Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Children and TV

  1. Aug 20, 2004 #1
    This is an important point. Television is for the most part a bad influence on children, I believe. Commercials are much, much worse yet. These are problems that bother me greatly, and are far, far, far more detrimental to society than porn. I dislike the porn sites, but they do not invade my life nearly as much as tv shows and commericals.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 20, 2004 #2

    If you don't like it turn off the TV. The TV stations have to make money off what they are selling which is commercials and you watch the shows and get them paid in ratings. They are in it to make money just like everyone else taht's how it works. TV shows invade your life that's bull**** because you can turn them off anytime also. I don't get how people can complain about TV or Internet if you don't like something just turn it off.
  4. Aug 20, 2004 #3
    I think that you are jumping to conclusions, and that is why you are using words like *** while you mistake what you think that I am saying.

    I agree with you completely. In my house, I have never exposed my child to television.

    However, we have friends, and we visit them. Some of them MUST have television on , such that it is not always possible to avoid it. I cannot demand that everyone we visit have all of their family members turn off the television, as that is not always practical in today's society. It can be very difficult to make sure that my kid is never exposed to television 24 hours a day, particularly when I am not there to supervise.
  5. Aug 20, 2004 #4
    Possibly, but I disagree. Children who are young are highly impressionable. Television takes up valuable time, and teaches children bad habits. I can't imagine how a child's life will be damaged by not watching television during the first several years of life. Let us continue this conversation in 15 years, and I will tell you if you are correct.
  6. Aug 20, 2004 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    There's lots of good stuff on TV ! It's not all bad. There are no commercials on PBS, for instance (you sound American, I'm going on that assumption) and lots of very informative programs.

    In fact, there are so many good resources on TV, that one might call banning TV irresponsible. It's simply an extension of Fahrenheit 451.

    Myself, I don't see much wrong with catching an occasional commercial along the way. Something like that doesn't scar you for life. In fact, it's more likely to affect you if you happen upon something that for all your life you've been sheltered from.
  7. Aug 20, 2004 #6
    And your evidence to back up this topic derailing statement is?
  8. Aug 20, 2004 #7


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Protecting children is one thing, isolating them from reality can be detrimental in the long run.

    Unless you intend to lock your children inside your house until the day they die, at some point they will have to enter the real world. The later in life that they encounter the "real world" the more trouble they will have in coping with it.

    Obviously there are appropriate ages for what a child should be exposed to, which is were common sense is required, but to isolate a child completely is a mistake, IMHO.
  9. Aug 20, 2004 #8
    I am not trying to convince you to change your tv viewing habits or appreciation.

    I am not advocating that tv be banned. I just think that I personally prefer to engage in what I consider are more valuable habits with my kid, rather than take advantage of the free babysitter, free except for the cost of letting strangers manipulate my kid's mind for their own adverse purposes.

    I agree that there are numerous educational programs on tv, and a little bit later in life watching them will not be a problem.

    Continue to feel that way. However, I disagree. Commercials are designed to manipulate people. People are subjected daily to a barrage of attempts to manipulate them for marketing purposes. Children, in particular, are too young to understand what is going on when watching commercials, or tv either for that matter.
  10. Aug 20, 2004 #9
    Your post is also topic derailing, is it not?

    There are 4 statements here. For which would you like evidence, and just how much evidence would you like?

    Are you saying that you disagree with these statements?
  11. Aug 20, 2004 #10

    Yes they are but you have to accept TV as a bussiness also. Fox, NBC and ABC etc... all have to make money. They are in it to make money whether you like it or not. But the fact that you are manipulated on a daily basis makes the commercials only a minor inconvenience.

    Hell reading this post I've realized a couple people are manipulated by the bible enough to quote it on a forum as if it's a real source to prove anything.
  12. Aug 20, 2004 #11
    Is this directed toward me? If so, I don't understand your position. Are you saying that television is a more appropriate reality than any of the other things that a child might do with the small number of hours available in the day?

    Are you saying that the later in life that a child learns to spend hours a day in front of the tv doing nothing but vegetating and learning bad habits such as how to vegetate, the worse off the child will be?

    If so, I disagree.

