The idiot box, is not quite an idiot. On the contrary, it is far more intelligent than what it is attributed for. The debate whether television is a boon or bane is a forlorn one. The effects of television on the brain are no rocket science, that they cannot be understood. It is common knowledge that TV has negative effects on the brain and reduces its capacity to think. Many would argue against it, by saying that it opens up a whole new world to you. However, the truth remains that adverse effects of television eclipse any kind of positive effect it might bring.
Negative Effects of Television on the Brain
Addiction to Audio-Visual
The first and foremost unwanted effect of television is, addiction. A viewer enters a hypnotic state while watching TV for a long time. This is caused by the flicker on the TV screen. This is why most people doze off while watching TV, providing it entry into your subconscious mind or the alpha state. If this happens for a shorter period of time, it provides relaxation. However, people who watch TV very frequently and for hours together tend to get addicted to this kind of passive activity, which provides the mind a good break from the hectic working hours. Also, as watching comedy shows on the TV releases endorphins, it makes one physically addicted too.
Short Attention Span
Children who are exposed to long hours of TV are at a greater risk of acquiring ADHD. This is a result of high-speed changes in audio-visual forms of entertainment. This causes what is known as ‘orienting response’, which makes you pay attention to things that keep changing in a given environment. This reduces the child’s ability to focus on activities, thus distracting them every now and then. This is what makes TV the greatest discouragement in the formative years of learning.
Lapse of Thinking Power
As a person’s psychological and physical dependence on TV increases, its effects the brain’s activity too. The brain’s left side switches off and the right side begins to function more proactively. It smartly absorbs all the images and the audio-visual content that it sees. As the right side has nothing right about it, it makes you emotionally respond to every sight. Thus, television clearly masks your ability to think critically. These emotional outbursts may continue even after you have switched off the television.
Reduced Brain Development
Just as your body requires to exercise in order to function normally, your brain too needs some form of mental exercise. Studies have shown that your brain is more active when you are sleeping, as compared to the time you spend watching TV. As watching TV curbs your logical thinking, reduces your attention span and makes you an addict, all of this put together hampers the brain development too. One stops thinking while watching TV and it slows down brain activity over a period of time. Mental disorders and slow learning are very much attributable to watching TV. Essentially, the idiot box, makes you an idiot if you befriend it for too long.
The effects of TV on the brain are mostly negative. Not only does it keep you away from any kind of physical activity, but also wastes your precious time to a large extent. This mindless viewing takes over life in many ways. Excessive TV watchers live with degenerated thinking powers like zombies. Over a period of time, their reflexes get slow and their lives become imitations of what the TV shows them. Instead of watching TV as a relaxing activity, try reading, chatting with your family members, painting, playing a sport, playing with kids, and other such activities that exercise your mind and body at the same time.