THE PLAGUE OF TELEVISION
By Mwila Otieno
For most of you watching three, four, and even five hours of television a day is normal . It was a part of my daily routine and it wasn't easy for me to break.. We decided that we were not going to get cable and just tough it like the good old pioneers. This was partly because we couldn't afford it. So the family tuned out and switched off. It was nuts for a while but then I began to notice some changes taking place in my family and myself. I started to realize that television increased violence and aggression in my siblings and I, detracted from the way our family interacted and finally I noticed its adverse effects on all of our school scores. I plan to show that these adverse effects of television are reason that television should be moderated.
Now your probably saying that people are naturally violent, however, in the book Televisions Effects, a government study compiled by George Comstock , It states on page twenty five, that children who had viewed violent programming exhibited more aggressive behavior than children who had viewed a sports program. In the study they were able to tell which children would exhibit this behavior this shows a correlation between violent programming and violent behavior.
Even if a naturally violent nature is the root of the problem we also need to recognize that the television is making those naturally aggressive and violent children even more so. We need to realize that these people have a hard time distinguishing between right and wrong. We need to help correct this problem by total abstinence to television. In the book The Plug-In Drug by Marie Winn, a book about the ill effects of television on the different aspects of human life, it states "It is particularly hard for parents to buy the Idea that television instigates aggressive behavior when its function in the home is so different, television keeps children quiet and passive, cuts down on loud and boisterous play, prevents outbursts between brothers and sisters." The sad fact of the matter is, parents sometimes have to work and are not able to spend nebulous amounts of time with their children. We need to stop allowing our children to be exposed to the violent distortion of reality that TV projects, Our children should be out playing sports or just romping around in the backyard. Activities that are proven to wear kids out and don't bombard them with all kinds of extremely violent stimuli. By destroying TV we can increase productive family time. Stop desensitizing our children to violence and begin to reteach our children good manners and good morals simply by our example. In a story by Ray Bradbury called The Veldt, we see the extreme end of this TV addiction when the existence of the children's parents is of less importance than continued access to the TV room.
Now you're probably thinking to yourself, how am I supposed to live without television. It's the peacemaker in our home. When it's on the children stay out of my hair and they stop fighting with each other. Anyway it's the only time that the family really gets together. It really helps our family get along. You see not only have we replaced the parent with TV we have replaced the good old-fashioned family as well. I think the effects of television on the family and person are best stated in a quote by Urie Brofenbrenner "Like the sorcerer of old the television set casts its magic spell , freezing speech and action, turning the living into silent statues so long as the enchantment lasts. The primary danger of the television screen lies not so much in the behavior it produces - although there is danger there - as in the behavior that it prevents: the talks, the games, the family festivities and arguments through which much of a child's learning takes place and trough which his character is formed. Turning on the television set can turn off the process that transforms children into people." We neglect our...
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