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When TV went Main Street USA in the mid-1960’s, millions of families changed their daily routine.
Instead of reading or chatting it up with family, friends and neighbors, almost overnight, millions instead sat in front of their TV for hours at a time.
Adding fuel to the fire, in the late 1990’s our TV time-wasting addiction was augmented by a new time-wasting addiction – the Internet.
When YouTube became popular in early 2006, millions then became addicted to YouTube videos.
Thanks in large part to Netflix, streaming eventually became the latest time-wasting addiction of millions.
What’s the point?
According to my Rich Habits research, 96% of those who rise up from poverty or the middle-class to become wealthy, all share two things in common – they read to learn every day for 30 minutes or more and they watched less than an hour of TV/Videos a day.
Because self-made millionaires recognized that reading to learn was one of the keys to success, they devoted most of their “free” time to reading and that left them with very little time for video watching.
While these self-made millionaires, or the “evil 1%”, continue to learn, grow and amass fortunes, the rest of society, the 99%, are falling behind, contently watching videos. This 99% has eschewed reading, the font of learning, for video watching.
If you’ve ever watched any of those man on the street interviews, where the interviewer asks young people about facts everyone should know, you understand what I’m saying. The YouTube generation does not have a grasp on everyday facts. They lack fundamental knowledge because they are not reading anymore. And they are not reading anymore because they are spending what free time they do have watching videos.
Who’s at fault and what to do?
Parents are to blame for failing to inculcate in their children the habit of reading. The solution is to first acknowledge, as a society, that we have a video addiction problem. The second part of the solution is to wean ourselves from this poverty-creating, recreational video-watching habit and replace it with the prosperity-creating reading habit.
Alternatively, and probably a more reasonable solution for a child’s recreational video-streaming addiction, would be for parents to augment their child’s recreational video addiction by introducing educational videos, while limiting streaming of non-educational videos to less than one hour a day.
As a society, we don’t read anymore. We watch videos, instead. And you can’t learn anything meaningful from a recreational video. Our new video addiction habit has replaced reading and in the process, learning.
This is unfortunate because reading to learn leads to knowledge and increased knowledge leads to growth. Only by growing in knowledge is success possible. And recreational video-watching won’t help you grow.
Recreational video-watching is a cancer to growth, success and prosperity.
Tom Corley is an accountant, financial planner and author of “Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to Be Happy and Successful in Life”, Effort-Less Wealth, Change Your Habits Change Your Life, Rich Habits Poor Habits and “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.”