Dear Average 30-Year-Old,1
Let me motivate you with some frightening, frightening math.
If you were hoping to read this before you jumped into bed, let me warn you: you’ll have a hell of a time sleeping tonight.
And if you’re just catching this first thing in the morning, let me assure you: you’ll have no need for coffee once I’m through with you.
My hope is that by sharing some simple math with you, you’re going to be a much more productive and thoughtful person. My hope is that by conscientiously choosing to keep these facts in your head every day, you are going to spend a multiple of years – sleep not included – doing things you actually want to do.
If you fall into the category of average human being, then you have likely already spent a minimum of five years of your life watching TV. Really. You’ve spent more than 16% of your life watching TV. And we haven’t even added up our time spent online.
Let’s break it down.
There are 365 days in a year. Every day has 24 hours. And thus, there are 8,760 hours in a year.
8,760 hours. You lucky minx. You get those every single year. Aren’t you amazed? And I know what you’re thinking – Well, there’s so many hours, why not spend just one a day doing that thing? THAT thing is okay. Nothing wrong with it, right?
If you’ve just realized you’re mortal, then you’ll realize there is something wrong it it.
If you spend just one hour a day doing X (365 hours), then after 24 years, you’ve spent one entire year doing X. (365 hours x 24 hours = 8,760 hours – Shit.)
The average human doesn’t watch TV for one hour a day, though. The average watches it for more than four and a half hours. But to be generous, I’ll round down to four hours.
A 30-year-old has for 30 consecutive years spent an average of four hours a day watching TV. 4 hours x 365 days = 1,460 hours. 8,760 hours a year ÷ 1,460 hours = 6 years. Every six years, that 30-year-old has wasted one year of their life watching TV.
If you’re 30, then you have probably, indeed, spent five years watching TV. Let’s assume you’re not that new to the internet, and the last five years your usage has ramped up. Let’s say you’ve spent an average of five hours a day on the internet the last five years. Well, that’s a full year. Meaning that you have actually spent a minimum of six years of your life on a combination of television or social media.
20% of your life has been spent looking at a screen; if you sleep well, throw 10 years, or 33% on there. You’ve spent less than 15 years of your life on your toes. Unless you sleep-walk with a portable television. Digress.
How about I share something a little more horrific?
|1 hour wasted a day||365 hours wasted a year||Every 24 years you’ve wasted one year|
|2 hours wasted a day||730 hours wasted a year||Every 12 years you’ve wasted one year|
|3 hours wasted a day||1,095 hours wasted a year||Every 8 years you’ve wasted one year|
|4 hours wasted a day||1,460 hours wasted a year||Every 6 years you’ve wasted one year|
|5 hours wasted a day||1,825 hours wasted a year||Every 4.8 years you’ve wasted one year|
|6 hours wasted a day||2,190 hours wasted a year||Every 4 years you’ve wasted one year|
|7 hours wasted a day||2,555 hours wasted a year||Every 3.42 years you’ve wasted one year|
|8 hours wasted a day||2,920 hours wasted a year||Every 3 years you’ve wasted one year|
|9 hours wasted a day||3,285 hours wasted a year||Every 2.66 years you’ve wasted one year|
|10 hours wasted a day||3,650 hours wasted a year||Every 2.4 years you’ve wasted one year|
|11 hours wasted a day||4,015 hours wasted a year||Every 2.18 years you’ve wasted one year|
|12 hours wasted a day||4,380 hours wasted a year||Every 2 years you’ve wasted one year|
Pretty scary stuff, right?
Basically, if you’re only spending 30 minutes a day doing something you love, then at the end of 48 years, you can only then say, “Yeah, I spent one full year of my life doing something I loved.”
Some of you may be more than okay with that. If you are okay with that – spending 23 1/2 hours a day doing things that don’t align with your vision of your ideal self – then good on you. Really. But not for one minute do I believe you actually exist.
Do things you want to do. Fill in your free minutes with activities and people you enjoy. Read a book and learn something new. And if you can’t justify to yourself that spending a year of your life watching re-runs of a show you don’t actually love is a good use of your time, then welcome to the point of this site. I’m happy to have you here.Years ago, I posted a video on Youtube about learning Japanese. Much of the statistics from this post are articulated there, my rapidly-fading English syntax and vocabulary documented.