I'm not one who believes that watching TV makes our kids violent. But I do think it can be dangerous by irrevocably warping their thinking. Here is why I think television is REALLY hurting our kids:
- 'Talent' shows tell them that if they want something badly enough, they'll get it. All they have to do is to want it, to want it so bad…
- TV shows teach kids that good people get good things and that bad people get what's coming to them. They never explain why so often bad things happen to good people, and why bad people so often get good things. (See the 'Just World' fallacy.)
- Another common TV trope is that failure doesn't really happen too often, but when it does, it's final, and there's no going back. Thanks for coming.
- TV news insists that only the news on television is the news worth knowing. It teaches kids that on-going, slow burning global problems like wars, famine, poverty and modern slavery are not as newsworthy as an abrupt, new development. Also, kids learn that what happens in some parts of the world is more important than what happens in others (and thus perhaps that some lives have more value than others).
- There's a 'hack' for almost everything, says TV. Instead of working hard, TV teaches kids that they just need to find the magical shortcut. This leads to the microwave mentality, whereby youngsters assume that anything can be done in a short buzz and a bing.
- Reality TV tells kids that venting your emotions, and a lack of restraint or common decency in public is okay.
- TV implies that the desire for privacy means the same thing as secrecy. Only guilty people have something to hide.
- Our kids think that a documentary is something you see on the Discovery and History channels.
- From TV kids learn that you need to record and document and publish important moments in your life and make them public in order for them to mean something.
- Ubiquitous 'panel discussions' teach kids that all voices carry equal weight in all things. They don't. (See the Balance Fallacy.) On a similar note, when you give an idiot a show, the nonsense they spew somehow becomes valid (See 'Long Island Medium'.)
- TV adverts brainwash kids into believing that newer is always better.
- TV proffers sound bites as wisdom.
- The suffering of other people is a source of amusement, according to TV.
- TV blends the boundaries between fact and fiction. Do you know that I'm still trying to convince my kids that mermaids don't really exist? Thanks Animal Planet.
- And finally, TV demonstrates to kids that you don't have to do something special to become famous or important. All you have to do is make enough of a noise, or take your clothes off.
Got any you want to add?