Thursday, May 15, 2014

Hypnotized By The Television

Image posted by Roger at Get Hypnosis Help
Many years ago there was the family hour where you could sit down and not worry about what your child or what you would see on the television screen. Now these days you have to ask yourself questions on whether your parents would approve of the show you are watching or if you're a parent, then you would ask if your child should be watching that one show. A child is far more easily influenced than an older one. Children watching television at a young age does more harm than good to both the mental and physical state of a child.

There are some positive things on television that can benefit a child. Through watching certain channels such as the Discovery Channel, they can see different cultures in different places. Adolescents can find a positive role model in some cases. They can also discover new ideas that they will never encounter in their own community. Television can also make kids ask their parents about topics that the parent might not want to approach because it is sensitive. It brings children to be more curious and want to discover more things.

Now someone can argue what type of show counts but I am looking at the overall picture. I think that TV is doing more harm than good in a child’s life. There are a few reasons that I believe this. For one thing, children under eight can not tell the difference between a logical situation and a fantasy. For example, if a younger child sees his/her favorite action character fighting a bad guy they will believe that since the “good guy” beats up the bad guy, it is ok to hurt people. Children will not think that what they are doing is not wrong because the “good guys” are never punished. Since we are on the topic of ages, an average American child will see 200,000 violent acts and 16,000 murders of TV by age 18. Children will often attempt to do the stunt they see on TV in real life which can lead to an injury. 

The average child watches about 1,200 hours of television each year, but only spends about 900 hours in school. This causes numerous amounts of things. The first being the fact they won’t focus on school and the second being they will spend less time with family. The worst thing is the age of these children. When 4 - 6 year olds were asked whether they would want to watch TV or spend time with their father, 54% said that they would prefer to watch TV. Children will also start avoiding chores do to the distraction of TV and their grades will also start to drop. Obesity is all a huge issue for children who watch a lot of television because they are not physically active and tend to want to snack. Most commercials are also advertising the unhealthy snacks such as chips. Children in the United States see 40,000 commercials a year. These are all the negative things that can be the outcome of watching television at such a young age.

Overall the negatives seem a lot longer but it doesn’t necessarily mean that there are more. I do believe though that these negatives can only be achieved through watching television. Learning about culture, finding a role model, seeing new places, and discovering ideas can be possible without the television. It all comes down to age. Again, the older you are the more you can tell the right from wrong. However the average child in 1970 began watching television at 4 years old. Today, the average age is 4 months old. Age is everything in the topic of watching television.


Conclusion: Updated 28 May 2014

At first this was a scary thing to do. Clicking that publish button took a lot more effort than what I thought it would take. The overall process was an adventure of its own. From using NoodleTools to all the the research and not to mention the bibliography. Overall I learned a lot about children and television. I believe I could do a little more research to further strengthen my thesis. After reading my comments that I received I realized I should of wrote more about the parents and whether it is their responsibility or not. The things I learned from other people actually came from the questions they asked. It required me to do some further research which I enjoyed because I learned more about the topic. One thing that really caught my attention was how the past was brought up. I forgot that instead of having news channels, there used to be newspapers. Now that I think about my youngest sibling probably not even know what those are since they are becoming more and more unknown to the younger generations. Books were also brought up on a comment. I believe that my argument was thorough and deep enough to engage my readers because I received a lot of questions that furthered the discussion. Some commenters even went and researched more into the topic. What I really noticed was that almost everyone brought up the Discovery Channel and how educational it is. I wish that I made it more clear that I do not think that educational channels are negative, I believe it is all about how much time is spent watching these programs. Lastly, I would like to thank everyone who looked at my first blog. Thank You!!!


  1. Hey MAZ! This is a well written blog with a strong opinion on whether the kids should watch TV. I do agree with you that kids start watching TV too early, and TV has become a main part of their life. I'm surprised by the fact that kids start to watch TV at 4 months old. Even before they learn to walk and eat by themselves. TV has taken over a large part of kids' time. Kids learn a lot of new things through the show on TV, but not all of these information is bad. For example, the Discovery Channel, I love watching the Discovery Channel when I was a child, and I still watch it right now. It's a great way for kids to expand their knowledge of everything on the world. I also think that they can practice self-control by managing their own time of watching TV. In my opinion. I don't think that TV is doing more harm than good to the kids. The information they learn from TV can shape their way of thinking, so as long as the parents are aware of what shows their kids are watching, TV would not be a bad thing for kids.

    1. Hey Mona! You do make a strong point about how the Discovery Channel expands their knowledge and trust me I am not against that. As long as they are watching TV for an appropriate time then I do not see any harm. However would agree that if a child is sitting and watching the Discovery Channel for more than three hours a day, is that still ok? Also I believe that they can use books and go out exploring themselves to learn more things. Don't get me wrong the Discovery Channel is great and so are the other educational channels. The only thing that is concerning is the amount of time, which can affect the child's physical health. Thank you so much again!

