BY SOFO ARCHON
In a culture where most people have at least two TV sets in their homes and are obsessed with watching television, it is almost impossible to neglect pointing out the possible negative effects of watching too much television.
Television certainly has much to offer, and without a 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.
In this article you are going to find out the main harmful effects of watching television that you should always keep in mind before tuning into your favorite TV shows. So, without further ado, here they are:
Television is bad for your health
Watching television means inactivity, and inactivity has been linked with obesity and heart disease.
Do you think it is just a coincidence that in the West, where people are spending enormous amounts of time watching television, obesity and heart disease in people of all ages are rapidly increasing?
More and more studies are being carried out on the adverse health effects of watching television.
A recent research study conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health indicates that watching too much television can significantly increase the risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Another study carried out at the University of Rhode Island found that prolonged television watching decreases viewers’ sense of self-efficacy in maintaining personal health.
As you can understand, the side effects of watching TV on our health can be pretty serious, and so we’d better limit the time we spend keeping our bodies inactive in front of an electronic screen.
Television feeds you false information
One of the most harmful effects of watching television is that TV appears to portray or report reality, when in fact it just allows us to get a small glimpse of what’s really going on.
This particularly happens while watching TV newscasts. When we watch a 30-minute newscast, we usually believe that what it is showing us is all that there is to see. After all, if there was more to see, wouldn’t television show us more?
Unfortunately most people accept whatever television is feeding them, without ever casting a doubt on its truthfulness.
Perhaps 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.” Searching to find out the truth requires effort, and so we prefer to let the evening news do all the search for us.
In this way, we don’t need to do anything: no effort, nothing to worry about. We choose the easy way, but a serious disadvantage of doing so is that we also choose to accept a distorted view of reality.
Television makes you dumb
Another dangerously bad effect of excessively watching television is the fact it can hinder our ability to think.
Having talking heads continuously giving us quick information, opinion, analysis and criticism for just about everything, usually leads us to stop using our critical thinking. As a consequence, we can be easily misinformed and manipulated.
That’s why it’s especially important for parents and school teachers to teach their children/students about the ill effects of spending too much time in front of a TV screen, since people of a young age are much more vulnerable to them.
Of course, there are a few programs on TV that are educational and thought-provoking (i.e. that have a good, positive impact on our intelligence) but let’s admit it, the majority of television programs are simply trash.
Indeed, we rarely find a program on TV that requires us to think.
Television programming is designed in such a way so as to match our attention spam, which explains why almost all programs are 30 to 60 minutes long, and why television programs rarely dedicate the entire program to a single topic.
Hence, not only can’t television programs provide any decent thought to stimulate discussion, but they present information in such a way that we cannot digest it properly.
As a result, 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.
The sad truth is that the negative impacts of watching TV on our critical thinking are often neglected, which explains why we see so many people believing and blindly following what the media presents them as truth and right.
Television wastes your time
Life is short, but we choose to spend it watching television.
Just think of how many hours of our day most of us waste watching television. Believe it or not, surveys reveal that people in the Western world spend 5-10 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.
Instead of going out to play football, we are so obsessed with watching football games and admiring our favorite sport players, as if they are some kind of heroes.
Instead of going to the kitchen and cook a healthy meal, we prefer to sit in the sofa, watching special cooking shows where people are savoring all kinds of delicious food, while we fill our bodies with junk.
Instead of going out to meet people, converse and have fun, we choose to confine ourselves within four walls and be all alone, so as to watch with full attention adventure movies, reality shows, and soap operas.
But 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 your mind will be filled with regrets.
Now is your chance to live passionately, not passively.
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