TV makes people into zombies. You ever watch someone watch television? It’s a horror. They look like humans but turned off. Even watch someone watch a sitcom. They don’t laugh. They just stare. I used to watch my little brother watch television. One time I took video of him watching television and showed it to him.
Even with my own kids, sometimes when I wake them up in the morning my wife may have left on the television news so she could get the traffic report, and the moment they walk into the room they’re zombified. They literally lose all capability of focusing or even moving. It truly is almost soul sucking. My little kids were transfixed the traffic report or the weather so I’d turn it off.
I’m not against it completely. The show “Lost” was great fun and there’s a few other shows I enjoy. But television has become the default setting in too many homes. They come in the house and the television goes on. And many of those same people complain that kids get too much homework.
Rich Lowry writes on how awful the television addiction has become.
The University of Michigan Health System reports that kids ages two to five spend on average 32 hours a week in front of a TV. Among 8- to 18-year-olds, 71 percent have a TV in their bedroom (and they spend on average 1.5 hours a day more watching TV than kids without a TV in the bedroom)…
Watching TV is worse than a mindless activity, since mere mindlessness needn’t be harmful. “Excessive TV viewing can contribute to poor grades, sleep problems, behavior problems, obesity, and risky behavior,” according to the University of Michigan.
Berger cites a 2010 study from Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine that found that among toddlers, “every additional hour of television exposure” eventually means decreases in “classroom engagement . . . math achievement . . . time spent doing weekend physical activity. . . . and activities involving physical effort,” and increases in “victimization by classmates . . . consumption scores for soft drinks and snacks . . . and body mass index.” The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends that kids two and younger avoid TV — and everything else on a screen — altogether.
I’m not a “throw the set out” guy. I’m really not but 32 hours a week?! 32? That means kids are watching television like it’s their job.
When’s conversation time? When’s playing time? When’s reading time (hahahahaha)?
And let’s not pretend there’s a whole lot of good moral examples going on in television land. As Christians, we have a responsibility to counter this prevailing culture. And soaking our kids in it 32 hours a week doesn’t seem like a recipe for success.