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Is Your Television Making You Sick?

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Is Your Television Making You Sick?

How to dial in healthier programming.
Eldon  Taylor
Eldon Taylor More by this author
Sep 08, 2009 at 10:00 AM

Children’s entertainment, ranging from television to computer games, can have far-reaching consequences. Research reveals that children not yet in school are watching TV approximately 60 hours a week, while those attending school typically view 25 to 30 hours per week. When you crunch the numbers, this translates to some 20,000 commercials viewed per year. By their mid-teens, some 200,000 commercials have been stored in their minds. In addition, they’ve seen an estimated 33,000 murders!

There are many known effects associated with this intense television intake by children, to say nothing of the impact on their self-image and expectations. Here’s a quick rundown of the possible negative effects: TV can impact sensory development in a negative manner, increase aggression and hostility, and diminish the development of hearing in young children. It displaces physical activity and thereby impacts health negatively. It overdoses kids with artificial light and can cause sleep deprivation. It’s implicated in poor cognitive and intellectual development, can slow language acquisition, and is associated with poor reading abilities. Television also negatively impacts social development and perceptions of reality.

Everything a very young child sees is perceived as real. Adults know that they can play peek-a-boo by simply hiding behind a sheet of paper and then popping out from behind it, to the total amazement of a young child. To the child, the face (person) has disappeared and reappeared magically. It’s reasonable to believe that to this same child, everything on television is also real. This includes the violence, monsters and depravity that so many programs contain. To the thinking person, television should be as tightly controlled for children’s interests as one might control access to the Internet.

Indeed, TV is a powerful tool when used correctly. The opportunity to enhance learning, to explore the fine arts and to enrich education is absolutely awesome. Given the choice, why would people choose to watch some nasty reality show or violent movie when they could take in an opera, view a nature channel, see the latest in astronomical discoveries or even watch a historical undertaking such as an ongoing archeological dig?

The next time you sit down and tune into your television, ask yourself, What do I choose to watch and why? Are you addicted to a particular form of entertainment, or do you use TV for some purpose like assuaging anxiety? Is it the family gathering place for food, film and more food? Do you gather around the TV instead of the fire and let others tell you stories? And finally, are they the tales you truly want to fill your mind? 

About Author
Eldon  Taylor
Eldon Taylor is an award winning, New York Times best selling author of over 300 books, and audio and video programs. He is the inventor of the patented InnerTalk technology and the founder and President of Progressive Awareness Research. He h Continue reading