Record owners :(

I usually brag about my country as the best in the world – the food has unique taste, fruits are the sweetest, the air is the clearest and the countryside is breathtaking. Well, I guess we are all like that, at the bottom line we represent our countries in a way that is even a bit different from what you may read in tourist brochures: we speak from our personal experience.
But not everything is great.
Today I read in one of our newspapers that Serbia became a record owner in one unusual discipline – amount of time our citizen spend in front of TV. After research made by International Television Expert Group and RTL Group, they have released the 16th edition of "Television – International Key Facts". According to this report, people in Serbia spent 4 minutes more time daily in front of TV than people in USA, the previous champions :doh:

With the highest viewing time of all media the dominant role of TV is undisputed. The average TV viewing time in Europe went up from 208 minutes (2000) or from to 224 minutes (2007) to 227 minutes (in 2008). The 2008 data show that Serbia (302 minutes) has for the first time displaced the U.S. (298 minutes) as global TV time leader. In Western Europe the highest viewing times are reported from the South: Greece (264 minutes), Italy (244 minutes) and Spain (238 minutes). Germany (221 minutes) is on average, whereas the scandinavian countries are substandard: Denmark (175 minutes), Norway (174 minutes) and Sweden (170 minutes).

The most wanted are: reality shows, quizes and sport events :left: More detailed report here.
I guess that along with this report goes another one made by World Health Organisation stating that people in Serbia are among the most overweighted people in Europe – in 2006. there were 19,3% overweight kids younger than the age of 5 :yikes: Also 67,7% of Serbians are completely inactive in their free time – about 10% are having moderate physical activities and only 1,3% are having practice training :ko: Source.
What happened to this country? What happened to people I know? Why is this all happening?
I grew up in a society that has only 2 TV channels (in black and white) only 30 years ago. We kids had only two choices: to have a proper education and/or going to sports or to hang on the streets and remain punks for entire life.
I remember about 20 years ago, I saw a reality show in some satellite channel about people telling some of their dirtiest laundry in front of the audience, then arguing with their relatives and spouses – even punching each other sometimes. I thought, oh that`s gross, luckily we will never be like them and it will never be on our TV.
Now look at us… We have more reality shows than we have educational broadcastings. People are watching every football (soccer) or basketball game but not practicing at all. Not to mention that kids adore to eat in McDonalds :yuck: Even more than having a pizza. I guess pizza is now like "evergreen", ancient history.
Suddenly I feel as minority in my own country.

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106 Responses to Record owners :(

  1. MirabelaTM says:

    Darko, these are really alarming informations. I don't know what is worse, the fact that people watch too much television or obesity, especially at children. I think parents should give an example to children. Maybe also schools should introduce some subject about how to eat healthy. We watch TV very rare, and not every day, and when we mentioned that to other people they look at us strange.

  2. L2D2 says:

    I have become one of those people in the U.S. who has mostly quit watching TV. So now, instead of being addicted to TV, I am addicted to computer! lol. And obesity in young children has become an increasing problem in the U.S. These kids eat whenever and whatever they want, and sit in front of a computer playing games—-never getting outside and playing in basketball or neighborhood football or baseball. Society reminds me more and more of the Eloi in the Time Machine, written so long ago and so frighteningly possible these days, the scenario he wrote about future society.

  3. risis1977 says:

    I agree with mira :up:Me neither , not everytime watch TV ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  4. Stardancer says:

    I've been getting outside more and more since I moved into my house. Watching TV has become more of a "let the noise keep me company" kind of thing while I clean house. (I really need to get my stereo fixed. :D) Played frisbee with the kid across the street earlier this week. Great fun! Felt like a kid again myself.:D

  5. KYren says:

    Darko, good post. :up: Suppose your children steal something, won't you scold them, try to tell them what's right, even if you feel bad doing so? You don't have to always praise your country, tolerate bad things, I think you aren't a good citizen if you do so. I criticise my country cause I want it to be developed. I want to live in a democracy not in a theocracy. About tv, yes, these days people are more into tv and video games, watching other people's lives, rather than living their own. I have reduced my tv time. I don't like soaps, don't watch biased news, l am more into watching movies, gotta improve my english you know, and documentaries. But still you have to make time for communicating with your family and friends, work on your goals, exercise, get a job, help people, read good books, live life.

