Essay on Television Addiction

1611 Words Mar 23rd, 2002 7 Pages
Addicted to Television The temptations that can disrupt human life are often caused by pure indulgences. That which we most desire may ultimately harm and destroy us. For example, no one has to drink alcohol. Realizing when a diversion has gotten out of control, such as alcohol, is one of the greatest challenges of life. These excessive cravings do not necessarily involve physical substances. Gambling can be compulsive, leading to great financial distress; sex can become obsessive, often altering a persons mentality and behavior. However, one activity is repeatedly over-looked. Most people admit to having a love-hate relationship with it. It is America's most popular leisure past-time, the television. It is undeniably the medium that …show more content…
In 1986, Byron Reeves and his colleagues began their study on whether simple features of television – cuts, edits, zooms, pans, sudden noised – activate the orienting response, causing attention to be focused on the screen. By studying brain waves, the researchers concluded that these features of television triggered involuntary responses causing the viewer to become more involved in the program. The involuntary triggering of the orienting response is the reason why viewers report their inability to take their eyes off the screen. Do heavy television viewers experience life differently than light viewers? Through research studies, heavy viewers reported feelings of being more anxious and less happy than light viewers in unstructured situations, such as waiting in line or day-dreaming. Robert D. Mcllwraith discovered that self-described addicts were more easily bored and distracted with short attention spans compared to non-addicts. The self-proclaimed addicts said they used television to distract themselves. Do people turn to TV because of boredom and loneliness, or does TV viewing make people more susceptible to boredom and loneliness? Dorothy Singer of Yale University suggested that " … more viewing may contribute to a shorter attention span, diminished self-restraint, and less patience with the normal delays of daily life" (Lang 52). More than 25 years ago, Tannis M. Macbeth Williams of the University of British Columbia studied a mountain community

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