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The Harmful Effects of Watching Too Much Television

By: Brian Kim - October 31, 2006

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First off, let me state that I’m not saying that television in its entirety is bad for you. There are times when it’s nice to kick back and watch the game with your friends.

This article is more geared toward those who spend an abnormal amount of time in front of the tube on a daily basis. You know exactly who you are ;)

I know there are countless studies on how television is bad for you, but here are some of the harmful effects that I see that most studies don’t cover when it comes to watching too much TV. A Safe Escape The biggest trap of watching too much TV is that it becomes a safe way to escape your own life instead of looking at it square in the eye. If you find yourself watching hours of television everyday, it might be good to think about whether or not it’s a subtle indication to yourself that your life is not what you want it to be, that it’s not interesting enough so you feel the need to immerse yourself in the lives of others.

People who gossip have the same problem. Their lives aren’t interesting enough so they feel the need to know everybody else’s business and spread the word to whoever will listen. The person who watches television for hours on end is no different. They end up so wrapped up in the lives of others that it becomes their entire life.

People literally “sleep through life” by watching hours of television a day. It’s a tragedy that they cannot see the time they spend there can be used to better their own life, so they don’t have to feel the need to escape it.

Mind Deterioration. When you watch TV, you’ll find that it does all the work FOR you. You don’t need to “create” in your mind like you do when reading. When you read, your brain has to use its imagination to come up with the smells, the tastes, the sounds, the pictures, and the feelings described in the book or article but when you watch TV, all of that is already done for you (at least the hearing and seeing part). If you ever wonder why your brain feels so “empty” after watching television, that’s exactly why. Your brain shuts off because it has no job to do. Use it or lose it indeed.

Along the lines of that, have you ever tried to do get things done after watching TV? It’s as if you’ve become “mind paralyzed” and you have to wait for your brain to slowly get back in gear. I call that time period the “dead zone” and even after that, you’re still not working at peak efficiency.

An Easy Addiction This is the worst part of watching too much television. TV can be just as addictive as any illegal substance on the market today. It’s easily accessible, pleasurable, and makes you forget your troubles for the day. Sound familiar?

You watch one show and when it ends, the TV says “Coming up next…stay tuned for blah blah blah”, so you become curious, you watch it and you like it and BOOM, you add another rotation to your weekly TV schedule. Those hours add up and once you get vested in the shows, they’ve got you for life.

Watching television for hours on end is the easy way out and many people choose to take it. Why? Because watching television for hours a day switches off our brains so we don’t have to think about our own lives and when it’s time to turn the TV off and reality comes to bite us in the rear, what do the majority of us do then? We retreat into the safe confines of television once again.

TV can easily become the biggest time thief of all and yet, people don’t realize it. They don’t become indignant at the opportunities in life that they lose. It’s amazing how people take the time to buy the best security for their home so their precious belongings don’t get stolen, but when it comes to protecting their mind and their time, two of their biggest assets, the doors are wide open for easy pickings. People have got to realize that the quality of their lives can become so much better if they just take the time to stop watching TV and channel that toward creating the life they want to live.

Here’s a thought. Unplug the box and put it high up in your closet so it's a pain in the butt to reach it. You’ll learn to live without it. The sun will shine that much brighter, food will taste that much better, and life will be that much sweeter.

When it’s all said and done, watching too much television provides you with a safe escape from looking at your own life, deteriorates your mind, makes you unproductive, and can lead to a dangerous addiction. It truly is one of the most dangerous drugs out there on the market today and the sad thing about it is, most people don't even realize it.

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2 Responses to “The Harmful Effects of Watching Too Much Television”

  1. Vince Delmonte Says:

    Hey, cool tips. I’ll buy a bottle of beer to that man from that forum who told me to go to your blog :)

  2. Rhett White Says:

    This page is very inciteful. I did catch somewhat of a bitter tone towards the middle; however, I must admit that you made some very good points. Kudos.

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