  6. LorenzoCelsi says:

    Darko, do you want the blue pill or the red pill?You know what, since last year we had "analog" TV. Then for some untold reasons they decided to move to the "digital" TV. The result is you must buy new TVs or decoders (but TV is increasingly 16:9) and then you discover there are so many more TV channels but 90% are pay per view. So not only people watch TV all the time, they pay the State tax for public TV (that is exactly the same as private TV) and then they pay one or more subscriptions to see movies, football, cartoons, etc.Edit: I forgot a side effect, the already told cultural colonization from US, since ALL the TV serials and movies come from there.

  7. gdare says:

    Mira, unfortunately, I think no one seems to care. Watching TV is so deep in everyday life of ordinary people, even those who should alarm society are addicted, even a little bit. And TV, as the most powerful media for controlling masses is almost out of control; except for news and political broadcasts which are still under control. For a purpose.Risis, I quit watchin TV about 10 years ago. So, it is very rare I sit in front of it, maybe once or twice a year.Linda, the biggest and upon my opinion the most important difference between sitting in front of TV and with computer is that on the other one you are using your brain. In front of TV people are just sitting and "sucking" everything they are presented. Like a sponge. With computers (well, in most cases) you need at least to know something about it and if you are blogging, like we do, you have some kind of interaction with other people around the world. Not that I am defending this, there are also Tweeter, Facebook, Myspace,… that are equivalent to what is TV today….Star, you are lucky to have your surrounding, therefore your life, changed. Good for you :yes: It is great to play frisbee. I haven`t doing it for ages :awww:San, yesh boss :DKiran, I am living in a so called democracy (or so are our politicians saying) and frankly all the freedom we got after 2000. is sort of controlled. After 10 years I can still see similarities between what we have now and the dictatorship we lived before. I think, control over mass media and forcing certain types of TV shows is beyond type of a society people are living today. It is universal. And there must be something in human character that accepts (and believes :yikes: ) in whatever is on the TV. Even if, on a conscious level, people know it is fabricated, like reality shows, for instance. Our minds likes TV. People think, if it is on TV then it must be true :ko:

  8. sanshan says:

    Good answer.

  9. thetomster says:

    ๐Ÿ™„ … hm, so Serbia has become the leading country in the United Republics of Bullshit … that's a pity … and I can understand your concerns … and agree … that's why I don't have TV ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. AnitaMargita says:

    This is a very important topic, Darko. Great that you wrote about it.I agree with both Mira & Linda. Watching too much TV or playing computer games not only bring obesity, and dullness but also children become hyperactive and aggressive. :worried:

  11. Spaggyj says:

    I watch a lot of DVDs. I play a lot of games. But I also love to exercise, and I eat a varied diet. Still, Serbia is not as bad as the UK. The figures for obesity and unemployment here are astounding.

  12. KYren says:

    India needs a good literacy rate, needs to treat its citizens equally, and stop female foeticide. We can't behave like barbarians in the name of "culture". Goddamn, some people want to keep others backward playing the "culture" card.

  13. gdare says:

    Lorenzo, I don`t like pills at all ๐Ÿ˜† As for digitalizing TV signal, it will be done here in next two years as far as I know. I guess, I will have to pay for it because of my grandpa but otherwise it will be just waste of money.San ;)Ana, I remember days when we had less but were much happier. Unfortunately those days are gone forever :awww:Dirk, I said I am minority in Serbia but I didn`t say I am sorry for it :yes:Kimmie, while searching for data about this post I have found another very bad chart for Serbia :doh:, what about Bollywood? How big impact it has on Indian society?

  14. Suntana says:

    Hmmm? Can one of you High Speed Internet-having MyOpera natives do me a favor? Can y'all quickly search for and check out YouTubes of the TV Show Theme Songs for The Incredible Hulk and Knight Rider? If I am not mistaken, from what I could gather, their theme songs are very similar. How the heck could someone let that happen?

