## Tuesday, December 6, 2011

### How Much Time Do You Spend Staring at a Screen?

This blog describes and demonstrates how adults can use the math they learned as kids. I write it because my "day job" is creating Excel Math curriculum materials.

Today I want to talk about television and computers.

During the decade I was born (the 1950's), the population of the United States grew from 150-180 million. The number of households increased from 44-53 million. There were about 3.4 people in a household back then. Only about 1 out of 11 households owned one or more televisions. Our family didn't have one for much of that decade. We were late adopters. Consequently, I don't know much about the famous TV shows of the Fifties.

In 2010 the US population was 309 million people, divided into 116 million households. That's an average of 2.66 people per household, with an average of 2.8 televisions per household!

 USA Households Total  (millions) Households w/Television  (millions) Households w/Computers  (millions) 1950 44 4 0 1960 53 46 0 1970 63 60 0 1980 81 80 5 1990 93 88 14 2000 105 102 55 2010 116 116 94

For people born in the 1980's, there was a similar revolution. The decade started with only a very small percentage of people with a personal computer. Not wanting to be "late" again, I got my first, a Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 100, in 1979.

Now more than 80% of all US households have at least one personal computer, and virtually all of them have internet access.

(Most households that have a current computer also have a few obsolete computers too. How many do you have sitting in the garage or basement?)

In my 2-person household we have one television. We have 7 computers - an aluminum MacBook, a G5 tower, a silver iMac, 3 iPhones and one Windows Laptop.

In my 1-person office, I have no televisions. Today I have 4 computers - a titanium MacBook, a G4 tower, a white iMac and a brand-new silver iMac. Plus my phone and an iPod.

But hey, I'm in the publishing business. This is what I make math books with. What's your excuse justification for your computer(s) and television(s)?