Here are three issues to look out for:
- Adults watch some 4-5 hours of TV every day (stats relate to adults who have TVs in South Africa and are very similar to the pattern in the USA and the UK). That’s a lot. There is no doubt that television can be entertaining, relaxing, funny, educational, stimulating, and more. But in a world where we never seem to have enough time, 30+ hours a week seems like too much. As examples here are some things most people struggle to find time for: 3 hours of exercise a week; quality time with family & friends; hobbies; reading; studying.
- Besides consuming time, too-much-TV can change brain function. Research has shown reduced cognitive (thinking) ability on those who watch over 3 hours TV a day, compared to those who watch less.
- TV-watching is quite a passive “activity” (partly its attraction of course) and psychologists do believe that it can be a way people escape or “ignore” life problems. This is not all bad – a bit of escapism can be perfectly healthy – but when it becomes a habit or even an addiction, and when it leads to an avoidant or “head in the sand” mentality, it is certainly not healthy.
Some TV is fine, even good perhaps, but for most of us it wastes time we could use more positively and it may well cause brain-function-decline and even indicate deeper emotional concerns for some.