Television viewship affecting student studies

By Staff Writer
October 24, 2002

Chris Jones

So many people today complain that there is not enough time in a day. Did you know that Americans today have more leisure time than any people who ever lived? With the television set on an average of seven and a half hours a day, year-round, in the average American home, one could only imagine how much lives are influenced and changed by a small black box that sits in the corner of the family room. Take into consideration how much we sleep at night. Some of us do not even get seven and a half hours of sleep a night.

Studies show that women watch more television than men, and children who are accused of watching the most television, actually seem to be sitting in front of the television the least. Freshman Lauren Budweg said, “Well I use to spend a lot of time watching TV, but since being at college, I don’t have any time.” It seems the older we get the more television we tend to watch. Teenagers who seem to be the largest target for market sales really are not watching as much television as people think. Thomas Schneiders said, “The only thing I use television for is PlayStation and Sports Center.” Teenagers average about three hours a day watching television. Still, if you lived to the age of 75, you would have watched nine years of television.

Percy Tannenbaum of the University of California at Berkeley said, “Among life’s more embarrassing moments have been countless occasions when I am engaged in conversation in a room while a TV set is on, and I cannot for the life of me stop from periodically glancing over to the screen. This occurs not only during dull conversations but during reasonably interesting ones just as well.”

Unfortunately there is always a downside. Studies show that violence is increasing on all levels of television, not on any particular show seen once or twice but an accumulation of the amount of hours being viewed. The average child has witnessed 8,000 murders on television by the time he or she graduates from elementary school. It is no wonder children are being exposed to so much violence in their homes; they cannot even hide from the television, with an estimated 54 percent of children having a TV set in their bedroom.

Psychology Professor Dr. M.L. Sicoli said, “Television creates a false sense of what a relationship should be, and teenagers pattern their lives based on relationships seen on television.” Studies done in Sicoli’s previous classes show that the fewer hours students spend watching television the higher their grade point average becomes. Sicoli said, “real late night viewing exemplifies a lower quality of mood, and a person spending more then four hours a day watching television may be showing signs of depression.” Dr. Sicoli will be teaching a television and human behaviors class this spring, which will discuss how television affects us through advertising, violence and sexuality.

No matter how old we are, our lives will always be affected in some way or another by the vivid images we are exposed to in which we change and mold our lives upon.

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