10 Reasons for not to watch TV5 June, 2011, by Seema Bhatnagar
Nowadays, TV watching is a favourite time pass and people prefer to throw themselves in front of TV for hours and hours, just to get the feeling that they are being entertained. Average TV
watching time for kids and as well as for adults is increasing every year throughout the world.
TV is a great invention of early 19th century and since then it has changed the definition of entertainment in the world. For millions of people in the world, watching TV is the most favourite way of entertainment and has almost become a kind of addiction.
Personally, I am against watching TV, it is not that I never watched TV, I too was partially addicted to watching TV and wanted to catch up the latest of my favourite shows .Watching TV used to give me a satisfaction that I am in the swim with a latest twist in my favourite show/series and I can participate well in the discussion with friends and colleagues in school, college or office. I remember, sometimes when I did not have anything else to do, I would simply dump myself in front of TV and will do mindless channel surfing for hours. Quite late in time, I realized that watching TV is simply a wastage of time and less of recreation. For me the meaning of recreation has changed over a period of time and now I feel that TV does not come in the category of providing true recreation. True recreation comes from an activity which leaves you feeling fresh and confident rather than making you feel guilty of wasting time. I have realized now, that how many good books I could have read during the time which I wasted in watching TV and that time would have made me more knowledgeable and mature in a true sense. Well, sometimes, losing is learning, I am really happy about myself that finally I have at least realized it and could take right steps. It is never too late to start something good.
I would like to share 10 reasons for why I have stopped watching TV.
Blocks social networkingSpending more time in front of TV means, less verbal communication and also you are cut off from your friends, family for that particular duration of time. You are completely focused towards TV. This actually means you are not meeting your friends quiet often and talking much less with your family. Human beings are social animals and socializing is their basic need. TV watching has introduced a social networking deficit and now less people are going out and making friends or visiting neighbours. All this encourages the habit of insensitivity towards other's feelings and lack of strong bonds of with others. Children who watch more TV face difficulty while communicating with others and have poorly developed verbal skills.
Suppress creativityWhen was the last time you created something new from your skills, knowledge, and hobby and experienced an Aha moment? I guess, hardly, if you are a TV junkie. We all have some talents but due to lack of right environment and timely encouragement, our talents do not bloom and we accept ourselves as a person who is not creative. Do you really think spending your spare time (after office or after school) in front of TV will really make you think about doing something new and creative using your talent, hobby or interest? TV does not permit us to think and compel us to watch only what is shown. There is absolutely zero mental stimulation when one watches TV.
On the other side, observe yourself while you are reading, your mind actively participates and projects pictures, emotions, and tastes about the contents you are reading. There is a good level of mental stimulation when you are reading, but when you watch TV, your mind does not need to project expression, or images and there is nothing to imagine. Sitting in front of TV is the simplest thing to do and does not need much effort and that is the single most compelling reason to fall addicted to it.
Negative health effectsWho can deny the benefits of exercise and its health benefits over a period of time? Laziness and procrastination are the two common habits of TV junkies. Since they get more excitement from watching TV, exercising is last in the list and that results in a poor physical heath in young age. Mindless eating while watching TV leads to putting on extra pounds. No wonder, the number of obese and diabetic people is increasing at an astounding rate all over the world. Children under the age of 10 prefer to watch TV over playing outdoors which means no physical exercise and as a result they become obese at young age.
Offers Less choiceWhile watching TV, a person has minimal choice of selecting the contents of the channels and one is compelled to watch what is shown whether it is good or bad or whether it is suiting to personal taste or not. In fact, one adapts his/her taste according to TV. For example, let's say you want to read a book, you may select from different genre but this is not possible in case of watching TV, which means you are exercising minimal choice. If your favourite programme shows a personality whom you do not like but out of habit you will compel yourself to watch it to the end.
Time thiefTV is a perfect time thief. Try to recall what exactly happened in your favourite soap four or five episodes back. I am not sure if you could recall it, but the truth is, there is hardly anybody who exactly remembers details of the past episodes, one simply watches because it is a habit. Watching TV does not add any value to knowledge or memory, it will only add some new faces, some news, and some story lines, which you would forget over a period of time.Since our mind does not store information which we do not require and hence it will clean up the garbage to keep more important information readily available.
