Can owning a television make you happier?

Better living through television? It’s true, if you credit the results of an international Gallup poll that asked people to rate the quality of their lives on a scale from 0 to 10. In the Americas, TV owners rated their lives at an average of 6.07, vs. 4.47 for the TV-less. In Asia, TV people averaged 5.38, while non-TV people averaged 4.20. In Europe, the gap was 5.80 vs. 5.07. The pattern was similar when respondents were asked to predict how good their lives will be five years from now. Lest you suspect (as AdFreak did at first) that this simply means people who own a TV are wealthier than those who don’t, Gallup noted that “even when comparing people with identical incomes, TV owners still enjoy higher levels of well-being and optimism.” TV programming may be a vast wasteland, but it’s our vast wasteland.

—Posted by Mark Dolliver