  15. claudeb says:

    We have an even scarier record over here, Darko. The country with the least functional economy in Europe. Frankly, your national problem seems less dangerous, and easier to fix.That said, I used to watch TV a lot too, when cable came along. But then the Internet followed, and never looked back. Nowadays, the TV is for my parents, essentially (I sometimes watch Discovery Channel for a few minutes before bed). Maybe a lot of people feel better being passive. Less responsibility, you know, and we've all been educated that way in the first place. But I've always been an autodidact, and a maker, so interactive media — where one has to explore for information — come naturally to me.I try to encourage more people to explore and create instead of sitting around passively, but it's hard; they get discouraged easily.

  16. Spaggyj says:

    404 error for that link for me, Dark.

  17. Suntana says:

    WHAT? The USA has lost the title of TV-Watching Sedentary Nation? :no: :no: :no: ๐Ÿ˜ฅ ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Okay, USA people, don't panic. Many undependable slackers were responsible for this. But, we can regain the title if we work together. :headbang: :knight: :norris:I've been doing my part this week. I've been watching a lot of RTV (RetroTV). Yep, that's TV Shows from back in prehistoric times. That's right … 70s TV! I've been watching Adam-12, The Rockford Files, The Incredible Hulk, Knight Rider, The A Team and Emergency.Come on, Peppermint, fire up that TV and let's get that title back! :ninja: :pirate:

  18. sanshan says:

    It's a miserable rainy day and I'm watching Nadal vs. Hewitt (French Open) on TV as I type this on my computer. Life is great! lolTelevision isn't all that bad, everything in moderation.We didn't have a TV until I was four or five years old. And then, there were only a couple of channels. I would get up early and watch some children's shows like Friendly Giant, Mr. Dressup and Chez Helene. My mom would still be in bed and probably my baby brother as well. My older brother and sister were in school so this gave my mom some extra sleep time. I must say that these gentle shows were much different than the programs that are on now. No commercials for one. And later on, some Saturdays my brother and I would watch cartoons in the morning (Bugs Bunny!) and then "Creature Feature" in the afternoon sometime. Not sure how many hours this was, probably an hour or two. Anyway, this program featured horror movies, sometimes Hitchcock and other classics. When I was a teenager I would come home for lunch and watch "All My Children" with my mom. It was a bonding time for us!As a young adult on my own I didn't own a TV, not until I was thirty. And when I did get that TV (a black and white portable with rabbit ears) I could only get two stations, one of which was our national broadcaster CBC. When people make reference to shows in the 1980's and early 90's, I have no idea what they are talking about.But, I was always an active kid. IN the summer we would play outside until dark. And sometimes my mom would drop us off at the swimming pool for the whole day. Every week I'd walk to the library with my best friend and we'd come back home laden with books. Those books fueled our imaginations and we'd make plays based on them, or draw pictures and make crafts to illustrate them. And this was in the summer, away from teachers! Quite often there was nothing interesting on TV and I remember saying to my mom, "I'm bored there's nothing to do", and of course she'd reply, "Oh, I'll find you something to do…". That threat of doing some menial chore forced me out of the house. And now, I really enjoy watching sports on TV, but I'm very fit and active. I also love watching shows that are based on some form of entertainment such as dancing or singing. But, now that LOST is over, I have no dramas to watch. Have to make one of my own now. :)…sorry for the long comment…should've made my own post. ๐Ÿ˜†

  19. Dacotah says:

    I wonder what country holds the record for most people in front of a computer.

  20. Dacotah says:


  21. gdare says:

    Carlos, at least there are not reality shows on your list :yes:Kimmie, someone make a list of 23 smartest European nations. I don`t know why only 23, though but still, we are at the and of it :awww:Felix, I better don`t start to talk about our economy…. and a level of corruption :doh:Carol, I will try to find out something :up:

  22. Spaggyj says:

    Eh, I wouldn't pay attention to that. It's estimated, for one thing. Plus, you know, nearly every native Brit I know well has an IQ of well over 100, they only test a certain amount of people.Most other Brits I've met have an IQ of well below average.

