To start with, I want you to know that I love watching TV…a lot! I love sitting down with a bowl of popcorn and watching my favorite show. Can’t get enough of it! That’s actually why I decided to do some research on what kind of effects watching too much television can have, and the things I found…well, let’s just say I’m sad now.
Watching too much isn’t good for your body or your emotional well-being. It sucks because so many of us enjoy watching so much. It’s a way to unwind and not think about all the problems in this world. And I think to a certain extent, watching a little every now and then can be good for you, but who actually just watches “a little”? See that’s the thing; we overdo it and it starts becoming a problem. Below you’ll find some of the problems that it leads to.
Sitting in front of the TV will lead to inactivity, obviously. But what you might not know is that this inactivity can lead to obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. A study performed at the Harvard School of Public Health proved this. Although watching in itself may not lead to obesity, the amount of food you eat while you watch can. And as we know, obesity can lead to heart disease and diabetes.
Another study showed that a TV viewer’s belief in himself to maintain personal health lowered significantly with time. So basically, watching too much can lead to health problems one way or another.
Okay, a bit of a strong word, but it actually hinders our ability to think. Having those tiny heads in the screen feed us quick information allows us to stop using our critical thinking. As opposed to reading a book where you go through the story at your own pace and figure things out on your own, the TV feeds you all of this information and then some. It doesn’t give you time to figure things out on your own. By watching too much we are in a sense, deteriorating our brains, leading to being easily misinformed and manipulated.
Results of research from the annual Conference of the International Communication Association in San Juan, Puerto Rico showed that watching TV was associated with feelings of loneliness and depression. Although it didn’t show that watching TV in itself lead to these emotions, people tended to watch when they had these emotions, only furthering the process of them.
The increased use of electronics can further isolate us and promote antisocial behavior, leading to no friends, leading to loneliness, leading to being glued to the TV for a big part of our lives which brings me to my next point.
Waste of Time
How often does watching actually benefit you? How often do you learn something useful? How often do you actually walk away from the TV thinking, “That was time well spent.”? How often do you feel refreshed and energized after having your eyes glued to the screen for 2 hours?
The answer to all these questions only leads me to believe that watching so much TV is a waste of time. I can’t tell you how often I’ve thought to myself, “If I wouldn’t watch this much, I could do so much more with my life. I could drastically improve in so many areas.”
Binge watching is an addiction, and a harmful one. It helps you forget about your fears, doubts, and problems; it helps you to stop feeling lonely for awhile; and it cheers you up because the people on that little screen seem to work through their problems, ending up with a great life. But after the movie’s over or the show has ended, you feel lonely again. You might even cry because it feels like a big part of your life just ended. So, you start watching another show/movie. Again and again and again. Do you seriously want to let stories created by other’s imaginations control your life like that?
I’m not telling you to go throw out your TV, but self-control is a crucial part of life, including watching too much television. So the next time you’re feeling blue or lonely or low on fuel, go read a book, listen to music, color, draw, go for a walk, do anything but watch. Because if you go to the TV every time something goes wrong or feels wrong, it’ll become your go to healing process. And it’s not a good one; in the end it won’t heal you, it will kill you.