  2. Hi Maz! I found your arguments on TV very persuasive--particularly your ending stat about the average age of children (babies, actually) who start watching television. That stat is so startling, that I wanted to look at your source to verify it. Dr. Christakis does, indeed state that his research supported the 4 month idea. Dr. Christakis, in a TED talk, explains more about why this is so scary. At the younger ages, the brain is very vulnerable to over-stimulation and this has a strong correlation with attention problems. The worst programming--the violent or hyperactive types of programming have the most impact on attention problems later in life. However, some educational TV does not seem to have the same negatives and may even help with cognitive development. Do you think there should be some regulation of content and a return to the time you mention in the beginning of your post when certain hours of programming are controlled and more committed to educational shows? Thank you for writing on this topic!--Ms. Riches

    1. Thank you Ms. Riches for taking a look at my blog! Thank you for giving me more insight on the topic. I do also agree that educational shows to have a lot of positives, its the amount of time that is concerning. I think that there should not be a regulation on content because I can't forget that there are adults that are out there and they are free to watch whatever they want. I think that they don't need a time, I think that there should be a whole entire channel. I know there are some but they don't run for the whole 24 hrs. Some people may ask what a child would be doing watching television at 2 in the morning but there are always those situations when a child is sick and can't sleep and its 2 in the morning. I would also like to think that they would put good commercials on the channel too. Thanks for looking at my blog again!

  3. Hello MAZ, Thank you for your blog, it was very interesting and you are absolutely right! Children these days are spending far too much time watching TV rather than being outside or interacting with their family. I already knew that children were watching too much TV at a young age, but what I didn't know were the actual numbers. When you wrote kids spend 1,200 hours a year watching TV and only 900 hours a year in school, that shocked me. Despite the fact that I think kids watch too much television, I agree with you that certain channels can be helpful and educational such as the Discovery Channel. Now if the child spends his/her entire day watching these "good" channels, that isn't very healthy. However, watching a little bit of TV won't hurt. Do you feel that it is entirely the parents responsibility to monitor what their child watches and for how long? Or do you feel that the TV programs should filter what there are putting on the screen? Thanks for you blog it really got me thinking.

  4. Hi, MAZ! Your blog is very interesting! I like how you don't only concentrate on the negatives of children watching tv, but instead you show both sides of the argument. I think that children watching tv definitely does have some benefits. Since television these days is more diversified, I think that children can learn from tv on channels such as discovery channel, etc. You mentioned that there use to be a time specifically reserved for family that was all appropriate for children, and I'm sure that many people miss the time when that channel was available for families. But don't channels such as disney, etc. already provide that security of knowing that why your child is watching is appropriate? Thanks for sharing this wonderful information, Indika.

    1. Thanks for taking a look at my blog Indika! I agree with you that there are still good channels out there including the Disney and discover channel. Don't get me wrong you will once in a while see me watching Mythbusters or watching some nature show out of curiosity. There are great educational shows out there and I think that is the positive side of the television as long as parents monitor the time. I have a question for you. Remember when Barbie movies were rated G? Why do you now think that they are "Not Rated"? This comes to mind just because I saw on the Disney Channel a Barbie movie and I was like oh they shows those, I had no idea. Then I saw the rating and was a little shocked. Do you think it has something to do with generations? Thanks again for reading my blog!

  5. Thank you for addressing this issue, MAZ! This topic is very near and dear to my heart, as I was raised in a household without a television until I turned eight years old. I completely agree with you that children are watching TV too young, and I was shocked to see that the beginning age is now four months old. As you mentioned in your blog, the positives that these kids get from watching TV exist, but I think they can gain those later, and do not need role models at four months old. One alternative that I can think of for children to be exposed to courageous people and different cultures is books. As a child I never missed out on knowledge of the world because I couldn't watch TV, I simply heard stories from my parents or read about things in books. I think that our society has become so caught up in television and social media that they forget how people used to get their news through newspapers and their stories through books.

    1. Thank you for replying to my post. I'm glad that this topic was, I guess you could say personal to you. I agree with you that our society has become so caught up in television and social media and I just find it amazing how much it influences daily life styles. I like how you brought up books. I used to read tons of books, but sadly I don't read as much do to movies and television. It makes me feel unhappy since I really enjoyed books. I really didn't think about the past when writing this blog and I wish I did because you bring up newspapers which people don't use as much or even the newer generations might not know about. Thank you again, you brought up some very interesting ideas.

  6. Hey MAZ! Wow. Awesome topic! The numbers you provide in this blog scare me! More than half of kids would rather watch fictional things on a screen rather than to spend time with their own family???? That is scary! Also, how you said most commercials are for unhealthy snacks and the majority kids watch more hours of TV than they spend at school, could that possibly be part of the cause for obesity in the United States? Worldwide maybe, too? If it is, that says something about how advertising methods affect the way we think, don't you think? I know I steered a little off task, but I could not help but to wonder that as I was reading your blog. Great blog! Love it!

  7. Thanks for reading my blog Abby! Don't worry the statistics scared me too. I did some research and it does turn out that since we sit while watching TV it does contribute to the issue of obesity along with the advertisements that I mentioned. Also the connection of TV and obesity started over 25 years ago. To answer your question this issue is spread across all countries. I agree that advertising methods affect the way we think and in a way I see that as maybe even dangerous. I don't think you steered off task I enjoyed replying to your comment. Thanks again! If you would like to know where I got my information to reply to your comment the URL is here:


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