?
But the researchers could not tell whether unhappy people watch more television or whether being glued to the set is what makes people unhappy. “I don’t know that turning off the TV will make you more happy,” Dr. Robinson said.
I hosted a party recently and was slightly disappointed that half the guests sat in front of the tube for hours, watching one football game after another, switching between games to fill the emptiness associated with half-times. Another group collected in my dining room and entertained one another with conversation - the kind that produces frequent laughter.
What is the connection between the tv and happiness? Well, when my party ended, and all the guests went home, I know I was very happy that the tv was finally off.
Happiness, it turns out, is not such a mystery after all.