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Title: Good Use of TV

User: Swami Gaurangapada Date: 2007-01-06 18:37:39


Is TV good or bad?:tv:


Nityananda! Gauranga! Hare Krishna! Telivision has its pros and cons. It solely depends on our use of it. A big pros or advantage of TV (and also of portable video players) is that one can view and show regularly or daily to all family members nice Lord Gauranga Krishna related spiritual videos, dvds and cds on the TV and become greatly spiritually enlightened. Videos form an image in our mind and viewing one nice spiritual video daily about the Lord will help us to always remember Him throughout the day. With the new Plasma and LCD TVs getting cheaper now, the video is very crisp and sharp and it is a wonderful way to bathe our mind, heart and soul by watch hi-quality pure Bhakti Yoga videos with hi-quality surround spiritual sound which can stir and awaken our soul. It is much easier to view and show spiritual videos on a TV to one's family members and visitors than on a computer because a computer is normally used for personal or limited use.


On the other hand, the disadvantages are also strong if one is not very careful in handling the use of TV. At a click of the button, one may end up wasting hours upon hours of our precious time simply staring at a screen in this valuable and rare human form of life. Some facts and figures of the disadvantages of excessive and extreme use of TV are documented below.


Facts and Figures about our TV Habit


 I. TV Undermines Family Life

 II. TV Harms Children and Hampers Education

 III. TV Promotes Obesity

 IV. TV Promotes Violence

 V. TV Promotes Overconsumption

 VI. TV Squelches Political Awareness


I. TV Undermines Family Life


1) Time per day that TV is on in an average US home: 7 hours, 40 minutes

2) Amount of television that the average American watches per day: over 4 hours

3) Time spent daily with screen media for U.S. children age six and under: about 2 hours

4) Percentage of US families with children age 0-6 with at least one television: 99

5) Percentage of US households with 3 or more TVs (2003): 50

6) Percentage of parents who say that if they have something important to do, it is likely that they will use the TV to

occupy their child: 45

7) Percentage of Americans who always or often watch television while eating dinner: 40

8) Percentage of Americans who say they watch too much TV: 49

9) Time per week that parents spend in meaningful conversation with their children: 38.5 minutes

10) Percentage of 4-6 year-olds who, when asked, would rather watch TV than spend time with their fathers: 54


II. TV Harms Children and Hampers Education


1) Average number of hours per week that American one year-old children watch television: 6

2) Number of hours recommended by the American Pediatric Association for children two and under: 0

3) Average daily time American children under age two will spend in front of a screen: 2 hours, 5 minutes

4) Average time per week that the American child ages 2-17 spends watching television: 19 hours, 40 minutes

5) Hours of TV watching per week shown to negatively affect academic achievement: 10 or more

6) Hours per week that non-African-American teens (12-17) spend watching primetime TV (8-11 p.m. daily): 5:26

7) Hours per week that African-American teens spend watching primetime TV: 7:37

8) Percentage difference (African Americans vs. non-African-Americans): 40.2

9) Percentage of children ages 8-16 who have a TV in their bedroom: 56

10) Percentage of children age 6 and under who have a TV in their bedroom: 36

11) Percentage of children age 6 and under with a VCR or DVD player in their bedroom: 27

12) Percentage of those children who usually watch television in their bedroom: 30

13) Percentage of television-time that children ages 2-7 spend watching alone and unsupervised: 81

14) Percent of total television-time that children older than 7 spend without their parents: 95

15) Percentage of parents who would like to limit their children’s TV watching: 73

16) Percentage of day care centers that use TV during a typical day: 70

17) Hours per year the average American youth spends in school: 900

18) Hours per year the average American youth watches television: 1,023

19) Percentage of self-professed educational TV that has little or no educational value: 21

20) Chance that an American parent requires children to do their homework before watching TV: 1 in 12

21) Average time per day American children spend in front of a screen of some kind: 4 hours, 41 minutes

22) Percentage of young adults who admit to postponing their bedtime for the internet or TV: 55

23) Percentage of 4-6 year olds in homes where the TV is usually or always left on who can read: 34

