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Argumentation TV make you smarter or not

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Does watching TV make you smarter?
The immediate effects of Television have been debated over by experts ever since the technological invention became a permanent fixture in the lives of people. Till the 1980s, social scientists were of the view that TV had no effect at all on children’s mental development. In fact, it was also thought that children’s minds were not capable of processing the sensory overload that TV provides: their minds are unable to make sense of the combination of music, pictures, and video. It was only a tool to catch their attention and keep them occupied. However, why is it so, then, that most children under the age of five strive to emulate what they see on television? Why does every child want to be as beautiful as the leggy model strutting down the runway? What is aiding children’s precocious nature: how do they know things that they should not before their age?
Various TV programmes and video makers may make outrageous claims about their educational prowess. There is, however, little evidence to show that they have a significant effect on any age group, especially where development is concerned. In all reality, TV does not make one smarter.
The truth of the matter is that children in the contemporary age understand more than their predecessors. A lot of their time goes into and around TV. Children are no longer passive consumers for any TV show producer: they constitute a market of their own. Since most of their time goes into watching cartoons and various programmes, one has to wonder about the kind of effect TV has on their mental well-being.

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One cannot simply leave the well-being of his/her children to the idiot box that functions on the schematics of numbers and popularity. For example, the characters on the immensely popular show Sesame Street have to this day not been able to recite the whole English Alphabet and are yet expected to teach children basic vocabulary.
Small examples though these may be, it contributes towards the statement that this paper strives to prove: TV is doing more harm than good to student’s mental, emotional, and physical health.
Granted, it is the easy way out: watching TV may be entertaining for children, and an easy way out for parents. However, children who watch more amount of TV than is necessary not only perform poorer in studies but also develop health issues at younger ages.
One of the most prominent ways in which the effects of TV manifest themselves negatively is through Attention Deficit Disorder or the inability of a child to concentrate on things for long periods of time. Children suffering from ADD may find it hard to concentrate on something for long periods of time. They may be prone to confusion, impulsiveness and obsessiveness. They may also be unable to keep up with normal conversation, often tending to wander off into their worlds. Furthermore, these are all glaring side-effects of watching an excessive amount of TV. If a child grows used to a certain amount of noise, volume and pace at a young age, he or she will find it hard to adjust to atmospheres devoid of those elements. This is also why some of us are unable to sleep or study without white noise, and why many of us cannot sleep without the TV light on. These symptoms may continue well into the later years of the child’s development age, and cause problems with academics, concentration and communication.
TV causes problems not only with cognition and concentration but also with the child’s behaviour. The type of content that children are exposed to while watching TV may contribute to attitudinal changes in their lives, and in worst case scenarios, aid various psychological, mental, and learning disorders.
For example, a child who watches pro-social shows will be more inclined to learn habits that are more accepted in the spheres of society. Such shows may teach the child to be kind, generous, friendly, and fair. They may teach them the value of sharing, of speaking softly, and of using manners in public.
On the other hand, a child who watches violent programs, depicting people killing, fighting, or displaying deviant behaviours in general, may drive the child towards anger and violence.
This happens because children’s minds are fragile: it takes very little for them to formulate opinions of the world. This is why a healthy atmosphere breeds a healthy child, whereas children who come from disrupted, abusive, or broken household have problems with adjusting to normal life. What the child watches on TV, he or she perceives as the truth. Similarly, what the child sees others watch on TV, he or she also perceives as the truth. Thus, if one watches TV shows depicting someone stealing a trinket in order to fulfil a personal desire, the child will be more inclined to steal to get something in his or her life as well.
This can, however, be easily controlled, by limiting the child’s access to content. In such scenarios, what parents can do is to limit the control of children over television content up to a certain age such as when they can comprehend the general mood on their own. Once that happens, the child will automatically seek out comfortable atmospheres, both in real life and in fiction.
Additionally, parents can also teach children the value of differentiating between content from a young age. Just because a child can operate a mobile phone, a tablet, or a TV remote does not mean that he or she will be able to govern the value of content available to him/her. Thus, when the child comes across content that may be considered objectionable, parents can sit him/her down and discuss the effects of both. This can be done by asking the child whether the content that he or she is watching conforms to the values that have been instilled into him or her from childhood. Repeating this exercise with the child every time will equip the child with enough self-education that he or she will be able to control what they watch on TV on their own. Thus, teaching the child how to evaluate content is an important exercise in mental development, as it makes them media literate.
Granted, when used judiciously, TV can become an important tool in learning for children. However, it first depends on the extent to which the child is media literate. So long as he or she is unable to distinguish between the type of content that is good or bad, all studies and tricks to make TV educational will be in vain. If uncontrolled, TV can have an effect not only on children’s cognitive abilities but also on their social behaviour and mental health. However, since one cannot control the type of content that is broadcasted, one can aim to create a balance between the amount of TV a child watches and the content that he or she is exposed to. Otherwise, what good will it be for, except to live up to its title of the ‘Idiot Box’ and creating more and more problem children unaware of the social structure of the society?

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