When researching on the effects of television towards Americans, I found quite a few published studies, articles and books that were helpful in educating me on this epidemic. The average child will spend 1,500 hours a year watching television and in those 1,500 hours they will view an average of 200,000 acts of violence by the time they graduated high school (Norman Herr, Ph.D.). By the time a person turns 18 years old they will have watched 3 years worth of television. Television has been seen to have many effects on people such as alcohol use, violence, health issues, lower moral and lack of intelligence. My goal in this paper is to show how the effects of televisions have caused a life threating epidemic in today’s generation of Americans.
To achieve this goal I have organized my paper into three sections. In the first section I will discuss how the effects of too much television can be detrimental to ones health. In the second section I will reflect on the cause and effect of behavior in today’s generations of children due to the amounts of television time. Lastly, I will conclude on how television has effected and changed the overall intelligence and morality of everyday American’s.
Television has carried out a great deal of impact on health over the last decade. The many appealing topics and one-sided advertisements airing daily across American’s television are luring more and more children and adults to the limitation of their living room couch. In result inactivity, health issues and obesity are a much seen statistic of this decision. “The American Medical Association, researchers combined data from eight such studies and found that for every additional two hours people spend glued to the tube on a typical day, their risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases by 20% and their risk of heart disease increases by 15%.”
In addition people who were more likely to spend three hours or more a day in front of the TV, their risk of dying at a younger age jumped 13%, on average. Hours spent watching TV causes the amount of time you are unable to spend on physical activities. Lack of these activities can lead to lack of blood flow and circulation, muscle development and or lower metabolism rates. If a person were to take just half of the leisure time they spent on watching TV and replaced it with physical activities they would see a great deal of change in their health.
A large amount of studies have been administrated on the effects of behavior and violence on adults and young viewers. On a child’s behavior according to the AAP, “Extensive research evidence indicates that media violence can contribute to aggressive behavior, desensitization to violence, nightmares, and fear of being harmed.” A child is more receptive of what they see on television rather than adults because they are more likely to mimic those actions. An adult simply has the ability to change the channel or turn the TV off.
As well the mindset of an adult is far beyond a child, most know what right from wrong, and what a wise judgment is. But for a child who has been subjected to a violent program, they are more likely to act out with an aggressive behavior. The negative influence of television is causing children to absorb and retaliate what they see on a daily basis, which in part causes that same child to believe that behaving badly is justified and/or appropriate. This in the long run can cause a child to become more violent, use drugs, drink alcohol, and become more sexually active.
Television in today generation has had terrible impact on emotional and intellectual wellbeing. According to reports from International Child and Youth Care Network, “the more time you spend passively watching television and receiving sensory input in a relaxed, passive and semi-hypnotic state, the more your brain will be trained to receive information that way.” It’s hard to be able to quantify the exact amount of damage and effect that this has had on today’s generation of children, but you can defiantly see the lack of creativeness and imagination in one’s mind set. Once a brain is trained to receive and respond information this way, it is then harder for a child to be inattentive in a class.
A child’s attention span becomes at an all-time low and then fails them to be able to socially and emotionally be able to involve themselves with other on a personal level. Other effects have also been said to be linked such as ADHD, but no studied have directly proven television go hand in hand. “The quick pace of television shows actually rewires the brain to accept information only in short chunks, thus reducing an individual’s attention span.” Finally, touching basis on morality and its influence on today’s television, it can play out in a moral way just as much as an immoral way. There are networks out there that chose to create shows on television that can still convey moral messages such as the importance of honesty, kindness, and fairness.
For example some of these shows are The Cosby Show, Dora the Explorer, Sesame Street, 7th Heaven and Mister Rogers Neighborhood, but sadly to say a majority of today generation do not partake in these show any longer. Today’s children and teens prefer to partake in those shows that chose to create an immoral conveyed message that shows you drugs, violence, excessive drinking, and sexual content amongst many other negative things. The world today has become a reality TV generation and the shows only continue to get worse as the years go on. I have attempted to provide solutions for problems that exist within the realm of television viewing. The solutions lie at the heart of the viewer. It is up to them to decide what they will watch, how often they will watch, and why they will watch. Television viewers must have reasonable judgment when it comes down to their viewing habits, or else they will become a hostage of their set.
Television does not act alone, but must comply with broadcasting rules, time limits, and especially advertisers that buy air time. Once TV reaches the viewer, the viewer must be aware that they are responsible for the effect that they allow television to have on them, and how they relay these effects into their personal lives. Sure, not everything on the air is one big bed of roses as I’ve pointed out, but the majority of programming affects viewers in a positive way if they permit it to. Broadcasters can shove almost anything they want through the airwaves, but the viewer must be intelligent enough to decide what programming is beneficial to himself, his family, and his children.
Herr, Norman, PhD. “Television & Health.” Www.csun.edu. N.p., Feb. 2006. Web. 21 Nov. 2012. .
Gardner, Amanda. “TV Watching Raises Risk of Health Problems, Dying Young.” CNN. Cable News Network, 14 June 2011. Web. 22 Nov. 2012. .
“TV Linked to Aggressive Behavior in Children | Psych Central News.” PsychCentral.com. Ed. Rick Nauert, PhD. Psych Central, 03 Nov. 2009. Web. 24 Nov. 2012. .
Boyse, Kyla, RN. “University of Michigan Health System.” Television (TV) and Children: Your Child:. University of Michigan Health System, Aug. 2010. Web. 25 Nov. 2012. .
Langholt, Alice. “Negative Health Effects of Television.” Life123. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2012. .
“TV’s Effects on the Developing Brain.” TV’s Effects on the Developing Brain. INTERNATIONAL CHILD AND YOUTH CARE NETWORK, 7 Sept. 2001. Web. 25 Nov. 2012. .
“The Tube Attack.” Song of the Sirens. N.p., 27 June 2010. Web. 25 Nov. 2012. .
Davies, Taryn. “The Effects of Childhood Obesity.” The Effects of Childhood Obesity. N.p., 06 July 2012. Web. 25 Nov. 2012. .
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