24) Percentage of 4-6 year olds in homes where the TV is not usually or always on who can read: 56

25) Amount of time children age 4-6 and under spend daily, on average, with screen media: 2:10 hours

26) Amount of time children age 6 and under spend daily, on average, reading or being read to: 41 minutes


 III. TV Promotes Obesity


1) Adults in US technically obese: 1 in 3, or 62 million

2) Percentage of American children who were seriously overweight in 1964: 5; 2003: more than 15

3) Amount of daily moderate physical activity recommended for children: 60 minutes

4) Percentage of young people who report having had no recent physical activity: 14

5) Factor by which men who watch more than 21 hours of TV a week increase their risk of Type 2 diabetes: 2

6) Percentage chance that an overweight adolescent will become an overweight or obese adult: 70%

7) Percentage higher health cost for Kaiser Permanente members with Body Mass Index of 35 or higher: 44

8) Percentage of dollars spent on clothing for men and women’s plus sizes: 23

9) Economic cost of obesity in the United States in 2000: $117 billion


 IV. TV Promotes Violence


1) Number of violent acts the average American child sees on TV by age 18: 200,000

2) Number of murders witnessed by children on television by the age 18: 16,000

3) Percentage of youth violence directly attributable to TV viewing: 10

4) Percentage of Hollywood executives who believe there is a link between TV violence and real violence: 80

5) Percentage of children polled who said they felt “upset” or “scared” by violence on television: 91

6) Percent increase in network news coverage of homicide between 1993 and 1996: 721

7) Percent reduction in the American homicide rate between 1993 and 1996: 20

8) Percent increase in number of violent scenes per hour on 10 major channels from 1992 to 1994: 41

9) Percentage of programs that show the long-term consequences of violence: 16

10) Percentage of violent programs that emphasize an anti-violence theme: 4


V. TV Promotes Overconsumption


1) Number of TV commercials viewed by American children a year: 40,000

2) Age by which children can develop brand loyalty: 2

3) Number of TV commercials seen by the average American by age 65: 2 million

4) Percentage of toy advertising dollars spent on television commercials in 1997: 92

5) Amount spent on television advertisements directed at young children in 1997: $1.3 billion

6) Percentage of local TV news broadcast time devoted to advertising: 30

7) Total amount of money spent in 1999 to advertise on broadcast television: $40 billion

8) Net worth of the typical middle-class American household after accounting for debts: less than $10,000

9) Percentage of American children age six and under who have products based on characters from TV shows or movies: 97


 VI. TV Squelches Political Awareness


1) Money spent on ads for the major presidential candidates between June 1, 2000 and September 13: $63 million

2) Money spent on issue ads between January 1, 1999 and August 30, 2000: over $342 million

3) Percentage of those which were attack ads: 61

4) Amount of time broadcasters must provide to candidates free of charge under the 1996 Telecommunications Act: 0

5) Value of public airwaves allocated to broadcasters at no cost under the 1996 Telecommunications Act: $70 billion

6) Amount spent on lobbying by TV broadcasters and the National Association of Broadcasters in 1996: $4 million

7) Number of network news stories about the environment in 1990: 377; 1996: 113

8) Percentage of Americans who can name The Three Stooges: 59

9) Percentage of Americans who can name three Supreme Court Justices: 17


Source Key (Cited Sources)


I. Family Life

1) Nielsen Media Research, 2000. 2) ibid. 3) “Zero to Six: Elecontronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers,” Kaiser Family

Foundation, Fall 2003 4) ibid. 5) ibid. 6) ibid. 7) National Institute on Media and the Family, 1999. 8) Fahey, Valery. “TV by the Numbers.” Health.

Dec/Jan, 1992: 35. 9) American Family Research Council. “Parents Fight ‘Time Famine’ as Economic Pressures Increase.” 1990. 10) Mango, Jack.

“TV in America.” The Official Couch Potato Handbook. Reprinted in Wilson Quarterly. Autumn 1993: 44.

