Television Effects


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As a child I was completely obsessed with Barney. I am not exaggerating when I say nothing made me happier. My mother often says that she believes I loved that big purple dinosaur more than I loved her. I watched the show and movies as often as possible. Like any other 90's kid, I also loved all of the Disney movies like Snow White, Lion King, and Cinderella. My roommate still watches her favorite children's movies all the time, and we were discussing how for the most part, we believed Disney movies taught us good morals and our TV watching as children wasn't excessive or harmful. This made me want to do more research on how TV effects on small children today.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, two thirds of infants and toddlers watch television for an average of two hours a day. Pediatricians recommend that children under the age of two shouldn't be watching television at all. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine published a study show that watching TV before the age of three could have negative effects on children's' cognitive development. The study also shows that television watching could improve short term memory in children.

It seems that there is a significant about of shows on television aimed for children that have no educational or moral purposes to them, they are simply for entertainment.  While there are educational shows like Baby Einstein and Dora the Explorer, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's healthy for children to watch these shows. Planting your kid on the couch could cause inactivity and antisocial behavior.  Studies suggest that children who watch a lot of television are more likely to have poor academic performance, health problems and violent behavior. Contrary to the previous study I mentioned, I found another study that suggested babies who live in homes with a lot of television watching are likely to grow up with attention deficit symptoms.

There are many concerns about the effects on children's morals. Correlations between television and lack of morals in children have been found, like violence after watching television shows like Power Rangers. I am more curious about actions in children's television shows and movies that aren't so direct. For example, looking back, I now see Beauty was most definitely in an abusive relationship with Beast, but he bought her a library and then became attractive so it's all okay, right? What does this teach children? Spongebob is known to have some controversial topics, not to mention the characters live in the town "Bikini Bottom." Do you think shows and movies of today have different moral values than those of the past? Do you think they are effecting children's morals?  How do you think you were affected by television and movies as a child?


Works Cited: 

How TV affects your child . (n.d.). In Kids Health. Retrieved December 6, 2012

Jusoff, K., & Sahimi, N. N. (2009, August 6). Television and Media Literacy in Young Children: Issues and Effects in Early Childhood. International Education Studies, 2(3), 151-157. Retrieved December 6, 2012

TV has negative impact on very young children's learning abilities. (2005, July 6). In Medical News Today . Retrieved December 6, 2012

Wilson, B. J. (2008). Media and Children's Aggression, Fear, and Altruism. In The Future of Children. Retrieved December 6, 2012

http://cdn4.blogs.babble.com/strollerderby/files/2010/10/TV.jpg

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7 Comments

Emily, I completely agree that children should be watching less TV. I remember as a child that I loved Disney movies, but I also loved going outside and playing, and I think with the new technology age, children are losing that spirit. It was interesting how you pointed out the plot of Beauty and the Beast and how it is seemingly an abusive relationship. Those were literally my thoughts exactly. Since there is a question up in the air about what TV is really teaching children, I was wondering if you had ever seen/heard of the subliminal messages that Disney puts in their movies? I didn't believe it until I saw them in a presentation and there were some very blatant sexual undertones. I was wondering what you thought of that, and if you think they have an affect on young children, seeing as we didn't notice them when we were younger?

If you're talking about TV in general, then no it isn't good in excess for kids. The study you mention says TV has negative affects on cognitive ability but that it improves memory. So its basically saying there are pros and cons which then basically just leaves it up to the person reading to decide which side is better. When you get to the discussion of morals in TV, I'd definitely argue that a lot of it is either overreaction or outright delusion on the part of the parents. Lets face it. A huge percentage of people are not cut out for parenting, even if their intentions are good. There was that episode of spongebob where he and patrick raised a baby clam and evangelicals were outraged because it was teaching their kids...what? That gay people are people too? The people who attack kids shows are so far up their own asses in self-righteousness. You look at people who are "concerned" about today's kid shows and they are overwhelmingly far right religious groups. You also need to word your post more carefully. In the last paragraph, being more prone to violence isn't the same as being less moral. Jimmy Savile was a pretty mellow guy and even had a kids show on BBC and the parents liked him. Look at how morally incorruptible he turned out to be. Lewis Black goes completely nuts in his routines that I'm surprised he isn't foaming at the mouth. George Carlin insulted just about every group of people you can name. But nobody is really of the opinion that either those guys are bad people, even if they disagree with the things they say. You would also then have to prove that the violence is not being caused by some 3rd variable. For example, TV offers a lot of people an escape from reality- maybe the kid gets picked at school or has an abusive parent-those things could make the kid more violent and would show the cartoon watching as being unrelated. It also depends on how seriously parents take those TV ratings like Y7 and TV14. Most parents seem to let their kids watch whatever they want so you can't blame the cartoon if it is reaching people who aren't a part of the audience it is intended for. I can see how watching family guy would make a 5 year old more violent, but I wouldn't let one watch it to begin with.

