I am staying at the Clift Hotel in San Francisco. This hotel design is great except that the walls are very thin and both of my neighbors are watching TV. I can hear them well. I am annoyed. I realize I practically never watch TV. I don’t watch TV in America. I don’t watch TV in Spain. When I read statistics on the amount of hours that other people spend watching TV I see how uncommon my behavior is. Interestingly most of my friends also watch very little TV. And they do very well in life. Is there an inverse correlation between hours spent watching TV and success in life?

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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Henk Kleynhans on February 8, 2006  · 

I sure hope so! Because if there is, I’ll definitely be highly successful.

On the other hand, a big reason why I don’t watch TV is because I don’t own one! Perhaps because I’m not succesful enough?

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Pablo Baqués on February 8, 2006  · 

Martin, this post is wonderful but too short.

Of course there is a correlation between hours wasted watching TV and how well you do! However it is also true that not everyone who does not watch TV (I , for instance) will do as well as you.



What you are doing is of huge educational value to parents and educators who can read your lines and teach from them. Keep it up!

We all know how powerful the concept of SUCCESS is in our society. REAL SUCCESS.. not just spiritual or intelectual or… oh, ok… MONEY.(See a spade, call it a spade, Pablo).

Now: I have been monitoring your blog since last Septenber, when I approached you about another idea (that I still nurse…) and you told me that you were fully dedicated to FON. I instinctively valued so much the transparency, the clarity and diversity of your blogging, that I assigned my three kids a daily reading of your posts.

Did they do it?… I am not sure, but I suspect that if they did not, at least part of that time went to … er…. watching TV. But NOW that you have 18 m euros backing your idea… NOW they will listen !

And so what you must realize is that your actions and achievements CAN BE much farther reaching than you anticipate. THREIN lies your opportunity to satisfy your “social responsibility as a business” (an overexposed and over-talked-about concept in MBA circles these days, but one certainly not without merit), perhaps more so than in the frequent and generous funding that your foundations dispense.

Funny how ideas sometimes converge. Sharing bandwidth, that seminal concept of FON, can have cross readings in several fields. And perhaps educators and parents should explore what the idle bandwidth of the FON project is, and how it can be conveyed to those who can put it to good use.

I for one will surely be using an 18m euro leverage to counter teenage hours in front of the dumb box.

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Ryan Daigle on February 8, 2006  · 

And perhaps a direct correlation between time spent online and success in life?

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Jesus Roncero on February 8, 2006  · 

I don’t watch TV as well and don’t even miss it. And, I don’t know if that makes me more productive or not, simply, I have better things to do than wasting my time watching TV.

There are plenty of others things you can do which are far more enriching than watching TV.

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logtar on February 8, 2006  · 

I watch some TV, and I consider myself somewhat successful in life. It is a choice, like any other form of entertainment if abuse it can be counterproductive and turn from leasure to addiction. Reading is to some people a better option, but not all books are going to enhance your knowledge… I love video games, and believe me I have seen what that can do.

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Epaminondas Pantulis on February 8, 2006  · 

Hum… maybe I am the counterexample, since I almost never watch TV. I don’t consider myself a complete loser, but “also-ran” may be an accurate definition for me, though.

So, what’s your benchmark for “doing very well in life” then?

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isaac b on February 9, 2006  · 

People consume information. TV is just the path.

Since TV it has been spread across the whole world as the maybe #1 way of sending info and selling publicity to individuals it is clear now that TV has more exposure in the market than the internet and it is a big % of the entretainment industry, since it has been there longer.

You dont watch TV but you spend hours in front of your laptop which is consumig information in a different way. Maybe more hours than people watchin TV.

I do not think there is a relationship between watchin TV and being succesfull or not. I am sure a lot of individuals spend incredible amount of hours on the internet and their life is not succesfull.

Also I would like to know where is your balance for being successfull, for me being succesfull it is nothing to do with money, it has more to do with wearing flip-flops as many days as I can during the whole year and doing what I love.

We may hit a day sooner than we expect than TV’s as we know them today will be door to everything giving you the ability of switching between a video stream, an audio feed or an article from your sofa.

That day, you will love people watching the whatever screen they have, specially if they are using your future worldwide wifi/wimax network.

The only issue in this case of your hotel is not the TV thing, is the isolation of the walls!

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yasra on February 9, 2006  · 

hmm..watching tv and success in life? unless of course you belong to the censor board, there’s no way you can get cash out of it so it’s time to wake up…I don’t watch a lot of tv either coz I don’t have time but do try watching ‘Everybody loves Raymond’…in a way it’s better u dont watch tv coz then u’ll have other issues to worry about, like if Sue got divorced and if Janice got her boyfriend and everything else that totally kills your brain cells…huh…

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Valentin on February 9, 2006  · 

Stop compliment yourself please!

Maybe there are people corresponding to your description, but TV, as much as anything else, can be a source of inspiration for new ideas.

Then, it’s sure that making a great idea come true expects lots of work, so there’s fewer time to watch TV.

Judging a sucessful life depends on the judgement of the life’s owner, ’cause I think that you cannot, as an exterior people, judge about the sucess of a people’s life.

Everyone has her quests, huge, big or more modest. The most important is that she is happy about sucess in her quests.

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Marcelo Levit on February 9, 2006  · 

It is not that simple.
I watch some TV (a little), and 95% goes for National Geographic or BBC.
I read a lot, but I also learn a lot in TV, history, science, etc.
Just think that you already have TV in your PC, so …. do you call it TV or internet ?

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Wolfgson on February 13, 2006  · 

This is quite funny, because I have two dishes on my roof to capture the signal of a couple of satsllites, and although I don´t watch much TV, sometime I do it just to see what the different channels offer to their audiences.

And believe me Martin, watching TV, I’ve realized that there is another world out of our office buildings, golf courses, and country clubs.

The target market of most TV channels is the middle-class, the one that purchases our products, and these people are the ones we need to know if want to satisfy their needs and improve our balance sheets.

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Laura M on March 17, 2006  · 

I watch T.V alot of the time and I am very successful. I have a well paying job and a great family.
For me watching TV is sort of a relaxtion, to take my mind off of everything

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