Turn off the tube

Recently, my pattern of consciousness has consisted of the following: waking up, eating, watching “Law & Order,” going to class, eating and watching “Law & Order” – promptly followed by more “Law & Order.” Sleep and repeat, and repeat, and repeat.

I am fully aware that I watch too much television. Maybe it’s a symptom of living without a TV in my room at home. Maybe it’s because “Law & Order” is on a minimum of four different channels at any given minute. Regardless, it seems that every time I’m in my townhouse, my TV is on. I do homework to soap operas. I straighten my hair to “The Daily Show.” And I’ve noticed that I am not alone.

According to WebMD.com, the average young adult watches 20 hours of TV a week – that’s almost three hours a day. As college students know, TV tops the list for procrastination techniques. Some blame the obsession on the society in which we were raised – in the average American home, the TV is on for eight hours a day, and it accompanies 40 percent of American families at dinner time.

Some blame technological advances, like the ability to watch TV on a cell phone or replay a missed show at any time, day or night. Excessive television viewing has been linked to everything from antisocial behavior to obesity, but Americans just can’t seem to care enough to turn it off. After all, with shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “24” in the lineup, who would want to?

Maybe for you it’s “American Idol.” Maybe it’s “Desperate Housewives.” Maybe it’s all of the above. Whatever the case, most college students know that the urge to lay around and do nothing only worsens during the winter months, when it’s too cold to even think about outdoor extracurriculars.

Though the weather now may not reflect it, March 20 is the first day of spring. Before we know it, things will be warming up, and we’ll no longer have the excuse of “it’s too cold outside.” This is an early call to action. In the spirit of middle school TV Turnoff Week, it’s time to combat that cabin fever you’ve been treating with hours of “Full House” reruns every day.

As soon as it’s bearably warm, run the Loop. Play Frisbee with your friends. Eat outdoors on those weirdly adorable one-and-a-half seaters they’ve bolted to the ground outside Eickhoff Hall. Reacquaint yourself with the fresh air. And leave the remote behind. After all, Jack Bauer will only be one hour older when you get back.