Why We Celebrate Turn off Tv Week and What Are Disadvantages of Watching TV?
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Why We Celebrate Turn off Tv Week and What Are Disadvantages of Watching TV?

Watching TV has become part of our life and most of us cannot even think about living without TV. But as a big part of our time is spent in front of TV, are there any disadvantages of TV? We need to raise awareness about harmful effects of watching TV by celebrating 'Turn Off TV' week. Medical research findings suggest that excessive television watching is one root cause of a host of physical and mental problems. People who grew up With TV are usually the most ambivalent about it. They feel guilty about enjoying vulgar, exploitative, violent shows when they could be watching something more edifying like Masterpiece Theatre. They recognize the seductive power of the medium. In an effort to prevent childhood obesity in her own family, Michelle Obama recently admitted to making some changes in her household, like having more fruits and vegetables around, eating more home-cooked meals, and limiting desserts to weekends. She also "made sure her kids, Sasha, 8 and Malia, 11 were exercising; at least moving around every day, so no TV during the week." Disadvantages of watching TV: Medical research findings suggest that excessive television watching is one root cause of a host of health problems including: overweight, diabetes, poor academic achievement, poor social skills, low self-esteem, a lack of creativity, and a broad increase in attention disorders. More than 4000 studies have demonstrated the relationship of screen violence to aggressive behavior. The baleful effects of TV arenÂ’t limited to education. The University of Michigan Health System notes on its extensive website that kids who watch TV are more likely to smoke, to be overweight, to suffer from sleep difficulties, and to have high cholesterol. If television came in a bottle, it would be illegal to sell it to children.

Watching TV has become part of our life and most of us cannot even think about living without TV. But as a big part of our time is spent in front of TV, are there any disadvantages of TV? We need to raise awareness about harmful effects of watching TV by celebrating 'Turn Off TV' week.

Medical research findings suggest that excessive television watching is one root cause of a host of physical and mental problems. People who grew up With TV are usually the most ambivalent about it. They feel guilty about enjoying vulgar, exploitative, violent shows when they could be watching something more edifying like Masterpiece Theatre. They recognize the seductive power of the medium.

In an effort to prevent childhood obesity in her own family, Michelle Obama recently admitted to making some changes in her household, like having more fruits and vegetables around, eating more home-cooked meals, and limiting desserts to weekends. She also "made sure her kids, Sasha, 8 and Malia, 11 were exercising; at least moving around every day, so no TV during the week."

Disadvantages of watching TV:

Medical research findings suggest that excessive television watching is one root cause of a host of health problems including: overweight, diabetes, poor academic achievement, poor social skills, low self-esteem, a lack of creativity, and a broad increase in attention disorders. More than 4000 studies have demonstrated the relationship of screen violence to aggressive behavior.

Scientists at the University of Washington studied 2,500 children and found a strong link between early television exposure and attention problems by age seven which was 'consistent with a diagnosis of ADHD'.

The baleful effects of TV aren’t limited to education. The University of Michigan Health System notes on its extensive website that kids who watch TV are more likely to smoke, to be overweight, to suffer from sleep difficulties, and to have high cholesterol. If television came in a bottle, it would be illegal to sell it to children.

 On the bases of clinical evidence and by reference of many academic journals: Viewing even moderate amounts of television:

  • May damage brain cell development and function.
  • Is the only adult pastime from the ages of 20 to 60 positively linked to developing Alzheimer's disease.
  • Is a direct cause of obesity — a bigger factor even than eating junk food or taking too little exercise.
  • Significantly increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
  • May biologically trigger premature puberty.
  • Leads to a significantly elevated risk of sleep problems in adulthood, causing hormone changes which in turn increase body fat production and appetite, damages the immune system and may lead to a greater vulnerability to cancer.
  • Is a major independent cause of clinical depression (of which Britain has the highest rate in Europe).

What is TV-Turnoff Week?

The TV-Turnoff was first proposed by Marie Winn in her 1977 book, The Plug-In Drug. The idea was taken up in earnest by the non-profit group the TV Turnoff Project, and made an international event by the Media Foundation in Vancouver (publishers of Adbusters magazine), the Society for Ecology and Culture in Bhutan and Ladakh, and by White Dot in Great Britain.

