So what’s the difference between fun and entertainment? To put it bluntly, fun is for more ambitious people.
Here is an excerpt from one of my favorite books The New Psycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz.
In the charming David Mamet film, State and Main, released in early 2001, a young woman with a happy outlook is engaged in a conversation with a writer from the big city, somewhat bemused by her small town life. “You make your own fun?” he asks. “It is only fun if you make it,” she patiently explains. “If someone else does it for you, it is entertainment.” Similarly, we can make our own happiness because we can choose our own thoughts and even choose our own self image, and we are well advised to do so rather than depending on someone else to do it.
Watching football is entertainment, playing football is fun. Watching the Travel channel is entertainment, traveling is fun. Are you starting to get the picture?
When you think about the ‘fun vs entertainment’ comparison, you automatically think of TV. I love watching TV and movies just as much as the next person but with innovations like DVR and Hulu, it makes it easy to batch your TV watching time and eliminate those periods of channel surfing where you’re just sitting on the couch without any clear show to watch. See How I Increased my Productivity in One Day to kick the channel surfing habit.
Delving farther into the TV thing, I decided to do a little research and see just how much time Americans spend watching TV. I came to the conclusion that the average American watches 14 years of TV in their lifetime! Here is what I did:
Average time spent watching TV per day: 4.5 hours
Average life expectancy: 77.7 years
365 days in a year
365 x 4.5 = 1,642.5 hours of TV a year
1,642 x 77.7 = 127,622.25 total hours of TV
127,622.25 / 24 (hours in a day) = 5,317 days watching TV
5,317 / 365 = 14.56 years of TV.
There it is ladies and gentlemen, cold hard math. If you are concerned about the source, just Google life expectancy and average time spent watching TV. It should be the first or second hit in both searches.