Last week in my English 101 class we had to write an essay around some form of image, cartoon or art. In our home we are very strict on what our boys can and cannot watch as they only watch educational or documentary shows. Then, on top of that they are only allowed to watch so much throughout the week.
I have had many conversations with people who don’t quite understand why we would do such a thing to our children. Thinking that they are missing out on so much of the mainstream norm. However, anyone who knows my boys can see they aren’t missing out on a thing.
They are lively, imaginative, smart, as any parent knows one could go on and on about how wonderful their children are. So it is from this point of view that I chose this cartoon and wrote the following essay (which I was very excited to get a B+ on):
The Effect of Television on Today’s Society
Let’s take a look at the above cartoon, a very common saying is, “The bigger the better.” Seeing the difference from the 1990 side and the 2008 side of the cartoon drawn by an unknown artist, one can see that is not the case. (T, E, & K, 13) TV’s negative impact on America’s health is only one factor in a large equation, has changed American life style, offering an escape from unwanted reality, given an excuse to not be physically active, and promotes bad eating habits causing more caloric input and less output.
Philo T. Farnsworth, one of the main creators of the television. He was the first to create a TV prototype in 1938. He teamed up with Philco in Philadelphia where his invention was able to go into production. Throughout his life, Farnsworth was plagued with legal issues mainly from RCA, who had originally tried to hire Farnsworth claimed his product was in violation of a patent by Vladimir Zworkyin, who was now an RCA employee. (Bio. A&E Television Networks, 2014) Amazing enough, Zworkyin was later quoted, stating, “I hate what they’ve done to my child…I would never let my own children watch it.” (Bellis, 2014)
Why would Zworkyin be upset with what they had done to his, “child?” He did not approve of the wasted time of useless entertainment. He felt nothing good would come of it. He never allowed a TV in his home for family pleasure viewing. He set this standard in his home at a time of Lassie and Leave it to Beaver, one could only imagine the horror he would experience if he could see what his “child” brings into the homes of America today.
If television content is so horrible, then why is it in, just about, every home? Some homes with three or more TVs; some with a TV in every room. The number one ranking theme in TV popularity is drama (C.S.I, Deadliest Catch, Soap Operas), compared to these issues lives can seem calm and/or not as bad. Then for those whose lives are that bad, it is an escape into a land of make believe (The Last Ship, Under the Dome, True Blood). Then there are the “reality” shows (Big Brother, The Bachelorette, American Idol). People become so wrapped up in these shows that it begins to consume them, they make idols out of people who are just flesh and blood, no different from anyone else “…How I have been grieved by their adulterous hearts, which have turned away from me, and by their eyes, which have lusted after their idols. They will loathe themselves for the evil they have done and for all their detestable practices.” Eze 6:8-9 (NIV)
Since the beginning of TV there has been a drastic decline in physical activity and with that drastic inclines in obesity. Below is a chart done in 1959 by Miligent L. Hathaway, a specialist in the Human Nutrition Research Division, in the Agricultural Research Service. In 2014 the average woman of 64” weighs 166 pounds (Cloe, 2014) compared to the 1959 average 64” woman weighing in the high range only 132 pounds.
One can see the effects of TV on the family. Family nights, that were a time of fun, board game and maybe hide-and-go-seek, have been replaced with movie night. The developing minds of America’s children not being challenged in the home as they once were, the physical activity of going outside to play seems almost to have ceased. They are now fed commercials of candy, chips and soda, as they sit, almost motionless, in front of the TV. “TV linked to poor snacking habits, cardiovascular risk in middle schoolers” (AAAS and EurekAlert, 2014) Families’ communicate with movie quotes and reenact what they have watched, instead of using their imagination and coming up with their own play and games.
The lack of imagination, exorcise and creativity there has been a huge spike in developmental issues. “Watching TV affects kids’ eating habits beyond screen time” (Broder, 2012) In the spring of 2012 so many children were diagnosed with ADHD that pharmacies were running out of ADHD medication, because the demand outweighed the supply. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency had to re assess the situation and raised the quota for ADHD medications. (Novotney, 2014) “Television (TV) viewing is known to affect children’s verbal abilities and other physical, cognitive, and emotional development in psychological studies.” (The Author, 2013)
In conclusion with all facts taken into account, our children need to be given back their childhood. Turn off the TV, get out the board games, spill Legos all over the floor and build a tower, go outside and play a game of tag. Get the idols of television out of your homes and help your children replace that with the love and worship of Jesus. If we don’t put the tings of God into our children’s hearts, the world will have no problem filling their hearts with the thing of this world.
I. Works Cited
AAAS and EurekAlert. (2014, March 28). EurekAlert. Retrieved from American College of Cardiology: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-03/acoc-tlt032714.php
Bellis, M. (2014). Vladimir Zworykin 1889-1982. Retrieved from About.com: http://inventors.about.com/od/xzstartinventors/a/Zworykin.htm
Bio. A&E Television Networks. (2014). Philo T. Farnsworth Biography. Retrieved from Biography: http://www.biography.com/people/philo-t-farnsworth-40273#later-life
Broder, J. (2012, 5 17). Watching TV affects kids’ eating habits beyond screen time. Retrieved from Chicago Tribune: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-05-17/news/ct-x-tv-and-chid-health-0516-20120516_1_snacking-television-tv
Cloe, A. (2014, 02 10). Average American Woman’s Weight and Height. Retrieved from Live Strong: http://www.livestrong.com/article/357769-weight-height-for-the-average-american-woman/
HATHAWAY, M. L. (1959). Trends in Heights and Heights. Retrieved from The National Agricultrucal Library: http://naldc.nal.usda.gov/download/IND43861419/PDF
Novotney, A. (2014, 04). Is it really ADHD? Retrieved from American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/04/adhd.aspx
T, J., E, N., & K, K. (13, 1 23). OBESELEY OBSESSED WITH THE TUBE. Retrieved from the effects of technology on obesity: http://theeffectsoftechnologyonobesity.weebly.com/1/post/2013/01/obeseley-obsessed-with-the-tube.html
The Author. (2013). The Impact of Television Viewing on Brain Structures: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Analyses. Retrieved from Oxford Journals: http://cercor.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/11/18/cercor.bht315.abstract
I know this is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is ours and for our family it works out perfectly.