The Effects of Television Upon American Morality During the Past Twenty Years
The invention of the television, made by the collective work of inventors and engineers, has made a big impact on the lives of millions. However, this impact has not always been positive. Television’s potential to connect, educate, and inform is often over-shadowed by the lack of individual responsibility in using this modern day miracle, therefore causing its impact on society to appear negative (Hick, 1). Television has pushed the boundaries of societal values over the last twenty years, leading to the changes in norms and tolerance for different behaviors. It desensitizes humans to violence, sexual content, and crude or racist jokes. Television has given an unrealistic view on life. It has also affected the way people yearn to look by creating the idea of a “perfect” body image. Television has made a mold of society, leading to the end of individuality. Television’s harmful effect on the human brain has definitely played a part in the change of society’s morals. All of these things together are what lead to the way American society is today.
There are many studies about the effects of television on the brain. A study done by the American Academy of Pediatrics says that television viewing below age three can hurt several measures of cognitive development later in life. The same study also concluded that,
These early years are crucial in a child's development. The Academy is
concerned about the impact of television programming intended for children
younger than age two and how it could affect your child's development.
Pediatricians strongly oppose targeted programming, especially when it's
used to market toys, games, dolls, unhealthy food and other products to toddlers.
Not only does starting children off young affect their brain development, but also the amount of time they spend watching television does as well. On average, children ages 2-5 spend 32 hours a week in front of a television screen. Kids ages 6-11 spend around 28 hours a week watching television. Childhood television habits are a risk factor for many adult health problems.
One study looked at adults at age 26, and how much TV they had watched
as children. Researchers found that "17% of overweight, 15% of raised serum
cholesterol, 17% of smoking, and 15% of poor fitness can be attributed to
watching television for more than 2 hours a day during childhood and
adolescence." This was after controlling for confounding variables (Boyse, 1).
The more time a person spends watching television, the less critically they will be able to analyze information. An excessive amount of watching television can shorten a person’s attention span and also reduce concentration skills (Lovett, 1). Television causes the brain to enter into a hypnotic state within the...