Television Pros and Cons

Watching television is for many people a mindless way to relax after a brain-numbing day at the office. With more channels to choose from than ever before, information about the world around you is only a click of your remote button away. But is your television really a positive influence In your home, or should you more carefully consider television pros and cons?

Television pros

In addition to being an inexpensive form of entertainment, watching television has other perks:

  • Source of information. Most people will never see a polar bear walk across glacier ice, tour the world with contestants on the reality show The Great Race or eat a gourmet meal cooked by Emeril Lagasse. Yet you can visually experience all of these things while sitting in your living room. Home, food, garden, medical and healthy-lifestyle shows abound with helpful information designed to make your life a little better.
  • Expanded memory and knowledge. When you are motivated to watch your favorite shows, you store the day and time in your memory. You also remember details about the last show prior to watching the new one. These habits enhance your memory for daily life functions. Educational television for children also aids them in age-appropriate learning even though they think they are having fun.
  • Important family time. When family and friends share your favorite shows, the time spent watching them together helps to keep your bond strong. Whether you howl together over a Saturday Night Live show or discuss and share your feelings after watching the news, this interaction time is priceless.
  • Current alertness. Weather reports prepare you for your daily commute or warn you about serious weather conditions, while other news features help keep you informed. Modern technology connects everyone, making television a window into local, national and world events.

Television cons

There are disadvantages to watching too much television, especially for children. While on the one hand television is entertaining and informative, it can also be harmful.

  • Reduces original thinking. Television viewing has been shown to lessen creative thinking and imagination skills while at the same time influencing how viewers think. Many people stop original thinking, become intellectually lazy and rely too much on the opinions of others they see on the television screen.
  • Encourages snacking. Who doesn't eat popcorn while watching their favorite movie on television? Even after eating a regular meal, there's something about watching television that encourages snacking. This is a bad habit that promotes obesity and can lead to serious health issues.
  • Produces lack of motivation. Many people find it easier to sit in their recliner and watch the news after dinner than to take a walk or hop on their treadmill. When you're more motivated to watch your favorite shows, you can become lazy and ignore household chores or other work obligations.
  • Contains mature values. Because television presents shows encompassing many types of adult situations and language, parents must be especially vigilant when screening television shows for their children. Last night's reality show with suggestive or inappropriate behavior might be the reason your kids imitate it the next day.

You can control how television impacts your life by exercising good judgment and balancing viewing with normal activities. When you find the right balance, the pros of watching television will usually outweigh any cons.

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