The amount of television a person watches and what it does to the brain has been a controversial issue for some time now, especially when it comes to young minds. Although there are many educational TV programs offered, a lot of the television shows that younger generations are tuning into are completely non-educational. Listed below are types of televisions programs and what they have or don’t have to offer.
Some people claim that you loose brain cells sitting in front of a TV too long; this seems to be the case with many reality television series such as Oxygen’s “The Bad Girls Club” or MTV’s “The Jersey Shore.” Honestly, what can someone learn from watching 7, twenty-something year olds go to the gym, tan and do laundry everyday? However, when it comes to reality TV, there are a few lessons that these silly shows have to offer. Although sometimes the shows can be extremely over dramatic, they also illustrate experiences that kids aren’t taught to handle in school or at home; things that kids are too shy or scared to talk to their parents about. For example, how to deal with drama, bullies, or even a surprise acne breakout are all captured in a multitude of reality TV episodes.
Right under reality TV series are programs like, “The Secret Life of an American Teenager.” This show is based on a high school girl who ends up being pregnant. The show goes on and on about practicing safe sex and communication between parents and children. Even though this program is aimed at a certain age group, the show is still informative and it portrays what can happen by not practicing safe sex. The intentions of the series, I think, are good but it is understandable as to why many parents wouldn’t want their kids watching it.
What is most important to realize, is that minds of the young are most affected and manipulated by many ridiculous and pointless television shows. This comes down to what parents allow their children and teenagers to watch. For example, the amount of violence and nudity on television has increased and according to the University of Michigan Health Center, before a person turns 18 he or she will have seen an average of 200,000 acts of violence and 16,000 murders, solely from watching TV. Crazy, right? TV stations such as, HBO or USA provide programs, like “The Sopranos” and “Law and Order,” that contain extreme acts of violence, hatred, and sex, all of which are inappropriate for many of the age groups watching them. Experts say that television shows, such as the ones listed above, are the cause for violence in many young teens.
Now, obviously when you spend too much time in front of the TV, you are wasting valuable time that could be spent interacting with and learning from others. It decreases the amount of reading that children and people of all ages participate in, which in turn takes away from the vast imaginations that many people posses. Some experts say that early childhood viewing of television has had an impact on development. For example, attention problems related to Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, more commonly known as ADHD, have been suspected to be caused by early TV viewing. As drastic as that may sound, not all television is bad. Television stations such as Nick Jr. and Disney Junior provide early childhood learning TV shows like, “Dora the Explorer” and “Little Einsteins.” Shows like this are informative and can help with development and can eventually help with reading.
On the same end of the spectrum are the highly informative and educational stations. This category includes the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, National Geographic, and many more. High school teachers, as well as college professors, use and refer to certain television programs that pertain to topics taught in all different levels of education. So, obviously, if these stations are being used to educate the minds of our nation they can’t be that bad.
The main point here is that television has its pros and cons. It is all a matter of what is being watched and by whom. A lot of that has to do with what parents are letting their children watch and what we, as adults, are watching in our spare time. Use the TV for good purposes, although you may be watching an educational show, chances are the show will be interesting and chances are you will tune into the same show the next week.
Author Bio: Alyssa Jacobs is the author of this article. She is currently writing for www.acnecentre.com, a website the specializes in acne, as well as acne treatments.
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