The TV has a lot of synonyms "idiot box," "boob tube," "goggle box”, etc. The watcher is denigrated as a "couch potato." Is it true that the one-eyed monster deprive us of the capacity to think for ourselves?
We harbor a collective suspicion, that TV damages children in various ways from encouraging antisocial attitudes and violence to promoting unhealthy eating habits and obesity, for example. Have a lot of Educational researchers about this issue. But, at the same time could not be said of their results which are full of complexity and ambiguity. If we ask whether children who watch a lot of TV do worse in school, the result depends on what kind of home they live in. If the parents are middle class, then they watch a lot of TV. TV time precludes interaction with the parents that may be intellectually enriching. For these reasons, and others, children should not watch more than three hours of TV per day.
Results for children of poverty parents are different. The more TV they watch, the better their grades. If parents are not stimulating, then the kids do better watching the TV than conversing with their parents. It is not just a stereotype that poor homes are intellectually impoverishing.
Observational research has shown that parents on welfare spend far less time talking to their children than working class, or professional parents, resulting in an impoverished vocabulary.
How does one account for the greater academic success in wealthy countries? It could be that they have more money to invest in schools, that parents prepare their children better for success in education, or that daily life requires more complex thinking and problem-solving.
One way of combining all of these explanations is to note that education and intelligence are more important for success in urban economies than they are on farms. Alternatively, children in wealthy countries receive more brain stimulation through mass media.
We have evidence consistent with the argument that mass media are intellectually enriching.
Availability of televisions was particularly important…