Thursday, March 03, 2005

Pressure is off

This week, one of my life dreams came true. I was a Nielson family. Not only did I get to tell the ratings people what television shows I watch, but I got paid $10 in cash to do it. Fantastic, right? Eh ... well, yes and no.

It was great to know that my television choices were going to make an impact. But, it really was a lot of pressure. You get a separate diary for each TV in your home, and you have to record everything you watch in those diaries. And, the time slots are divided into 15-minute increments. This Nielson diary began to rule my life. In the morning, I would delay my shower until 6 a.m. so that I could get a good, solid 15 minute mark in the book for SportsCenter. In the evening, I would delay my dinner and watch an extra 15 minutes of PTI on my bedroom TV. And, channel surfing really makes a mess of things. I basically did that in 15-minute segments as well.

My seven days of Nielson ratings came to an end last night. Overall, I would have to say that I felt a sense of relief when I turned on the magic box tonight and flipped through the channels at will. And now if I happen to watch a little Dr. 90210, I can do so in blissful anonymity.