Curious to know the reasons why TV is bad and why you should absolutely stop watching it? Read the article to find out.
Television has been around for so long that we don’t even remember a time without it. It has become an inevitable part of our lives, although facing some competition from the world of internet and live streams.
As any relic, the TV has also lost its priority in a household, reducing to merely a source of background noise while you scroll down Instagram. And that is reality, everything has a depreciation period, not only in monetary worth but also in the attachment towards it.
Here, we shall see the reasons why TV is bad, even though other digital advancements have replaced it.
My childhood days were spent watching cartoons and advertisements on the TV (I was especially attracted to jingles, still am!). Today, kids are exposed to tablets and YouTube. Gone are the days when you had to remember when your favorite cartoon would be telecasted and have the remote control in your hand in advance.
The tension when you had to have your snacks and any chores were to be done before the ad break ended, and the show commenced. These are things that we do not experience in the era of Netflix and Amazon Prime. On that note, YouTube is doing absolute justice to the older generation by having compulsory ads that annoy us.
Along with any technological advancement comes many disadvantages as well. The TV was not spared from this scrutiny either. There are many reasons why TV is wrong for us. Here, we will list down and look into a few of the main reasons why TV is bad, and how it adversely affects the viewers.
11 Reasons Why TV Is Bad:
1) Promoting Gender Stereotypes
When talking about the reasons why TV is bad, obesity, violent behavior, and obscene and sexual content usually top the list. However, in today’s world, gender-stereotyped roles are a growing concern. Gender stereotypes have been forced upon us ever since we can remember. What we need to realize is that no job, no action, is limited by your gender.
Televisions and other devices of mass communication shape our mindset today. They have a significant role in influencing the way we think; therefore, some thoughts are unknowingly embedded in our minds since childhood, which turns out to be toxic when we grow up.
For example, a wife performing all the household chores, without a moment’s rest throughout the day, when this comes up in a movie or TV show, is seldom questioned. Because this seems to be ordinary. Why? Because of the toxic gender stereotypes that have been forced upon us. Children grow up viewing such content and do not question it, thereby feeling that this is the norm.
There are many such stereotypes today, especially in the job markets, and we need to teach our kids that it is not so, that they can become whatever they want if they have the necessary skills and
2) Obesity And Tendency To Go Overweight
This is one of the main reasons that come up when we look into the reasons why TV is bad. This is because we tend to spend a lot of time sitting, without any physical activity, while watching TV. Along with this, we snack on junk foods and soft drinks.
The mere stationary lifestyle and addition of calories without any physical exertion leads to obesity and unhealthy weight gain.
3) Speech Errors/ Stunted Speech Development in Kids
Kids who spend more time watching TV, especially toddlers, tend to stare at the television for hours, without any other interaction. This leads to weaker speech abilities and language development, which will later need to be developed through speech therapy sessions.
This does not eliminate the problem, it only alleviates it, and the speech may remain illegible to an extent.
Stunted speech development is another one of the main reasons why TV is bad for kids during their early development stages, among many others.
4) Introduces and Instills Violence
Television is one of the main ways through which we see the world. Any other sort of electronic device comes in much later. Therefore, the type of programs we view on the TV also shapes our mindset to an extent.
Today, there are higher incidences of violence and more violent sequences and scenes in movies and TV shows. On extended viewing, this might develop a feeling that violence is routine, that it is acceptable. We can’t control what is broadcasted, but it in our control to decide what the next generation views. Therefore, this must be managed as per requirement.
The problem of violence is also prominent among teenagers, where they are exposed to violent video games. When the time spent on such games is not ideally restricted, it might lead to violent behavior and affect mental health adversely in the future.
5) Often Glorifies Unhealthy Habits
Movies and shows regularly portray unhealthy practices such as smoking and drinking. Children watch their hero smoking a cigarette or gulping down a bottle of alcohol, followed by an action scene that blows their mind off. This automatically creates an impression that you need to smoke or drink to look cool.
The danger behind this is that we may not even realize this thought is being rooted in us. Therefore, this is another one of the reasons why TV is bad, for promoting and glorifying unhealthy habits.
Even if movies and shows depict such content as responsible guardians, it is our responsibility to clear the air for the younger ones and teach them about the adverse effects of such products from a young age itself.
6) Affects Your Sleep Time
After a tiring day, we tend to lounge around watching TV. One after the other, programs keep coming up, and we tend to forget the passage of time. Overviewing of the television might thus affect the time that we could have used to rejuvenate ourselves and correct our sleep cycle.
