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Television And Our Children Essay

1770 words - 7 pages

How much does TV influence our children? Is it an evil force that undermines family values? Does it promote indiscretion and total disregard of ethics?Many people tend to enjoy relaxing after a rigorous day by observing the television. Sports, movies and documentaries provide a temporary escape from reality. However while adults are usually able to distinguish between fact and fiction the greater number of young children is not.With the slackening of censorship, parents are beginning to show more concern for the development of their children. Sex, violence and bad language are accessible to even the most vulnerable of minds.Added to that, some of the programs televised for children not only threaten to destroy their innocence, but also jeopardize their creative thinking skills.Anyone, who has seen a gaping, glassy-eyed child transfixed to the screen, entranced and totally oblivious to reality, has to question the motivational capacity of the medium. In front of this miniature stage, there is absolutely no demand for interaction whether physical or intellectual. No expectation of response is placed on the child, the entire process s passive. The child need not even exert his neck or eye muscles in order to follow the movement on the box. Ultimately, the inertia must have a serious effect on the child's intellectual abilities. Furthermore, a child absorbed in television is isolated, so the personal element is also eliminated.The physical ramifications of spending one's childhood years glued to the set are obvious. Eye muscles become significantly weaker. The fact that more and more young children wear glasses these days perhaps bears testimony to the 'television worship' phenomenon. In addition, the mechanism itself - with its hypnotic fluttering of colored spots on vibrating lines that compose the screen's picture has a proven damaging effect on the brain. In severe cases, it has been accused of triggering epileptic seizures in children.Experts conclude that the natural strength of the 'television generation' child is also diminished considerably. As muscles are not constantly exercised, they invariably develop at a slower rate. The effects that have been associated with television fixation (the comatose stare; the stunted development of muscles; the seizures; and the insinuation that television can alter behavior) eerily parallel the symptoms of drug abusers. It is due to there harmful side effects that television has been given the disparaging nickname: 'the plug-in-drug'.Some Western schools like the Michael Mount Waldorf School in Bryanston encourages a 'no television policy amongst parents of children below the age of twelve. Specialists in remedial teaching are completely committed to this stance: "Children develop through imitation, and the material that they imitate needs to be worthy of that imitation A child under the age six is still in the process of being 'ripened' by formative life forces. From the start, the child has no...

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