  23. gdare says:

    San, sorry that I missed your comment, I was writing mine while you published yours. You are right, of course. Because you just described my childhood and youth. But as I said, those days are over.Nowdays, people, majority of them in my country, want to watch people arguing and fighting each other, locked in some house, recorded by dozen cameras. They want to analyze every little stupidity some "show star" said in Big Brother. And, as if TV is not enough, they want to read it in newspapers every morning :doh:Sometimes, I am not sure if they are locked in that house or the rest of us :faint:Kimmie, yes I was thinking how they made that testing. It was in our media few months ago that they tested some highschool kids in several European countries and our kids didn`t make results that could make us proud :left:Linda and Carlos, yep it is only 4 minutes at stake :whistle: ๐Ÿ˜†

  24. Suntana says:

    Peppermint, I didn't mean to imply they were the same as in note for note from beginning to end. Let me rephrase what I was getting at. The beginning of both TV Show Theme Songs is very similar.Alright, Peppermint! Good to hear that you'll be doing your part to help us get the TV-Watching Sedentary Nation title back.

  25. L2D2 says:

    Chuck, I listened to both and they aren't the same. At least doesn't sound the same to me.I am switching my satellite service as of June 12 and I'll probably be watching more TV since I'll be able to get PBS Dallas/Ft. Worth again. It has all my British comedies, and Masterpiece Theater; also Nature, Nova and from time to time they have excellent concerts on—Like Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and the old timers from the 50s/60s—Temptations, Aretha Franklin and many others. I'll be happy to have it back.

  26. L2D2 says:

    Right about the kids not being well educated. In my job at a convenience store, for goodness sake, we had employees come through there who didn't even know how to make change unless the register gave them the amount of change. Technology has made society blind in some areas. Like that for instance—math is done by the machines so that the person doesn't have to think for themselves, they just put in data and the answer comes out. If they had to think for themselves, today's young would be, and are, totally ignorant. They know about technology, but they can't read well, they know about technology, but they can't spell, nor do math manually, and their vocabularies are almost not there at all. I saw it every day.

  27. sanshan says:

    I'm a teacher and I think that the curriculum is much harder now than when we were young. At least it is in Canada.

  28. L2D2 says:

    Dare, don't feel so bad about Serbia's statistics that may or may not be right—-I hate to admit that my great state of Texas has some of the lowest ratings for quality of education in public schools. I forget the last ranking I saw, but compared to the rest of the country, we are way down there on the list. And that is a shame.

  29. Spaggyj says:

    Well, I'm talking about a ten-year timeframe here, and it's England too.

  30. Spaggyj says:

    Our kids are getting stupider, also. They're making exams easier to pass, school lessons shorter and shorter, more holidays.. So it's not surprising really.

  31. edwardpiercy says:

    I would like to comment on this excellent post…but my show is coming on…:pPersonally, just my own opinion, I don't have a problem with what has been called the 'vast wasteland' as others. I guess I look at TV as being just another element of culture. And to a great degree I think that such elements depend on what you do with it. Overdosing on TV might be bad of course, but only to the extent that it would come at the expense of other positive activities. But I don't look upon TV as a negative activity in itself. Some do, pretty much saying that people that watch TV are wasting their time or are somehow stupid. And I don't necessarily think that is the case.Others, such as senior citizens, sometimes don't get to get out much and are perhaps infirm. For those types TV can be a way for people to "get out of the house" when they are unable. It opens the world to them.I think it is important too to view TV as indicative of certain trends/aspects of culture. In other words, I may not learn much actual news from CNN but I can at least keep up with the stupidities of our nation. Anyway, just a few thoughts I thought I'd throw in. Thanks for the info! :up:

  32. Suntana says:

    That's right, Darko, no reality shows on my list. Right now, as I Work Out, I'm watching something much higher quality and educational than any ole Reality Show. I'm watching … I'm watching :left: :right: a Van Damme movie. Yeah, I'm watching Nowhere to Run.

  33. L2D2 says:

    Very culture-rich movie Chuck. And some great geometry for me, too!I also agree with Edward about some aspects of TV. Until I started using my computer a lot, I watched TV and read. TV was my window to the world. Now my computer is that. And it's true about seniors—I don't get out very often at all. So, TV was important to me until recently. I think it all comes down to "moderation in everything" And common sense. Make those kids spend X amount of time outside, and take them to fun places when you can. Don't expect the TV and the schools to raise your kids for you (that is a big problem in U.S. now. Many parents have unreal expectations of the role school is supposed to play in their childrens' lives

  34. ellinidata says:

    If one wants to quit watching TV,the four first days are bad.You realize you forgot how to communicate with real people…I see the same with some Internet addicted people. They can not communicate with real people in real life…Wathing TV ,or on line relationships are perfectly fine for people that have no other way of communicating But to forget real life it is a waste of time and energy… Life is too short to miss out … ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. edwardpiercy says:

    @ Linda.Yeah, I agree. :up:

  36. L2D2 says:

    There is plenty of trash to complain about.

