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The effects of television on a

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The effects of television on a

Our generation has been raised in a technological advanced world and there has been definite controversy over many of these innovations that this new culture has brought. An innovation that has troubled the youth of America for many years is television. Although there is no certainty to eliminate this ?plug-in drug,? there are many ways to control and monitor your television as a parent.

Children between two and eleven years of age watch an average of 25 hours of television a week.(Children's Television) Which means that children spend more time watching television than in school. With that statistic it is no wonder why this is such a huge problem that this nation has to deal with.

There are many facts that show how children are effected by television. The most obvious is the effects that television has on the brain. ?Television interferes with the development of intelligence, thinking skill and imagination.?(LimiTv) A huge element of thinking is taking from what you already know and deciding how it applies in different situation. School makes you do this, but television does not. Michael and Sheila Cole, sociologist, say that ?Children socialized to learn from television had lower than normal expectations about the amount of mental effort required to learn from written texts, and tended to read less and perform relatively poorly in school.?(Development of Children 24) Which means that it takes very little effort to follow a television show and kids are raised on television believe that it takes less effort to learn from television rather than books because they have been 'spoon-fed? information by television. ?Opportunities for a child's imagination to develop are also denied by habitual viewing.? (Neural Activity and the Growth of the Brain) Children need some unstructured time to

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allow imagination skills to form by thinking about a book or story, a conversation, or an event.

?Television also conditions a child to dual stimui: sound and images.?(Neural Activity and the Growth of the Brain) The constant and rapidly changing sound and images can condition a child to expect the level of televisions in other situations. The problem with this is that in school children are called upon to speak, to listen, to work some problems, or read, and none of these tasks contain the ?dual stimula? that children expect from television. Dr. Hinton, a professor, said, ?One of the main reasons professors introduce multimedia (sound and images) segments into lectures is to retain the attention of the television-raised students. A chalk-on-the-board lectures leaves many students unable to remain attentive.?

Watching television also ?impedes the growth of longer attention spans.?(Neural Activity on the Growth of the Brain) As with conditioning a child to the sound and images of television, the seven-minute length of programs before a commercial interruption can ?condition a child to a seven minute attention span.?(The Wall Street Journal) Odds Bodkin, a professional storyteller, relates to this theory. He performs before 10,000 children a year. In 1994 Bodkin stated, ?After about seven minutes restlessness sets in as their inner clocks anticipate a commercial break.? This is also a factor in school because when a child's attention span is not up to there own grade level than it decreases they?re learning ability. ?Schools expect kindergarten through second graders to have short attention spans, but also expect attention capability to increase with grade level. When that doesn't happened children is disadvantaged. A student who,

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Month after month, is inattentive in class may well find it difficult to learn the material being presented.

Television also interferes with the development of reading skills. ?A child must learn to move the eyes back and fourth across the page in order to read.?(The Development of Children 63) But with television, the eyes are fixed on the screen. One hour a day in school learning to move the eyes back and forth cannot compete with four or more hours with eyes fixed on a television screen. It's little wonder that many children find difficulty learning to read.

Another effect that television has on children is it decreases the time for children to develop speaking skills. ?Children may hear new words on a television show, but this is not the same as speaking.?(Journal of Communication 66) If children are watching television then they are not spending time talking. Children usually learn to speak by first words and then by short sentences. Reading to a child, and speaking to a child, helps the development of speaking skills. ?A child spending four or more hours a day watching television loses the time needed for conversation, and may well find difficulty becoming articulate and fluent, and be less able to speak and write in complete sentences.?(Journal of Communication 67)

Another major factor that has been looked at which has effected children greatly due to television is ADD (attention deficit disorder) and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder). There is enough research to suggest that not letting children under the age of five to view television in significant amounts will lessen the chance he or she will develop ADD or ADHD. Research findings on attention deficit disorder and

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Attention deficit hyperactive disorder can be found in the medical literature. ?This is due to the rapidly-changing sound and images that may overwhelm the nervous system of some young children and lead to hyperactive behavior and attention deficits.?(The Development of Children 124) John Rosemund, the author of the article ADD is Real, and Misunderstood, stated that ?Wiring of the brain establishes neural pathways during the formative years appears strongly influenced by the child's environment. If a toddler is deprived of the appropriate stimuli, certain areas of the brain may not develop as fully as they could. Hours of television each day from three months of age on may limit the intellectual development of a child.?(The News & Observer)

Although there are many reasons that television effects children the most influential outcomes are the outcomes that the children pick up in the programs themselves and use them in society. ?Television provides children with a powerful set of standards for behaviors. The child audience is uniquely vulnerable to televised presentations, particularly those in programming directed at children. What children see on television can lead to the learning ...

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