I am a die hard television lover. I love being able to escape into another world for a little while. Growing up, I would watch hours of TV a day. At night, from 8-10pm, my whole family would watch TV together. I honestly believe that it brought us closer together as a family by uniting us behind a pop cultural front. As I can really only speak for myself, I could only help and compare what you talked about with my own personal experience. As someone who has consistently watched a lot of TV, I can't help but disagree with a lot of what you brought up. Growing up, I've never had attention issues (I can sit down and read an entire book in one sitting), I've always had god grades (graduated with a 4.1 in High School), and I've always been very active (did track and cheerleading all through middle and high school, as well as basketball and soccer in elementary school). I think that a lot of these correlations between television and grades and television and physical inactivity are because of a third variable- parental inattention. A lot of times when kids spend an extended period of time watching television at home, it's because their parents are never home and don;t pay proper attention to them. If children have parents who teach them to keep active and watch heir grades and instill a belief in them that academics and sports are important, then the correlation wouldn't exist. Here is a good article about whether or not television watching is becoming a problem for a child. I love television and I think that people should watch television, in fact, I'm watching it right now!

I am a die hard television lover. I love being able to escape into another world for a little while. Growing up, I would watch hours of TV a day. At night, from 8-10pm, my whole family would watch TV together. I honestly believe that it brought us closer together as a family by uniting us behind a pop cultural front. As I can really only speak for myself, I could only help and compare what you talked about with my own personal experience. As someone who has consistently watched a lot of TV, I can't help but disagree with a lot of what you brought up. Growing up, I've never had attention issues (I can sit down and read an entire book in one sitting), I've always had god grades (graduated with a 4.1 in High School), and I've always been very active (did track and cheerleading all through middle and high school, as well as basketball and soccer in elementary school). I think that a lot of these correlations between television and grades and television and physical inactivity are because of a third variable- parental inattention. A lot of times when kids spend an extended period of time watching television at home, it's because their parents are never home and don;t pay proper attention to them. If children have parents who teach them to keep active and watch heir grades and instill a belief in them that academics and sports are important, then the correlation wouldn't exist. Here is a good article about whether or not television watching is becoming a problem for a child. I love television and I think that people should watch television, in fact, I'm watching it right now!

Although I'm not as well versed on the popular cartoon shows of this decade but I do know that they're moral values aren't really different from the one's we 90's babies grew up with. Kids shows are often made to be interactive and help stimulate the brain, while some are just for pure entertainment. Some parents just plant their children in front of a tv for hours on end in hopes of getting them out of their way. In the process, they put on television shows that may not be beneficial for the child psychologically and educationally. I don't think that television for a child is a bad thing. As long as the parent is monitoring what the child is watching and making sure that they are not spending too much time in front of a tv the child should be okay.

I too watched probably way too much television as a kid. I remember times when i would get caught up in shows and end up having time fly by. I would also get up with a little bit of a head ache caused because i would spend the whole day watching television. I think that it definitely affects children's' morals and thoughts about different things.
I look at some of the shows that kids could possibly watch now like Robot Chicken or another one of those violent shows and I look back at some of the shows that we had as i was growing up like bugs buddy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bugs_Bunny), or chips. It kind of makes me sad and wish that kids were able to really enjoy those still not some of the animated stupid shows that give the kids bad morals

This was an interesting article, and I agree that watching less television is better for children and better for adults as well. While growing up, my friends were always allowed to watch as much television as they pleased, but my parents always put restrictions on me. I was only allowed to watch half an hour of television a day, and then after I started attending elementary school, I was allowed to watch television for an hour on the weekends.
I have witnessed the consequences of watching too much television at first hand. When I volunteered at a small elementary school isolated in the mountains. The children there used the most vulgar language. I later learned they swore and fought so much because that's what the people on television taught them. Since all the children attended boarding school, they had no proper parenting, so what people did on television (because the actors and actresses are a lot older than they are) was right. A study showed that by the age of three children will imitate what they see on television 95 percent of the time.

Also, the things they teach on "educational" television shows can also be taught by parents themselves, and it'd be more helpful because children get to actually interact with actual human beings as opposed to technology. I think this is what is wrong with technology today. In our generation, it was just television that we learned off of. Nowadays, we have iPhones, iPads, Kindles, technology is obviously altering how we learn today. I guess only time will tell if this is having an actual positive or negative effect on society.

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