Aside from anti-television campaigns, the TV-Turnoff is endorsed by a large number of health, education and social organisations.

TV-Turnoff is a nation-wide campaign started in 1994 by the TV-Turnoff Network in Washington D.C. Through various projects and support materials they encourage children and adults to watch much less television in order to promote healthier lives and communities.

The campaign is based on the belief that we all have the power to determine the role that television plays in our own lives. Rather than waiting for others to make "better" TV, we can turn it off and reclaim time for our families, our friends, and for ourselves.

TV-Turnoff Week is an easy and effective program which reminds people to put TV viewing in proper perspective. TV is fine -- in moderation. Participants hear the message and they have the opportunity to experience it themselves, and hopefully provide long lasting results.

The campaign is supported and endorsed by over 70 national organizations and succeeds because a network of thousands of volunteers (this means you!) work hard to organize local schools, clubs, libraries and communities to observe TV-Turnoff Week-- the last full week in April.                  

Why celebrate turn off tv week?

  • This voluntary program challenges children and adults to take a healthy break from television and media, and instead explore activities that foster greater social, physical, academic and creative development.
  • Parents should be good media role models; emphasize alternate activities; and create an “electronic media-free” environment in children’s bedrooms.
  • Schools should begin to implement media education in their curricula. Teachers who participate in TV-Turnoffs say their children behave better and take more interest in learning, almost immediately.
  • When you get rid of television for a week, you’ll have more time for other people. By organising a TV-Turnoff where you live, they’ll have more time for you. It’s a chance to celebrate real life and create a groundswell of public awareness. It’s easy, even if you’ve never done anything like this before.
  • Children who reduce their usage have more fun, read more, sleep more, exercise more, are calmer, and have an easier time with school.
  • Turning off the screens for seven full days helps participants realize that life without screen-time is not impossible and may actually be more fun. A week-long turnoff allows sufficient time to develop habits likely to be more productive and rewarding.

Last week of April is being celebrated as 'turn off tv week'. It allows one week for families to turn off the screens and reconnect with old-fashioned in-person interaction, to look each other in the eyes, spend time outside, cook together, read books on paper, daydream, play board games and cards etc.

Useful links:

Official site 'Turn Off Your TV'

* Turn off tv week

* Risks of tv

* The University of Michigan's powerful research on all that's talked about above. Serious research on both the physiological and psychological impact of televison watching on your children.

- Television and Children

* TVFreeLiving promotes a balanced approach to watching television. They offer alternatives to TV, helpful hints, news, and articles about the problems created when life is ruled by your TV schedule.

* Does TV teach children to be violent? And if it does, what can parents do to counteract its influence?

* How to Quit Watching TV

* Enjoying TV turnoff week

* Silence that idiot box!

* Children-TV Violence Link Has Effect

Update for our partners and users: For those requesting information, we are in litigation against former employees Mark P. Mazza and Patrick M. Williams, and their company PromoCodeWatch, LLC.
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Comments (7)

well presented and very useful information.Thanks Amera

I won't be participating – but then I was once the editor of a televison magazine. I get plenty of exercise, eat right, am fit and trim and still like to tune into the tube. Actually, I wish people would get their noses out of their cell phones. Everywhere you go people are staring into those damn phones. They should have Turn Off Your Cell Phone Week. Now that I could get behind.

Ranked #2 in Etiquette

William I appreciate your comments. In fact keeping balance among entertainment and healthy activities is essential. People who watch tv for hours are addicted to this medium and Turn Off TV is just to raise awareness about it. Yeah! soon we have to celebrate Turn Off cell phone week.

This is great Anna. I'm buzzing this one up, most definitely. God bless.

A very useful article. I am a news junkie. William - yes I agree with you too - turn off your cell phone and look someone in the eye now and then. It's a wonder there aren't more people walking into each other and into walls and poles and stuff.

Well, with all the TV, movie and entertainment articles I write, turning off the tube would hurt my bottom line. Yes, Judith, it's a wonder more phone distracted people don't hurt themselves. And I won't even go into the people who chat away on cell phones while driving. Talking on a phone while behind the wheel is just plain dangerous.

Ranked #6 in Etiquette

I think it's a great idea... we do watch too much TV as a nation... and there are many other things that can be equally as much fun!

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