It is hard to avoid television if you are a kid. People in the house are usually tuned in to television. — siblings as well as parents. In some homes, television is perpetually ‘on’ even without anyone watching it. In a culture where most people have at least two television sets in their homes and are obsessed with watching T.V., it is almost impossible to neglect pointing out the possible harmful effects of watching too much television. Television certainly has much to offer, and without doubt is a great innovation. But when it comes to relying on it, whether to be informed or entertained, it can certainly affect people negatively.
Here are the main harmful effects of watching too much television that you should always keep in mind.
Television is bad for your health.
Watching television means inactivity, and inactivity has been linked with obesity and heart diseases.
Television feeds you with false information.
One of the most harmful effects of watching television is that it appears to portray or report reality. In fact, it just allows us to get a small glimpse of what’s really going on. This particularly happens when watching news. When we watch a 30 minutes newscast, we usually believe that what it is showing us is all that there is to see. After all, if there was more to watch, wouldn’t television show us more? One of the main reasons why we so readily believe what television is showing us is the fact that we prefer ignorance over knowledge because, as the saying goes, ‘ignorance is bliss’.
Another amazingly harmful effect of watching television is the fact that it can hinder our ability to think. Certainly there are a few programmes that are educational and interesting, but the majority of television programmes are simply trash. And so we rarely find a programme on T.V. that requires us to think. Television programming is designed in such a way so as to match our attention spam, and that is why almost all programmes are 30 to 60 minutes long. In addition, television programmes rarely dedicate the entire programme to a single topic. Hence, not only cannot television programmes provide any decent thought to stimulate discussion, but they present information in such a way that we cannot digest it properly. And so we can easily form opinions without allowing the information to be first filtered through our minds, and while we might think that we become more knowledgeable, in reality we become dumb.
Television wastes your time.
Life is short, but we choose to spend it watching television. Just think of how many hours of our day we waste watching television — soaps, serials, movies! Surveys reveal that people in the Western world spend 5 to10 hours a day watching television. Instead of living our life to the fullest, we sit in front of a dead, though ‘entertaining’ device, which we have chosen as a substitute for true living. We are so obsessed with watching these games on T.V. and admiring our favourite sport players, as if they are some kind of heroes or gods instead of going out to play football and cricket. We prefer to sit on the sofa, watching special cooking shows where people are relishing all kinds of delicious food, while we fill our bodies with junk as an alternative for cooking a healthy meal in kitchen. Instead of going out to meet people, converse and have fun with them, we choose to enclose ourselves within the four walls of our home and be all alone, so as to watch with full attention adventure movies, reality shows, and soap operas. However, I am asking you, is this living? A time will come when your physical and mental energy will be dissipated, and you will come to realize that you have not yet actually lived. But then it will be too late, and you will be filled with resentment.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)