9 Tips to Keep Reality TV from Ruining Your LifeAt lunch today, I was part of a spirited conversation on the pros and cons of reality TV. That’s a broad category, of course, covering a wide range of shows from The Real Housewives to American Idol to Jersey Shore to Project Runway. My older daughter loves that show where they do fancy cake decorations — what’s it called?

TV is significant for happiness — if for no other reason, because of the time involved. In terms of hours, watching TV is probably the world’s most popular pastime. Among Americans, it’s the most common free-time activity — for an average of about five hours a day. It’s a source of relaxing fun.

But while television is a good servant, it’s a bad master. It can swallow up huge quantities of our lives, without much happiness bang for the buck.

Here are nine tips for keeping TV-watching a source of happiness.

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9 Tips to Keep Reality TV from Ruining Your Life

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  1. As someone who makes television, it’s always important to keep in mind that TV is Entertainment–not a true reflection on how things are. Reality TV isn’t real, and you should never expect real-life to play out “as seen on TV.”

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