Introduction Whether watching television is harmful or not has been a controversial issue for so long. However, it is safe to claim that excessive and uncontrolled watching of TV and unregulated media content can be detrimental to our lives. It may even be more disastrous to young children…
It is therefore the responsibility of the heads of the family to ensure that the family watches the media content responsibly. The television-watching behavior of the children should be monitored closely and potential problem dealt with early enough before it goes out of control. Otherwise, the family set up may be carried away by the wave of “cultural invasion.” It can be claimed that television is a double-edged sword. This is because it can expose people to unhealthy media content but it can provide useful material at the same time. Certainly, there are many tv programs that present information that is culturally and ideologically beneficial. Does TV Teach Violence? In 1996, the law was passed in U.S requiring TV sets in future to have V-Chips that would allow parents to block out any unhealthy program they do not want their children to watch. Research shows that some of TV program teach children violence and affect their physiological cognition mechanisms. In a given village in Canada, people did not have television sets until 1973. Currently, they number has doubled. For the first time the rate of aggression among first and second grade boys and girls has increased as compared to the time before television came. After two years of television in the village, the rate of violence increased by 160% (Hogue & Oshima, 1997). David R. Rosenberg, M.D claimed that children watch television nearly three hours every day, which sometimes includes two hours of violence. According to American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children older than age two should watch no more than one to two hours a day of quality programming, and children under age two should have no “screen time” (TV, DVDs or videotapes, computers, or video games) at all. He also cautions parents not to allow children under the age of two to watch TV. He claims, “It is a critical time for brain development. TV can get in the way of exploring, learning, and spending time interacting and playing with parents and others, which help young children, develop the skills they need to grow cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally.” Resenberg recommend parents to watch TV with their children to help them to not watch any violent acts, and turn off the TV at times, to spend time talking and playing with them instead. Besides violent media content, there are cartoons programs that may not be suitable for young children. These cartoon programs should also pay attention to the ideological and moral issues that they portray to the children. Some uncensored satellite TV, satellite channels, may broadcast unhealthy media content that may be of harm to the society. It is thus important for us to view and gauge materials on any media platform before we allow our children to watch. Otherwise, we risk exposing the children to violent, sexually explicit, and non-educative media content. Does Television Improve Our Quality of Life? According to a National survey (1998), the average American watches 3 hours and 46 minutes of television each day. That same survey states that 98% of U.S households have at least one television. Sixty six percent of Americans regularly watch TV while eating dinner, 49% of Americans say they watch too much TV, and average number of hours the TV sets is on during the day is7 hours and 12 minutes (Hintz, 2009). From the book “Introduction to Academic Writing,” there is an interview with Americans, which the issue of television watching was ...
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