TV makes you stupid. It rots your brain. It exemplifies bad behaviors. It destroys your memory. It makes you easily distracted. It doesn't challenge you. It doesn't allow you to practice communication. It exhausts your eyes. It makes sleeping harder. It wastes time. It's addicting. It takes over your life. Care for me to continue? These are just the few reasons I can rattle off the top of my head why TV is bad for you. They're not revolutionary discoveries. Everyone can enumerate at least a few negative effects of TV. So why does the average American still watch 151 hours of TV a month?
According to a survey conducted in an average eighth grade classroom, here’s why:
1. You need to calm someone down, maybe even yourself. TV is an extremely effective pacifier and makes you forget about all the problems in your life. Reminds me of submission to alcohol and sedatives. There is even an article in the 2002 edition of Scientific American called, “Television Addiction is No Mere Metaphor.” In fact, Newsweek has reported that, “Faced with severe overcrowding and limited budgets for rehabilitation and counseling, more and more prison officials are using TV to keep inmates quiet.” Joe Corpier, a convicted murderer, has described the prison, “If there’s a good movie, it’s usually pretty quiet through the whole institution.” Total control over your every action while you watch it? Check. Whatever, because we can bid farewell to stress! Until you turn off the TV, and realize you haven’t fixed a single problem.
2. Entertainment. “TV is meant for entertainment so if people decide to watch TV and kill their brain that's their option,” claimed TWO typical eighth graders, like watching it eight hours a week themselves isn’t going to kill their own brain. That’s what everyone thinks. Actually, it happens to EVERYONE. It’s no coincidence that one of these two eighth graders only cares about his grades due to his parents, refers to TV content all the time, and stopped reading in elementary school.
3. Interesting plots, storylines, and content. In 2014, Bryan Gibson led the Central Michigan University in a study that proved the content of relational aggression, such as the bullying, exclusion, and manipulation in Jersey Shore or Real Housewives, can leave the viewers more aggressive than violent crime shows such as CSI. Naturally, 8th graders at Irving A. Robbins Middle School who watched more TV referred to TV jokes and content more often. You might think the people on TV are overly dramatic and stupid, but ultimately, that’s what you’re becoming.
4. You LOVE the actors/actresses, but they don’t care at all. A depressing third of the surveyed class love them. Most set horrible examples and don’t directly do anything to benefit the world. Singing at conventions is for profit. Donating a miniscule percentage of their unnecessarily large salary to a charity is to garner public approval. Anything more, and it might damage their worthless artificial selves.
5. You have nothing better to do with your life (“free” invaluable time). “When you are spending time in front of the television, you are not doing other things,” simply stated by Robert Keeshan, a children’s TV show actor. I’m sorry you don’t feel an urge to help someone, learn something useful, or be a valuable global citizen. It truly sucks to resort to a light-up screen to reduce your boredom. Let me be the last person to tell you that there are many other things you could be doing to help YOUR world. As a matter of fact, if you’re too lazy to do any of the above activities, GO READ. A study conducted by the Annie E. Casey Foundation revealed that 67% of US teenagers are reading below grade level. The Huffington Post concluded that the average reading level of the top 40 favorite high school books is fifth grade! Reading is also a stress-relieving activity while automatically increasing your intellect as well. Win-win!
In just 1950, with TV as a revolutionary new technology, Boston University's President Dr. Daniel L. Marsh used common sense (not clairvoyant powers) to hypothesize that “if the [television] craze continues with the present level of programs, we are destined to have a nation of morons.” I admit, I watch the occasional SNL, however, TV should not be a regular activity to devote your life to. Instead, I read, learn, interact with others, exercise, and do so much more than watching TV. You know TV is bad for you; why do YOU still watch it?