Vampires are all the rage these days in best selling books and TV shows, but there is one type of Vampire that will suck the success right out of you. It isn’t romantic or cool but it offers a sort of attraction that the common man finds irresistible. That is the “Time Vampire”. There are quite a few time vampires in the modern world. These are things that suck up vast quantities of time and provide little or no benefit. A typical symptom of being the victim of a time vampire is that you start the vampire activity and the next thing you know it is hours later and you say “where did the time go?
Beginning in the 1960’s the growing time vampire was television. Prior to that the programming was too sporadic so TV wasn’t a major time vampire but during the 1960’s the couch potato was born. According to Nielsen reports, the average American today watches 34 hours of live TV a week plus another 3-6 hours of taped TV. This is very close to the traditional 40 hour work week. So if this 39 hours was put to productive use it is quite possible that you could double your income or start a second career that could lead to your escaping the “rat race”.
As a matter of fact, that is exactly what I did. Many years ago, I gave up watching TV and used those extra hours to write my first book on dealing with some health problems I had experienced including Crohn’s disease and Geographic Tongue. Later I was able to quit my 9-5 job all together and work on a freelance basis.
Other Time Vampires
In addition television, some other time vampires are video games. Often victims of the video game time vampire becomes so engrossed in the game that they don’t care about eating or sleeping all they want to do is play the game. Game makers often purposely seek to incorporate addictive characteristics into the game in an effort to sell more copies.
According to metrics2, 23% have felt “addicted to video games”, with about one-third of males (31%) and a little more than one in ten females (13%) feeling ”addicted.” 44% of youth also report that their friends are addicted to games. So it appears that it is easier to recognize addiction in others than in yourself. Some of the side effects of video addiction are being more “likely to perform poorly in school, get into physical fights and/or be physically heavier.” WebMD lists video game addiction as a “modern-day psychological disorder”.
More on Video Game Addiction.
According to WebMD:
While most people associate addiction with substances, such as drugs or alcohol, doctors recognize addictive behaviors as well. In a WebMD feature on the definition of addiction, psychiatrist Michael Brody, MD, set forth the following criteria:
- The person needs more and more of a substance or behavior to keep him going.
- If the person does not get more of the substance or behavior, he becomes irritable and miserable.
Young says compulsive gaming meets these criteria, and she has seen severe withdrawal symptoms in game addicts. “They become angry, violent, or depressed. If [parents] take away the computer, their child sits in the corner and cries, refuses to eat, sleep, or do anything.”
Even before the advent of modern day video games I noticed the effects of game addiction while in college in the late 1970’s at the time the dominant role-playing game was Dungeons and Dragons aka. “D&D”. I started playing but noticed that the time spent was getting longer and longer until fellow players were skipping classes to play and their studies were suffering. At that point I dropped out of the game. Later I heard of adults who were so addicted that they were losing their businesses because they were spending so much time playing the game.
The key to success is to gain control of your life and get that time back from the time vampires. Just say no and avoid the time wasters and you will have plenty of time available to devote to finding a new job, or creating a new career for yourself. The key is self-control, motivation and discipline.
Say No to Time Vampires!