II. Children

1) Hofferth, Sandra L. “Healthy Environments, Healthy Children.” A Report on the 1997 Panel Study of Income Dynamics, Child Development

Supplement. University of Michigan, 1998. 2) American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement, August 1999. 3) “Zero to Six,” Kaiser Family

Foundation. 4) Nielsen, 2000. 5) US Dept. of Education. “Strong Families, Strong Schools, Building Community Partnerships for Learning.” 1994. 6)

Nielsen Media Research, 2000. 7) ibid. 8) ibid. 9) Annenberg Public Policy Center, Media in the Home 2000. 10) “Zero to Six,” Kaiser Family

Foundation. 11) ibid. 12) ibid. 13) Kaiser Family Foundation. “Kids and Media @ the New Millennium.” 1999. 14) ibid. 15) US Dept. of Ed., 1994 16)

Tashman, Billy. “Sorry Ernie, TV Isn’t Teaching.” New York Times. Nov 12, 1994. 17) Barber, Benjamin. Harper’s. Nov 1993: 41. 18) Nielsen, 2000.

19) Annenberg, Public Policy Center, 2000. 20) Harper’s “Index.” Sept. 1996. 21) Annenberg Public Policy Center, 2000. 22) National Sleep

Foundation, Press Release, March 28, 2000. 23) “Zero to Six,” Kaiser Family Foundation. 24) ibid. 25) ibid. 26) ibid.

III. Obesity

1) “America’s Great Big Fat Challenge,” The Washington Post, November 16, 2003 2) “A Not so Minor Risk,” The Washington Post, December 2,

2003 p. F1 3) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and

Obesity 2001,” 2001. 4) ibid. 5) Harvard School of Public Health. Cited by Associated Press. June 20, 1999. 6) U.S. Department of Health and

Human Services. 7) “America’s Great Big Fat Challenge,” The Washington Post, November 16, 2003 8) ibid. 9)Department of Health and Human

Services, 2001

IV. Violence

1) Senate Judiciary Committee Staff Report. “Children, Violence, and the Media.” 1999. 2) American Medical Association. “Physician Guide to Media

Violence.” 1996. 3) Senate Judiciary Committee Staff Report. 4) US News and World Report. Apr 8, 1997. 5) MTV national survey. Chicago

Tribune. Aug 15, 1993. 6) Budd, Craig, and Steinman. Consuming Environments. Rutgers University Press, 1999. 7) ibid. 8) Senate Judiciary

Committee Staff Report. 9) Mediascope. National Television Violence Study. Studio City, CA, 1999. 10) ibid.

V. Overconsumption

1) American Academy of Pediatrics. Cited by National Institute on Media and the Family. “Children and Advertising FactSheet.” 2002. 2) McNeal,

1992. Cited by National Institute on Media and the Family, 2000. 3) Clark. “The Want Makers”: 195. Cited in Marketing Madness by Michael

Jacobsen and Laurie Mazur: 45. 4) Lamay, Craig, and Newton Minow. Abandoned in the Wasteland: Children, Television and the First Amendment.

1995. 5) Rocky Mountain Media Watch, Denver, 1995. 6) “Children and Advertising Fact Sheet,” Natl. Institute on Media and the Family. 7)

Advertising Age. “1999 U.S. Advertising Volume.” Prepared by Robert J. Coen, McCann-Erickson Worldwide. 8) Schor, Juliet. The Overspent

American. Basic Books, 1998. 9) “Zero to Six,” Kaiser Family Foundation.

VI. Political Awareness

1) Brennan Center-Wisconsin Study. Political Television Advertising. 2000. 2) Annenberg Public Policy Institute. “Issue Ads @ APPC.” 2000. 3) ibid.

4) Common Cause. Channeling Influence. Washington, DC, 1997. 5) ibid. 6) ibid. 7) Center for Media and Public Affairs Factoids. 8) Washington

Post Poll, Washington Post, October, 12 1995. 9) ibid.

 RealVision, an initiative to raise awareness about television’s impact on us, is a project of

TV-Turnoff Network, 1200 29th Street, NW, LL #1 Washington, DC 20007

P (202) 333-9220 F (202) 333-9221 ""