People watch television too much today. The average child watches an average of twenty-eight hours of television a week. Most people think they would have a hard time living without a television. The obsession with television has major effects on society that are quite unpleasant. In other words, it is widely held that television rots the brain, encourages sloth, desensitizes us to violence, stifles creative thought, shortens the attention span, erodes the capacity for critical thinking, shortens the attention span and affects the memory. Television gives us a warped view of the world.
If we were to accept the template of society provided by television we d probably think that consumption is the source of happiness, thanks to advertising; that most of life s problems have a neat solution that can be reached in 48 minutes, care of one-hour TV drama; and that crime is common and injustice is entertaining. Life on television is almost always simple: good guys and bad, nice girls and whores, smart guys and dumb. And if life in the real world isn t that simple, well, hey, man, have some dope, man, be happy, feel good. (Hamill, 543)
Furthermore, television, like drugs, dominates the lives of its addicts (Hamill, 542). For young children, television is an antisocial experience. A little child sits passively in front of the screen, insensible to what is going on around him. Conversation during the program is seldom if ever encouraged by the child or by the parents. Moreover, viewers can t work or play while watching television; they can t read; they can t be out on the streets, falling in love with the wrong people, learning how to make friends and compromise with other human beings (Hamill, 542).
Marie Winn, in the Plug-In Drug, wrote The primary danger of the television screen lies not so much in the behavior it produces although there is danger there as in the behavior it prevents: the talks, the games, the family festivities and arguments Television, like drug, creates a violent society. The typical American child will witness 8,000 murders and 100,000 acts of televised violence in his or her lifetime (American Psychological Association).
Besides, much of what children see on TV represents violence as an appropriate way to solve interpersonal problems, to avenge slights and insults, make up for injustice, and get what you want out of life said University of Michigan Psychologist Dr. Leonard Eron. Television works on the same imaginative and intellectual level as psychoactive drugs (Hamill, 542). Television preempts the process of imagination that a reader experiences while reading. It s the process of decoding little symbols called words, then creating images or ideas and making them connect (Hamill, 542).
Television, like drug, provides the unearned achievements. Television is as dangerous as any other psychoactive drugs and should be controlled. Young people have to a large degree stopped reading real texts, and watch television instead. As a result, much of the cultural tradition encoded in print is being lost. Cognitive habits associated with literacy are in decline. I see this situation as symptomatic of a decline in literacy and our society. Television should be watched less. American should spend more time reading. Young children must be taught to be aware of watching too much TV as being taught of staying away from drugs.