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A 6 pages term paper on "Television Addiction" by Marie Winn


               The book ‘Television Addiction’ by Ms. Winn is about the effects of television on children and families. The usage of television commences innocently enough. Most often television is used as a child minder so that parents can obtain some peace and quiet. But dangers lurk in this innocent scenario and parents unaware or sometimes helpless surrender their children to this danger. Before long, the kids are addicted on watching, and parents are addicted on a mechanism for having the kids out of the way. Marie Winn appropriately labels television as a drug. A lot of parents are conscious of the dilemma, but frequently they are and the kids too obsessed to let go of this habit. Winn explores the course of this obsession and the damage done to vibrant human being. Excessive television viewing hinders the personal and social progress of the child; as a result some mothers find a job to escape from their maladjusted kids. Winn suggests valuable guidance to families attempting to manage television. Furthermore, the author presents examples of the benefits families have experienced when they went without television, such as improved family interaction, more innovative and enjoyable activities, doing various things that had been put of. Marie Winn provided several instances from family life, which added great interest to this supportive and valuable book.

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Evaluation Of The Book

               The child-experts and parent advising counsels agreeing with the author that television is not a critically positive educational experience. The amount of time spent in front of the television does more damage than assumed. Concerns about the effect of television on children have centered exclusively upon the contents of the programs rather than the effects that excessive viewing leads to changes in their behavioral patterns. Researchers have found that preschool children are the single largest audience in America. According to a 1993 Nielson Report, children of age group 2-5 spend 22.9 hours each week while 6-11 age group spends 20.4 hours a week watching television. This statistics shows that the time consumed in watching television has in no way a positive effect on the growing minds of the children.

               The varied programs have different impact on the child’s mind. Research is going on to find if the commercials make the child materialistic or greedy or generous and spiritual. The violence shown in the programs and one must agree that even the cartoons  (considered harmless by many a innocent parents) are portraying violence in context of humor. These tender viewers are absorbing violence, aggression and hatred resulting in an unhealthy environment lacking the educational standard once present in our society. In spite of the fact that television viewing takes up more of the waking hour of the child’s life other than any healthy activity such as out door games or the most unpopular; reading. The habit of book reading has been totally lost in the world of electronic media, thus leading to extinction of the era of positive and healthy educational environments.

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Critical Television Viewing

               The habit of television viewing is rarely considered as addiction. Perhaps the ever-changing display of scenes and sound promote the delusion of a varied experience for the watcher but the he is oblivious that he is addicted to the screen. Therefore, television viewing unquestionably falls into a class that Ms.Winn names “Destructive Addiction”. The entire purpose of viewing is to fulfill craving, that one does not have any activity and hence he is lacking pleasure, and appropriately so too much television viewing falls under this decisive factor. It is not only the incapability to function without the addictive material that is dismaying, the reliance of the being upon a certain practice and a rising incapability to function usually devoid of it.

               Television is a like narcotic and like the majority of other narcotics, it calms, soothes and alleviates. Marie also matches television to narcotics “But the television viewer can never be sated with his television experiences, they do not provide the true nourishment that satiation requires- and thus he finds that he cannot stop watching.” (411)

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               Think television viewing in the light of the circumstances that define serious dependence. Not unlike drugs or alcohol, the television experience permits the observer to think about the actual world and go into an enjoyable and inactive psychological state. The fears and concerns of realism are as successfully postponed by becoming engrossed in a television program as by going on a trip induced by drugs or alcohol. And just as television viewers misjudge their control over their craving, and alcoholics are only unclearly aware of their addiction, feeling that they control their drinking more than they actually do, people likewise miscalculate their control over television watching. “Just as alcoholics are inchoately aware of their addiction, feeling that hey control their drinking more than they really do” (Winn, 410).

               Also note that television spectators are less encouraged to do more creative activities. “They are conscious that it is an unproductive experience, that almost any other endeavor is more worthwhile by any human measure.” (411)

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               Even as they postpone other activities to spend hour after hour watching television, they sense that they might easily recommence living in a different, less passive style. But somehow, while the television set is there in their homes, the click doesn't sound. It is easy to ignore a straightforward fact: one is for all time watching television he is only watching television rather than having any other activity, communally personally or otherwise.


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