Is TV Making You a Bad Parent?
A new survey says we might be a little too invested in Jon Snow.
It's been our Sunday night ritual for several years now—before the stroke of 9:00, my husband and I shuffle our kids into bed (a little bit before their usual bedtimes) so we can catch up with our favorite characters—Jon Snow, Daenarys Targaryen, or Rick Grimes, depending on the season. But it wasn't until last year that I realized my TV addiction might be a little bit—ahem—beyond the pale. That's when two fellow TV fans and I fitted our kids with headphones and a kids' movie, and huddled together on a bed in a hotel room in Tokyo to watch the Game of Thrones season finale. On an iPad.
But if a new survey is right, I'm definitely not alone in my passion for TV (and maybe I'm not quite so addicted after all). The LG OLED Index survey suggests the rise of the "Serious Watcher," someone who goes to great lengths to keep up with their pop culture passions—even if that interferes with their parenting duties. According to the survey, 82 percent of my fellow parents have followed my lead in getting kids to bed early so they can enjoy a little cuddle and kid-free TV time—and about 60 percent of us have done it regularly. (*raises hand*) Around a third of us have cut a vacation short or missed a child's activity for their favorite show. And nearly a quarter of parents have copped to missing multiple kids' activities to binge watch their favorites. (Um, there are DVRs...)
But could catching up with the Kardashians be keeping us from keeping up from the reality of our own lives? That seems to be what the statistics show—75 percent of those surveyed have turned down social events and parties to watch TV, and nearly half of people report knowing more about TV characters than they do about their own friends.
To me, watching TV is a way to unwind at the end of a busy weekend, reconnect with my husband, and get a little "date" time without springing for a sitter. Though now that my oldest is a teen, we've been able to start sharing some of our favorite shows with her as well.
Still, this survey makes me thing it's time to put down the remote—before we become one of the 31 percent who said they would break up with their significant other if they ruined their favorite TV show by sharing spoilers. Perspective, people.