The irregular and erratic sleep cycles that we have today are due to the influence of one electronic device or the other. TV is one of the main ones among them, especially in the middle-aged group.
7) Increased Risk of Diabetes and Heart Disease
Researches show that an hour spent watching the television increases your risk of being diabetic by 3.4%. The sedentary lifestyle followed can also affect the heart adversely. This is one of the reasons why TV is terrible, as it affects our health in many different ways, which we don’t realize due to the lack of immediate results.
8) Lower Interaction with People – Increases Social Isolation
With increasing screen time, we tend to distance ourselves from other people, lowering our social interactions and interactive skills. This is because we spend time watching TV, not interacting with it. We receive the visual media, but there is no way we talk it out loud. This is the same reason why it stunts the language development of toddlers, along with stunted social growth.
The time we could have spent in a social setting, at a picnic or a hike, we spend watching TV gradually isolating ourselves from social interactions and friends.
9) Crumbling Family Systems
This is another reason that often does not make it to the top of the list. Health factors almost always precede family.
More time spent in front of the television also means lesser family time. This is one of the reasons why family systems are crumbling today due to a lack of communication. In earlier generations of joint families and no technology, there was excellent communication between everyone, fun-filled banters, story sessions with grandparents, etc.
Today, watching television with the family is considered normal, and it has replaced the regular family conversations. Along with the crumbling of joint families, we are also facing nuclear families where the parents do not have time for their kids and spend their free time watching television.
While it is a good practice to watch a movie or two with your loved ones, communication is vital. The absence of TV, or controlled viewing, might bring in more communication among family members and increase bonding.
10) Advertisements Rule Our Decisions
A lot of ideas are spread through television in the form of advertisements and other programs. This is another one of the reasons why TV is terrible. “How do advertisements affect our daily life?” you may ask. They act in a very toxic and subtle way, shaping our thoughts and implanting our minds that we never notice.
When we go shopping, our choice of brands and products are molded by what we think is better. How do we judge a product without having bought it before? Through advertisements. Merrier and convincing advertisements drill into us that their product is the best and that we should prefer it over others.
A direct result of this is choosing a well-known/ well-advertised brand.
This basis of selection also means that many locally built products go unnoticed, even though they might present higher quality. Thus, catchy advertisements become the criteria for our decisions instead of focusing on product specifications.
11) Unrealistic Expectations
The TV is a great way to pass the time while also staying updated on the world’s happenings. Series and movies are two of the most popular TV programs, along with reality shows. These are very addictive, and today, they have come to influence our thoughts and belief systems. Other than this, they create lots of illusions and false realities that we may never experience in our lives, leading to unfulfilled dreams and unrealistic expectations.
For example, a teleshopping advertisement might feature a belt that makes you sweat and reduce your tummy. This could easily be a scam because many people live in hot regions of the world, and if this is the case, they should not have body fat. But this not the case.
You are watching this advertisement might make you buy the product, with the convincing tone of the sellers and product reviews that they display. Another example is the unrealistic fights among family members in Indian television shows, the most common enemies being the mother in law and the new bride.
This is a cliché combination and has been the subject of numerous TV series. However, we cannot assume that the behavior of all mothers-in-law is the same. We also cannot believe that this is how everything happens in a household.
Now, a more sensitive issue is how unrealistic portrayal might affect the growing generation. Watching quarrels among family members in a program might cause the child to think that this is how it should be, which is not the case.
A teenager watching a body slimming ad might grow up being insecure about her body while looking for quick and easy ways to control weight and fat, which may be scams or dangerous for health.
If we start listing the reasons why TV is terrible, it might go on for quite a bit. Yes, TV does have its adverse effects, which affect us without our knowledge. We follow trends like sheep in a herd, blindly following, without any thought. This should not be the case. If we can list the reasons why TV is terrible, we can also look into correcting them.
Controlled viewing of the television, proper guidance, and making viewers understand that these are for a mere entertainment purpose, we can overcome this toxic cycle of detrimental effects of TV.
Apart from all these reasons why TV is terrible, television also has a right side. It still connects people to the rest of the world, especially in areas with no internet facilities, economically challenged people, and the aged folks who have not kept up with technology.
TV is still a source of inspiration for many people looking to chase their dreams by keeping up with the world. Today, a wide variety of educational content is also being shared via the television.
Every form of technology has its good and bad effects. It is up to us how we view it, as we decide how that device should affect our lives. We must learn to control our thoughts, and we need to be careful not to let technology rule our lives; instead, technology must only be a means of our personal development, under our control at all times.