Positive And Negative Effects Of Watching Television

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Nowadays, watching television has become habitual in our daily lives. We frequently spend up to four hours watching television every day. Sometimes we are watching television programmes while eating dinner and at other times we are learning how to prepare dinner by using these programmes. Television truly provides an escape, gives an enjoyable feeling and intrigues people. Watching TV really has its pros and cons.

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There are a lot of educational television programmes. They vary from learning to cook, learning about other cultures, demonstrations of exercise to other interesting programmes, such as Discovery Channel and National Geographic. What all these programmes have in common, is that they provide educational value and make us more open-minded. We learn things we might have never learned in other ways. Watching these types of programmes gives us more understanding of the world in general and how things work.

Additionally, television has programmes that keep us up-to-date with news and other important events that are happening right now. News channels are watched each morning or evening, for example news that is always live at eight in the evening. Before we go to school, work or the gym, television is still used to check the weather or to see if there are any traffic jams on the road.

Besides these types of programmes, we also watch so-called reality TV shows. One study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology showed that people who watch a favourite TV show mention that they feel less lonely during the show. These shows are sources of entertainment. In addition, shows that make people laugh create a mood-boosting moment, which helps them feeling better in a certain way.

However, there are cons of watching television as well. First, television can be really addictive. Recent studies found that up to 12 percent of people watching TV feel unhappy about the amount of TV they watch and feel incapable of stopping themselves. The more we make watching television a habit, the harder stopping becomes. It gives us short-term pleasure, but also long-term unease.

Second, instead of educational programmes, there are non-educational programmes too, such as reality shows. Most of the time, these shows offer nothing of worth to the audience, although people are still intrigued to watch these shows.

Moreover, television is used for advertising. It is estimated that the average child watches more than forty thousand television commercials each year. Companies associate their product with fun and happiness, rather than to provide any product-related information. By making advertisements, the goal of companies is to get consumers, the people who watch television, to buy their product. There are some concerns when it comes to advertisements. These are health-related concerns, for instance alcohol advertising and fast food advertising.

Studies have also found that watching too much television is bad for your health and that there is a connection between watching television and obesity. Additionally, watching more than three hours of television can result in behaviour problems, sleep difficulties and other health issues.

The impact of watching television is that it gives us instant comfort. Watching TV causes your body to to release chemicals that make you feel good. TV can be educational, but non-educational as well. It is important to think about what you watch daily and if it helps you move forward in certain aspects of life. Television is designed to be passive, which sometimes makes us disregard other important tasks, such as jogging or doing household chores. Viewing television is easy, we do not have to go anywhere, but instead we lie down on the couch watching three different shows. The comfort offered by television is the same as immediate gratification and we do not have to plan ahead and expand any energy.

Furthermore, children are easily influenced by TV. Research shows that children might imitate the violence they see on television and cannot differentiate between reality and what happens on television. Aggressive language and violence are used to make television programmes more intense, which can have a big impact on the behaviour of children. A Japanese study published in Oxford Journals showed that spending a lot of time watching TV can cause lower verbal intelligence and has a big impact on the brain structure of a child. Another study from Iowa State University found that students who watched TV for two hours or more per day were twice as likely to suffer from attention deficits. Television for children can be used for positive purposes, such as education at an early age, but it can also result in laziness, health problems and indulging in unacceptable behaviour which they see on television. Watching television in moderation is the key like most of other aspects in life. We should not take television for granted, but rather monitor the programmes we watch.

In conclusion, educational television programmes teach us certain things to help us in life, whereas non-educational television shows still capture our attention and makes us watch these, while generally we do not receive any value from these shows. TV is a source of entertainment to get people to feel better at certain times and is used to get people to buy products from the advertisements they see. We should contemplate what we watch most of the time and be aware of our choices. 

16 August 2021

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