Tuesday, July 29, 2008

More Reasons to Turn Off the TV

As I have shared before, I am not a fan of TV. I know there is some good stuff on the tube-- but frankly not enough to make up for even 10% of the societal ills that TV perpetuates. Seriously, even a great discovery channel show is not as good as going on outside yourself and going hiking somewhere in real nature. I often wonder how many new inventions and discoveries have not happened since the coming of TVs into every room and every part of our lives? People used to tinker, and play, and read, and talk. How many conversations have not happened as interesting people sat in a room together all over the world and said nothing as the flickering images have washed over them?

There have been lots of studies on the bad aspects of the boob-tube. But this is a new one and it is pretty darn troubling.
Even if young children aren't watching the TV, it may be distracting them from their play and depriving them of developing critical attention skills, a new study says.

When children aged 3 and younger played in a room with a television on that was tuned to adult programming, they played for about 5 percent less time than when there was no background TV. More importantly, when there was no background TV, the children's play was more focused with longer play episodes, the study found.

"Background TV is a disruptive and distracting influence. Our evidence is that TV keeps the children from sustaining their attention at a time when developmentally, they're beginning to organize their attention skills and sequencing behaviors," said study senior author Daniel Anderson, a professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children 2 years old and younger be exposed to no screen time. For older children, the AAP suggests limiting screen time -- including TV, video games and computer use -- to one to two hours a day of active viewing time.-By Serena Gordon
Message to moms and dads everywhere-- Don't be afraid to use that off button! For now at least, TVs still come with that option.