TV, the true Petrus Romanus. How about THAT for an introduction? All you conspiracy junkies out there should take a break from brainwashing and new world order propaganda and give this a good read before your brain turns to mush! The average American watched 34 hours 39 minutes of TV per week in Q4 2010 according to Nielson. Something taking up that much of your time deserves the evil name of Petrus Romanus. That’s over 4 hours of our waking daily life that is consumed by watching TV! Let’s say you are an average daily sleeper of 8 hours (lucky you), you work on average an 8 hour shift daily, commute a total of 1 hour, perform proper hygiene of 1 hour daily including showering, brushing teeth, dressing, etc. and 4 hours of watching television. Are you following me? Your remaining daily time (week days) is only 2 hours for other activities. Why does that matter? Those remaining 2 hours may not be productive at all due to the beforehand act of watching the tube.
When you watch television, your brain activity is focused in the right hemisphere, a crossover that produces endorphins, our body’s natural opiates. Psychophysiologist Thomas Mulholland found that:
After 30 seconds of watching television the brain begins to produce alpha waves, which indicates torpid (almost comatose) rates of activity.
Long story short, you watch TV and your brain relaxes, just like when you ingest opiates (opium, morphine, heroin, etc.). Only difference is that television puts you into a more comatose state. Sounds good right? Unfortunately it is not a good thing for your brain. During this point of relaxation, your brain does not function in its higher regions and no real beneficial brain stimulation is occurring.
Wes Moore, scholar for The Journal of Cognitive Liberties, states:
When you’re watching television the higher brain regions (like the mid brain and the neo-cortex) are shut down, and most activity shifts to the lower brain regions (like the limbic system), in the long run, too much activity in the lower brain leads to atrophy in the higher brain regions
Atrophy in higher brain regions can lead to dementia later in life. As you age, it is better to stay active or involve yourself in your family’s life, especially compared to spending all of your time melting away in front of the tube. However, not only are those that are older are in peril, there are other disadvantages caused by the TUBE for all of us.
A study at ISU found that:
Students who stare at a screen for more than two hours per day are twice as likely to be diagnosed with attention problems.
And all this time, I thought that drooling when staring at the TV was normal. Oh well, TV seems to be one of many different reasons why students are as distracted as they are now-a-days, however, it is essential to be in the know about all the different types of distractions technology provides.
Even those that have health problems can now blame something other than big bones and hereditary fat genes. Effects of Television Viewing, an article in JAMA, describes how obese participants that limited their TV viewing would burn more calories than those participants who continued to watch TV at their normal rate. In fact reading, writing, and relaxing without TV was found to increase total calories burned over watching TV. That is, you burn more calories than you do viewing the tube by not even being involved in an activity, not even going to the gym to workout, not even participating in the outside world, by not doing anything at all.
In fact, Visual Voodoo found that:
Kids who watched more than 2 hours a day between the ages of 5 and 15 were more likely to have high cholesterol, reduced fitness, and were at higher risk for diabetes as adults
If that doesn’t persuade you to involve your kids more, how about what Medline Plus has to say about too much screen time:
Makes it harder to get your child to go to bed and fall asleep at night
Increases the chance that your child will develop attention problems, anxiety, and depression
Sounds like something mentioned before.
Solution? (breath) You could…
Read a book, fly a kite, write a book, play an instrument, talk to your kids, talk to your parents, enjoy other people’s company, draw something, paint something, go for a walk, go hiking, volunteer, go snowboarding, mow the lawn, clean the house, write a sonnet, write a rap, read a comic book, write a love letter, solve the world’s problem of hunger, etc. The world lives and moves and continues on whether or not you are a part of it, I think it is high time to be a part of it.
Relate Read: Fun Fact: You’re the Cause of Boredom