Effects of watching TV
Generation Y may be so engrossed into consumerism for them to observe its harmful effects. Television, iPods, and cell phones use are just a few examples of modern products that define the everyday life of today’s adults, teenagers and even children. While television watching is not exclusively destructive, it makes an individual unproductive, leading to feelings of frustrations and may also cause serious illnesses such as obesity. In addition to these, it desensitizes an individual to real life issues and changes their perception about life into unrealism. Despite these, there are benefits of watching television such as accessing information and exposure.
In recent discussions of the harmful effects of television watching and consumerism, arguments focus on the little knowledge consumers have over the effects of these products on their lives and the lack of control they have on it. However, I think people are aware of the risks but are unable to restrain themselves from indulging.Rreport of occasions when people complain of being “couch potatoes” but still go ahead to sit and watch the television on no end. Watching television has the effect of leaving the individual wanting to watch more and more, even when they do not want. Research indicates that an individual who lives to the age of seventy five and watches three hours of television daily will have dedicated nine years to doing so. As much as television has several benefits to the modern person, think about other benefits the same individual would have had, had they dedicated the nine years to doing other activities that are physically healthy and satisfying. When you spend your time watching the television, you never have the opportunity of regaining that hour to do something else that benefits you. This way, an individual who watches television more than it is required remain unproductive in his/her own life. They spend their time watching what others are doing with their lives while their own lives are left unattended. On face value, one may think that people who watch too much television have boring lives, and find consolation and entertainment in watching television. While I concede that sometimes one may opt to watch television for lack of other activities, television makes one inactive both physically and mentally, leading to boring lifestyles.
Kubey & Csikszentmihalyi, provide proof from research to show that Television viewing leads to loneliness and boredom. The research argue that TV viewing is a major contributing factor to shorter memory spans, less patience and lowered self restraint. Because TV viewing is a passive activity, the brain is less stimulated during this time compared to when one is doing other activities such as reading, walking or sports. While most people relate viewing television with relaxation, this is unlikely. An individual who engages in more TV viewing is more likely to feel anxious when compared to an outdoor person. The individual may feel relaxed as they watch but this feeling stops immediately they switch of the set. People start associating watching the television with relaxing and once they stop watching, they feel anxious and unsettled. Because of this, they end up watching more and more of it, until they cannot stop. This reaction is similar to that of addictive drugs. Additionally, most heavy television viewers usually feel frustrated after watching because they feel that they have not done anything productive in their lives. To expunge this feeling, they engage in more viewing. While the body and mind is in this state of inactivity and frustration, the individual may engage in harmful activities such as over eating. This supports the arguments that relate TV viewing and obesity. Heavy TV viewers may argue that all other activities leave someone feeling hungry, and everyone needs to eat, I maintain that feeding after a physical activity is much healthier than doing so after watching TV. This is because physical activity or even reading stimulates body muscles, burns calories and makes the body active, compared to TV watching.
Most television users who admit to being addicts say they find themselves watching television even when they can engage in other activities. Once someone starts watching the television, he or she becomes lazy and unmotivated to perform other activities. They usually end up neglecting other aspects of their lives and withdrawing from social scenes. An originally outdoor person may become unmotivated to go out or get involved in other activities. There is also a similarity in symptoms between TV viewing and use of addictive drugs. Addicts of both, report withdrawal symptoms whenever they stop engaging in both activities. In addition to the addictive aspect of TV viewing, consumers rarely think of other consequences of this past time such as unrealism. Rockler-Gladen argues of the effects of TV commercials on consumers.
The younger generation is unaware of the effects of TV commercials, and pays little attention to warnings against over consumption of its products. I support arguments that report of a correlation of actual violence and that viewed on TV. The probabilities of children who grow up watching violent films becoming violent are high. Take an example of a child who watches horror films from a young age. With time, the child starts believing that violence is normal. They will find it normal to inflict pain on others or be abusive. My argument comes from teachings of behavioral and psychological studies. According to psychologists, behavior is learnt. When a child continually watches violent films, they are desensitized and may see nothing wrong by acting it in real life. They learn how to inflict pain and may begin pairing pain with feelings of fulfillment as they see on the films. When these children grow into adults, it is easy for them to become violent when compared to children who never had a chance of watching horrific or violent films.
My view that watching television may lead to frustration stems from its focus. Most media and television commercials, programs and advertisements focus on items, lifestyles, services and activities that many people are unable to afford. This makes people feel dissatisfied by their own lives due to their inability to afford these products. Most commercials entice people to purchase products or services that make their lives better or make them feel better. The inability to do this leads to frustrations and inadequacy since people start perceiving these products as fundamental in achieving happiness. Rockler-Gladen says that Generation Y has lived through unlimited advertisement and less activism, and that their happy childhood memories are associated with consumption. This brings the difficulty of making them see the effects of these advertised products. A parent may face difficulties discouraging their teenage children against heavy television watching, especially if this has been the child’s way of life.
Parents of this generation may be blamed for not regulating television consumption or regulating the programs they watch, but I still think the media should change how they present their products to consumers. It is the responsibility of parents to shape their children and help them make informed decisions even in their presence. For example, a parent who instills discipline in children when it comes to what is best for them in terms of television consumption helps the children make a better decision. The parent may give the child an hour everyday to watch their favorite program, or encourage them to use particular products. If the parent is consistent and persistent on instilling these values on their children, children will find it normal to do these things with no difficulty. They may willingly choose to watch only an hour of television daily. Rockler-Gladen says that she is disturbed by the perception her students have on consumerism. The students feel that consumerism is their parent’s responsibility, and that it is their parents who shape them up and influences their decisions on what they consume. She says that this disturbs her because it lets corporations off the hook of responsibility and that some parents are inactive in their children’s lives. I agree that corporations need to take responsibility of their advertisements, and especially how they present their services or products to the public. However, I agree with the student that it all begins with parenting. Despite the fact that parents need to work in order to provide for their children, work should not be an excuse for not teaching children values and responsibility. If a parent teaches a child how to make informed decisions, it is unlikely that negative advertisement will mislead the child. Similarly, when a parent engages the child into physical or outdoor activities, children will have less time to watch television, and this carries on to adulthood.
It is important to conclude by noting that watching Television is not exclusively harmful. Television is important in many other aspects, especially in enlightening and providing information. However, individuals must regulate and watch it moderately. The concern of this paper has been the side effects of watching Television, especially heavy watching. Watching too much television leads to frustrations, feelings of inadequacy, and other health hazards such as obesity.