    My kid has traveled to several countries, and is developing an aptitude in several languages. My kid likes to meet children and adults at any time, and has no fear of anyone or any language. We visit people from very diverse cultures on a regular basis. I consider that this is a "reality" that is more valuable than missing the current barage of garbage on tv. (My apologies to the educational programs that are available on the local pbs channel.)
  13. Aug 20, 2004 #12
    I recognize that. I do not have to like it, and I do not have to support them, however. I have not advocating banning television. I am only stating my personal opinion, and the behavior that I am adopting as a result.

    Please continue to feel free to maintain this opinion. I feel that I am not greatly manipulated by commercials, mostly because I have developed the habit of leaving the room, engaging in conversation, or otherwise not listening to them. However, I feel that most people are. I also feel that the younger a child becomes habituated to watching commercials, the greater the probability that the child will learn to be manipulated in a negative manner by commercials.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2004
  14. Aug 20, 2004 #13
    I am not telling you to sit your kid down in front of the tv for 10 hours a day. I am saying that if you shelter then from the experiences that all of their peers will have you are only going to stunt their social growth. I have known parents who never allowed their child to watch tv when they were young and never owned cable television when he was older. When he reached his teens they allowed him limited acces to the television. Their child having never seen tv when he was younger and never having cable had not witnessed most of what his peers have seen and had trouble relating to them. he became the "goth" kid who couldn't relate to the people his age and couldn't figure out what was wrong with him. He hated his parents, was always depressed, and was basically on suicide watch. Not allowing you kid to experience life will only stunt their growth.
  15. Aug 20, 2004 #14


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Admin note: I split the TV discussion off from Saint's "How can we ban porn" thread.

    - Warren
  16. Aug 20, 2004 #15
    Perhaps you are right. However, if the kid was on suicide watch, I just cannot accept that the sole reason was that his parents did not let him watch tv, and that in his peer group this was so unthinkable that he could not cope with it.

    I hope that my kid will discover a peer group where most activities do not revolve around what they watched on tv.

    Surely you have heard stories of people who did not let their children watch tv when they were young and no clearly observable harm resulted from it.
  17. Aug 20, 2004 #16
    I'd say you should just let your child watch t.v if he wants. Commercials aren't very manipulative. I can watch them and barely be affected at all. Manipulation is something that usually occurs in a series of events. Commercials simply try to trick you or get you to buy a product. It's not that bad. If a person is smart and not easily tricked then they'll be fine. It's the general society that has to watch out for television. They sons of people who post on forums about Physics shouldn't run into too many problems with television manipulating them.

    Television also helps develop thinking and imagination. I think that's a really important skill to develop.
  18. Aug 20, 2004 #17
    You don't have to shut them off from reality. You can tell them to go outside, thats about as real as it gets. Worked with one of my friends. His parents rarely let him come inside during the day to watch TV/play video games. Eventually he didn't even want to watch TV or play video games that much anymore, he just wanted to play outside.

  19. Aug 20, 2004 #18
    He wasn't literally in a padded room on suicide watch. He just mentioned it allot, to the point where we had to keep on eye on him. It isn't that all everyone does is talk about tv either. allot of socially accepted behaviors are learned through television. The social norm can be learned here and without it he was just too different from the other people his age. Television has became a major part of society and without it you lose a large chunk of what everyone else has seen.

    You act like television is the downfall of society when it isn't. It is parents who don't spend time with their kids. A father and son can bond watching football on tv on sundays. The family as a whole can bond watching cartoons at a young age or family programming at night. It is when the parents aren't watching them or when they tell them that tv is the devil that the kid grows up violent or different. At least you seem to take an interest in what your child does, thats better than allot of other parents. But when a parent shelters their kid from everything like t.v., pop, sports, and sugar their kids miss out on the things that their friends get to do.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2004
  20. Aug 20, 2004 #19
    Thank you for telling me how to raise my kid. However, if it makes you feel better, my kid has shown no interest in tv, and has not shown any discomfort for its lack.

    If that were true, then why would so many manufacturers pay so much money to produce and display them?

    I am not telling you how to raise your kids. Go ahead.
  21. Aug 20, 2004 #20
    That was a bit rude man. Do you mind explaining yourself? When I watched/watch television I think about what's going on. When the villian dies I analyze what happened and think about other situations with villians. I look at the morals of a show and think about the justification of them. This doesn't go for every show, but it goes for some. I remember when I was a kid I'd look at the morals in children's shows. Sometimes I'd be thinking to myself (that's obviously incorrect.)

    Television has seems to have increased my imagination at least.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook