TV: The silent killer

Linnea Howard, staff writer

Imagine plopping down onto the couch and flicking on the TV. Before you know it three hours have passed and so have two bags of chips, a candy bar and a half bag of popcorn. All of a sudden your mom storms in and asks why your homework isn’t done. Most people see television as a harmless form of entertainment, but what they don’t know is that TV is a silent killer. Almost everyone grows up watching TV and as they get older they don’t know any better but to continue this routine. Children watch cartoons while their parents do chores, teens watch it while hanging out with friends, and adults watch it to get a break from their work. Despite the fact that TV inspires and educates, it is more harmful than helpful because of valuable time wasted, detrimental health issues and promoted negative influences.

Granted, television is a phenomenal educational tool. Everyone has learned from watching TV in his or her life. Furthermore, teachers use educational programs to enhance their lesson plans. Television broadcasts breaking news such as war and natural disasters that affect many people and their families. In addition, everyone knows that “television is an inescapable part of modern culture. We depend on TV for entertainment, news, education, culture, weather, sports, and even music, since the advent of music videos.” This emphasizes the importance of tv in teen’s, children’s, and adult’s lives. Television catches the viewer’s attention and visually displays the joys and problems in the modern world. As a result, a television can be a great learning tool, as well as an inspirational device.

Nevertheless, screen time wastes far too much valuable time, that should be used productively. A majority of teens flop onto the couch, pick up the remote, and flip on Netflix in the middle of the weekend. There is never a shortage of things to do other than stare at a screen with a bag of chips in hand. While watching one or two shows is entertaining and fun, too many shows is mind numbing. “Your brain is not functioning and then it becomes an addiction. You just sit there like a couch potato and watch some stupid show all day or night.” Non-educational television continues to hook the viewer, luring them in to continue watching. Soon, the viewer has decided not to hang out with their friends or go to the beach, and to finish their favorite show instead. TV maybe entertaining and funny, but why stare at a screen when you could be having fun with your bffs or playing your favorite sport? Too much TV time is too much wasted time.

Watching television too much creates numerous health issues, such as obesity and eye problems. Most children have heard their mother say, “too much television is bad for your eyes,” and then pushed her “fib” aside. Still, focusing your eyes on a bright screen, or any one thing for a long period of time can cause a temporary, yet disturbing problem known as eyestrain. Obesity is also a problem caused by too much tube time. “Since your body is just is sitting there and not being mobile, you gain some serious weight! Plus, what do most people do when they’re watching TV? They eat at the same time!” Who hasn’t snacked on chips, popcorn, and candy while watching TV? In addition to laying around watching tv and being inactive throughout the day, eating junk food while watching TV is also a leading cause of child obesity. Therefore, while a small amount of TV with a sweet snack may seem harmless, it can become an addiction and lead to eye strain as well as obesity.

Excessive TV watching exposes teens to inappropriate images that cannot be erased from the mind. Everyone has seen a young and beautiful teenager smoking on TV. Most have seen a popular student bullying another child. This delivers the message that these are good things that will get you further in life, when really the opposite is true. Scarily, “the average American child will witness 200,000 violent acts on television by age 18.” Children and teens that see so much violence on the screen are more likely to be aggressive themselves or fear that something bad will happen to them in a world of such violence. A fair amount of violence that kids see on television comes from the superheroes that teach them that it is alright to kick, punch, and shove if you are the good guy. To sum it up, inappropriate images imprint on children’s minds and affect how they act and what they find positive.

TV wastes valuable time that should be used beneficially. It can affect your eyes and it is often responsible for weight gain. Improper video is shown to missguide children and teens alike. In the end, one must ask themselves, is it really worth it? Television has its benefits, but the disadvantages outweigh anything positive. Television is really a silent killer.