  37. gdare says:

    A lot of interesting comments.About today`s kids, I must agree with both Kimmie and Sun. First, I have notised that kids lack some of the basic knowledge about the world, something that we call basic education. Not to mention that they read less than we did 30 years ago. On the other hand I was surprised that some of mathematical operations we were taught in 3rd grade in primary school they are learning in the beginning of second grade :left: Education system is changing and they are expecting more from kids while on the other side it leaves gaps in some basic knowledge.As both Linda and Ed mentioned, the key is to be moderate and to choose what to watch on TV. Of course not all the broadcastings are bad. I saw severalshows in Animal Planet and History channel and they were excellent. Also, knowing what is going in your own country and in world on everyday basis is good thing. What I don`t like are comments about some (often political) news, because they represent personal opinion and serve as a tool for shaping someone`s mind.I am not concerned about people watching TV too much but more about what they are watching.

  38. KYren says:

    Indian movies are not real India. Most of the Indian movies are love stories, the hero and heroine get married coz they are in love with eachother. But in most of India you will have arrange marriages, you first see the caste of your would be spouse, if you're a guy you'd want to see how much dowry is coming to you, if you are rich you spend millions on the marriage. Hence the female foeticide, dowry deaths. Most of the American movies have some actors from other races in them. Indian movies deliberately avoid dealing with the caste issue, I say they even promote it, the surnames of the actors are mainly of high castes- sinha, varma, sharma, pande, dube, divedi, chaturvedi etc. I have stopped watching Indian movies.

  39. gdare says:

    IQ number never shows a real picture of how a person/nation is smart, too many facts that must be covered but when you make standard (even a temporary one) statistic shows inevitable facts…

  40. MirabelaTM says:

    There are no more intelligent or less intelligent nations. There are only individual differences in IQ .

  41. gdare says:

    Linda :up:Kiran, I don`t know what to say; I have never been in India and I don`t know much about Indian society. I guess in big cities it is easier but in most of provinces and villages the situation is as you described. What caste you and your family belong?

  42. MirabelaTM says:

    Originally posted by AnitaMargita:

    this is not happening only here in Serbia. Most of other countries have similar problems: obesity in people and children, watching too much TV

    I agree :up: Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ Originally posted by AnitaMargita:

    there are only individual differences in IQ

    I think that psychologists would confirm this statement.

  43. AnitaMargita says:

    To be objective, this is not happening only here in Serbia. Most of other countries have similar problems: obesity in people and children, watching too much TV…I watch TV rarely, also… There are some quite good interesting and informative shows… The main thing is to know to chose. And about IQ, I completely agree with Mira that there are only individual differences in IQ.

  44. There2ia says:

    Darko, Nice topic…and it is a global phenomenon. There are many researches on how TV has affected children, housewives and teenagers. You know… the conclusion of the research are mostly negative…

  45. edwardpiercy says:


  46. qlue says:

    What is this tv you speak of? :left:.I not know this word. :p.

  47. gdare says:

    Ana and Mira, I know it is global. I just don`t like we are leading it :left:Theresia, thanks. One of my coleagues did the most stupid thing with her twins when they were about 1 year old. In order to make them quiet she would turn on TV and put them in front of it. She said they liked commercials the most :doh:Aadil, I guess you are a lucky one ๐Ÿ˜›

  48. KYren says:

    Maybe I have told it earlier also. I am from this caste which is said to be from aryan descent (the snobbish word aryan is borrowed from sanskrit, in case you don't know the word has played havoc in India also, not only in europe in 19th century). My caste is from kshatriya varna, second in the caste hierarchy, but I oppose birthbased labeles. No one should be called high or low by birth. It's cheating, it's like taking shortcut to greatness, without doing any good for people. Every person is an individual with his/her unique aptitude and personality.

  49. There2ia says:

    and the worst thing if the parents are very proud when the echildren can remember advertisements and television programs. Now there are a lot of infotainment in Indonesian TV but someathing that I really don't like is politic debate

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