TV & Video Games = Serious Learning Issues (Post #1)

I love TV, video games and especially my laptop. I shudder to think how much time I spend staring blankly into the glowing box. As an adult however, I think… or at least I hope there are no adverse effects other than perhaps an expanding waste line. I seem to function well at my job, I can focus on a single task for an extended period of time, I can hold a single thought for more than a fleeting moment, I can sit still for more than a half hour and to top it all off, I prefer to be outside in the elements rather than than inside paying homage to the glowing box.

Unfortunately this cannot be said for many of our children and there is a mounting heap of evidence that suggests excessive time watching TV, playing video game & using the computer is having some serious effects on our children. Many of these adverse effects manifest themselves in our schools with kids who have serious problems with inattentiveness, short term memory problems, excessive restlessness, social emotional issues and lack of motivation all effecting their ability to learn.

Now to simply point a finger at the glowing box is simplistic and we must recognize that there are any number of environmental and genetic influences which may cause children to have difficulties in the classroom; However, research is pointing an ever growing big fat finger squarely in the direction of TV like electronic devices for most of the problems kids are having in the classroom today.

At this point you are probably saying to yourself, “Ya but I watched a ton of TV when I was a kid” but it is unlikely that you watched as much as many kids do now. If you grew up in the 70”s as I did, there wasn’t near as much television programming for kids as there is today. We had the Bugs Bunny Road Runner Hour, Wonderful World of Disney and Sesame Street. My buddy down the street had cable so perhaps he consumed two additional hours of Saturday morning cartoons but that was about it.

Today there are channels that dispense kids programing all day long and if there is nothing on… throw in a movie and if there are no movies, fire up the Xbox. According to www.mediafamily.org – 2002, the average American child watches 25 hrs of television a week with 1 in 5 watching as much as 44 hours of television a week. This is more time than most of us spend at work. It is said that by the time a child graduates from high school they will have spent more time watching television than they did in a classroom. With the explosion of gaming, it can be assumed that some of this time may be used for playing video games but in the end the ill effects are the essentially the same.

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