According to Mr. Norman S. Morris, a former CBS News producer and writer with a long and distinguished career in major network broadcasting, shows that children aged two to five watch televisions on an average of 28.4 hours a week and those between the ages of six and eleven average of 23.6 hours a week. Television has been playing an important role in children’s lives, and watching it has been a favorite activity for many of them. Some people said that viewing time has a negative impact on children. However, other people feel that the early educational television productions for children help them learn. Although televisions are informative and entertaining, they should be used with utmost limitations because they greatly affect the lives of children.
It is important to choose the right television programs for the age of the child. In this way a child can learn useful things. Educational shows can help a child develop his or her imagination. Studies show that kids who watch educational and non-violent children programs do better on reading and math tests than those who do not watch these programs. Some television shows can educate, inform and inspire. It can be more effective than books or audiotapes in teaching children about processes like how a plant grows or how to bake a cake.
Television has positive influences on children who watch it. Children are the base of tomorrow’s society. The way they develop depends on their surrounding and their way of living. If children watch good educational programs on television, they can learn many things easily. They can learn about places they have never been to, animals they have never seen and they could learn about new scientific discoveries. Documentaries seen in the television could create a picture of the world in children’s minds and cultural programs can show children the world of music and art. Television can be a medium for education. Educational programs can teach children new things, and even help them make new friends.
Television exposes children to negative influences and promotes negative behavior. Television programs and commercials usually show violence, alcohol, drug use and sex in a positive light. The mind of children is like a clay. It forms early impressions on what it sees, and these early impressions determine how he sees the world and affect his grown-up behavior. According to Dr. Leonard Eron, a psychology professor at Yale University, children who are more exposed to media violence behave more aggressively as kids and when they are older. They are taught by television that violence is the way to resolve conflict – as when a hero beats up a bad guy to subdue him. When children watch televisions, they don’t evaluate what they see; instead, they take it as reality. This greatly affects and destroys the healthy development of a child’s personality.
Television has a great influence on the self-image and health of people watching it, and mostly, we tend to imitate the things we have watched. For example, all the men shown in television have big muscles and are handsome, and all the women shown are very skinny and their faces look like a complete perfection. This certain advertisements caused many eating disorders especially teens that resulted to sickness such as bulimia, anorexia and self-mutilation that is well spread in the world. Further, a child that spends a lot of time watching television has a high probability of damaging his or her eyes and the ability to focus and pay attention. It also causes the spoiling of hearing due to shortage of auditory nerves. Even if the programs watched are not violent, but if they are watched in long hours, it may have a deep impact on the personality of the child watching it.
Viewing television can be good if it is done moderately. Televisions can give a child either good or bad impact. Although they are informative and entertaining, they should be used with utmost limitations because they greatly give different effects not just on children but also on adults. It may turn a child’s life into addiction that suppresses the beauty of his or her life or make a child open new portals of learning. What matters most is it depends on parents and adults to teach the children on how to manage the time watching television wisely.