After a long, hard day of school and work, I walk up the stairs to my apartment. As I approach the door, I can already hear the television. I open the door and am not surprised to see my brother on the couch, hand on remote, flipping through channels. My brother could be crowned couch potato king. He watches television day and night so much that my cousins and I now refer to him as the Human TV Guide. He knows what’s on at a specific time on a specific channel. He has the channels of different stations of different areas memorized. He could tell you what channel BET is in New York. He could tell you what channel VH1 is in California. He could tell you what channel MTV is in New Jersey. My sister has memorized practically everything there is to know about television, yet she has difficulty memorizing the multiplication table, and it’s all due to the effects of watching television endlessly.
Television has had a detrimental effect on many young minds. Television has dulled the mind of an average youth. Youth today are accustomed to having their information handed to them easily. Given that reading involves too much work, many of today’s youth will hesitate to read. My brother dislikes reading, in view of the fact that there are words involved in that activity. It is also impossible for him to focus on a book because of the short attention span he has developed, and reading books just takes too much time for him. Television presents the world to him, a different world every thirty minutes, which holds his attention. This now leaves him with no mental work to do, except to decide which channel he would like to watch. Since watching television requires no mental work, the brains of the adolescents that watch television are not stimulated enough. This may lead to a slower learning process, which would then explain my brother’s inability to memorize the multiplication table. Television consumes time youths should be dedicating to more important and more essential things in their lives.
Television takes away time that should be devoted to homework. When my brother gets home from school, he will immediately flip the television on, leaving his homework for later. When he finally decides to do his homework, the television will remain on, and he will sit on the couch with his books propped up in front of him, giving it only half of his attention. Homework takes longer to complete, and it probably will not be his best work since only half of his concentration was focused on it. Television also takes time away from quality family time. Most adolescents do not have a strong family connection. Families whose only time together is at the dinner table will waste precious quality time with their heads turned towards the television. The youth of today lose the strong morals and values they can get when spending time with their family. Television can even take away time from friends. When I spend time with my friends, I like to talk with them or go out. When my brother spends time with his friends, they spend the whole day watching the television. Their conversation revolves around what they are watching on the television.
Most teens have the majority of their day devoted to the television. Television has exposed a world of violence, drugs, and sexual immorality to our youth, causing them to be unconcerned towards these issues. Many television shows have made at least one of the three aspects, violence, drugs, and sexual immorality, a normalcy. The is a show that is enjoyed by many teens. This show depicts violence as something comedic. Regularly, in this show, the father chokes his son at least once, and the children watch a cartoon show called The Itchy and Scratchy Show, in which a cat and mouse try to kill each other. Our youths today find this violence funny. When they encounter violence in real life, they do not consider it serious because they experience it every day on the television. Characters in television shows such as Married with Children smoke, and although there are commercials advertising against smoking more than ever, smoking on the television gives our youths a different message. This advertises for the cigarette companies for practically free.
In The Drew Carey Show, all the main characters spend their free time in a bar drinking. They even make and sell their very own beer. Cheers is another show that advocates drinking. Most of the show takes place in a bar. These characters in television shows have influence on our youth. Sexual immorality has also become common, which is exemplified by a show called Friends. Friends depicts each of their characters as people who sleep around. Sex is an integrated part of their lives and is expected when any one of the characters have a significant other. Undeclared revolves around college life in which college students have sex with each other “just for fun.” Adolescents of today model their behavior after characters like these who live in worlds of violence, drugs and sexual immorality, and they
do not realize that what they are doing is wrong because to our youth, whatever they see and hear on television is right. When television was first invented, its purpose was to bring the family together and perhaps present a way in which we could receive information faster.
In modern times, the television has managed to affect our youth in ways we would not have imagined. The family gathering concept has disappeared. We have accomplished a faster way to transmit information, but it was a little too much information a little too fast for the wrong audience. Television has taken over our way of life and we must stop the effects it has had on our youths and our society before it is too late.