So, overall if you see, you have lost time and stored garbage information in mind for a long period. Would you call it a wise investment of time? Do you realize that big corporate, advertisers, broadcasters all are making money at your expense of time. Isn't it interesting? Please do not say, you are doing a charity of time.
Anxiety and StressI have seen people who would do anything to watch TV. Students who have to appear for crucial exams, people who have an important presentation to give will remain glued to TV simply compelled by habit or addiction. They would see even those programs which they would not see in normal days. They have a feeling that watching TV helps them to release stress and anxiety of approaching exam or any critical event. But they overlook its downside, in the name of releasing stress and anxiety it is more of escape route. Instead of getting relaxed they lose important time which actually adds to the existing anxiety. Going out for a 10 minute walk could have been a more refreshing option than keeping glued to TV.
Encourage false personalitiesThere is an interesting English saying, "money see monkey do" which makes us to think about children's behaviour. Children have impressionable minds, they do not attach any logic or rationality to what they are shown, they simply follow what they see. Since there is no parental control over the contents, they watch even those contents which are not suitable for their age or probably anything which can create some negative impression in their mind. This onsets early maturity and diminish innocence in children. Also, it leads to blind imitation in children and they end up becoming copy cats. It is not just children even young people or teenagers try to adapt themselves to the personalities or contents shown on the TV just to grab a share of attention and popularity in their circle. As a result they become false personalities having least idea about their own likes and dislikes.
Discourage personal growthOn getting more excitement and fun from TV watching, people pay least concern about personal growth and think watching TV is adding to their knowledge and growth. But the truth is that real personal growth comes when you interact with people, learn new things, read inspiring books, work on your creativity and maintain healthy life and work balance. All these factors contribute to personal growth. TV sucks the available time of waking hours and leaves people with no time to think about personal growth.
Reading books of eminent personalities inspires personal growth but with the growing popularity of TV, people have less time for books and reading habits among children and adults is almost becoming extinct.
Negative EmotionsMany TV shows encourage the idea of revenge, conspiracy and vindictiveness which leads to encouragement to negative emotions. People think it is fine to take revenge and be vindictive if situation demands. This has negative effect on the psyche of youths who blindly follows such ideas. This breeds increased violence, aggression and crime in society.
Noise PollutionIf anybody is studying or doing a task which demands concentration, it is really hard to concentrate with the noise in the background. Mind is constantly distracted with a noise in the background and one cannot concentrate on a task at hand. People or kids who watch lot of TV develop attention deficit syndrome and they face problem while concentrating on tasks. It is more harmful for kids as they face problems while learning at school.
Tips to overcome TV addictionDecide how many programs you love watching and what are telecast timings. If it is daily, try to skip one or two episodes in a week and see how much you missed from the story. At the time of telecast, when you start experiencing the urge of watching TV, try few simple below tips:-
- Go out for a walk.
- Prepare dinner/lunch.
- Play with and care your pet.
- Read a book.
- Arrange a party or make a phone call to your friends
- Plan your household chores
- Join some hobby class or learning class.
- Encourage a "NO TV DAY" once a week in your family.
- Involve your kids and play games with them.
The idea is to distract yourself from watching TV and giving yourself something else to enjoy. Overcoming any addiction is a hard task but slow and steady wins the race, it is your own motivation and determination towards utilizing your time more productively and for your personal growth will help you to overcome this addiction. If you are a parent then your children have more right on your time then TV, so do not deny them their rights and spend quality time with them. At the same time, do not encourage your kids to watch too much TV during vacations, instead help them by engaging them in some creative activities or may be in some sports but in no case allow TV to become your substitute.
At the same time I do not want to say that you must stop watching TV. Watching TV is good only to get the information which makes you more productive and helps you in your personal growth rather than driving you towards
becoming a false personality. TV can be good to watch live news from across the globe or direct telecast of some important event.
Anything in moderation will give a sense of control and it will not make one feel guilty of wasting time.
I want to drive home the idea of personal growth, if you feel TV watching is adding to your personal growth and helping you to become a wise being you may continue with whatever time you are spending watching TV but if it is leaving you with a sense of guilty and making you feel lethargic and procrastinator then it will make much more sense to question yourself "Am I a TV junkie?"