Should Children Watch TV?

The media plays an important role in people’s lives; it is both a source of information and means of communication. Recently, however, people have noticed an increased impact of the media information on children (primarily the Internet and television). TV carries the powerful influence on youth. Therefore, the question arises: should children watch TV? It is a burning issue in the modern society.

It is undoubtedly that some parents consider watching TV very harmful for the health and development of a child. According to the studies in the negative impact of television, children are part of society that suffers from the TV side-effects most of all. Watching TV holds back the process of personal development (especially verbal) and breaks the children’s mind, imagination, feelings, emotions – everything that is inside the human being and forms a person.

Others believe that the television has both positive and negative influence. However, there are also those who are strongly convinced that children should watch TV. I strongly support the idea; therefore, this essay discusses the main arguments in order to support this assertion.

The media is one of the most influential institutions of education in modern society. It is the most affordable, common, and popular source of information and entertainment. Today, many researchers say not only about the huge, but the decisive influence of the media on the children’s development, behavior, and consciousness. Occupying a leading place in the lives of children, the media has become one of the most important agents of education.

The growing role of the television in the country’s public life is evident in its rapid growth, as well as the prevalence and general availability of the mass information. The television image can reach the most remote regions and penetrate into any social environment in the shortest period possible. Extensive media capabilities necessitate studying the mechanisms of their functioning and development, as well as the efficiency of the influence on the younger generation.

Television plays a huge role in the educational process. The process of education is one of the main problems of the modern society. It is the process of systematic and targeted influence on the spiritual and physical growth and development of a person. By overcoming the alienation of a human being from his/her true essence, the spiritual development of the individual in the process of historical development does not occur automatically. It requires effort of people, and these efforts are to be directed in order to create economic opportunities, objective social conditions, as well as the implementation of the new opportunities for spiritual and moral perfection.

As it is known, the media means dissemination of information that focuses on the perception of different groups of people. Researchers have identified the following functions of television in terms of education:

  • Recreational (defines leisure pastime both as a group and individual activity).
  • Relaxational (relieves loneliness and serves as a means of distraction during any complications in communication).
  • Informational and cognitive (television caters for the need of people to learn a variety of facts and figures about interesting phenomena and social events).
  • Regulatory (norms and patterns of behavior in society are promoted with the help of the media, especially, television; in this regard, the television is an important regulator of the public life).
  • Integrative (television gathers many people around the ideas and promotes the shared perceptions of people, attitudes, evaluations of certain events and creates the psychological tone in society).
  • Entertaining and compensatory (in front of the TV screens, children can relax after a school day, change the emotional background and, at the same time, receive a charge of missing in real life the vivid sensations and impressions; this function of the television is especially important for children and teenagers.
  • The general function (television allows many people to avoid loneliness; the only child in the family, doing lessons in an empty apartment and, at the same time, listening to the sound of a blue screen is a phenomenon that has long since become commonplace).

There are many useful TV programs that positively influence the development of the psyche and worldview of a child. Let the child watch cartoons with educational overtones devoid of violence, ridicule, necessarily with the happy ending. The psyche of a 1-3 years old child is not formed yet. If the adults filter the information that they get from the TV screens, the children, due to their inexperience, are not able to do this, and will believe anything that is said on TV. Already in the early childhood, the foundation of a moral belief, conscience, and character is laid, and it is very important not to miss this moment. It is much harder to reeducate than educate a child.

According to the article “The Good and Bad Effects of TV on Children, “Some TV shows can educate, inform and inspire. It can be more effective than books or audiotapes in teaching your kid about processes like how a plant grows or how to bake a cake” (n. d.). Moreover, some television programs help children understand the importance of proper nutrition, health, and exercise. In addition, children also learn many things that will be useful for education and future life. Some television programs can help the child reveal the talent in dancing, acting, or painting. Therefore, it is important to encourage children to watch such programs. They will develop the children’s intelligence and will not fill their heads with the unnecessary information.

Television as a mean of education and development of children has entered the secondary school quite recently. Despite this fact, today’s people do not even imagine the educational process without the use of the television technology, which is widely used in academic and extracurricular time.

Educational TV programs are the synthetic product of visibility that combine figurative and sound clarity and enable diverse information transfer, which aims at improving the quality of knowledge, skills, and abilities of students in their comprehensive development.

An educational TV program has some main features:

  • It shows the event, for example, historical, at the time of implementation.
  • It creates the best conditions for observation. For instance, students can see only what is needed in the classroom.
  • It works for a large audience: class, group classes, and all students at the school.
  • It uses close-ups, emphasizing the volume and the depth of the subject, as well as activates the perception of the new material by the students.
  • It has the presence effect: students are involved in the events that are displayed on the screen.
  • It is documentary as, when students observe various objects and phenomena, unique creations of the human mind, speeches of prominent people, it seems that the speakers refer directly to them.

Educational TV programs help teachers in explaining the most difficult topics, shaping the outlook of the students, building the national awareness and love for the country, native people, and nature, creating the national mentality, contributing to the preparation of the students for self-employment, engaging students in art, and also acquainting them with the new advances in science and technology.

There are many channels that broadcast various TV programs that concern both national and world history, literature, music, languages, and labor studies. The educational television programs are developed in accordance with the school programs and training courses.

Some television programs are designed for independent work of students after school, extracurricular activities, and watching in groups, clubs, associations, as well as informational and instructional gear for the teachers. Television programs that are broadcast to secondary schools can be of different forms: television lecture, television story, TV program of general character, television tour, educational films, as well as instructional programs for teachers.

Television lecture – is a complete logical presentation of the topic of one lesson or school activity. According to the structure, it is a composition, installation of specially selected visual range.

The television story is similar to the television lecture and is also dedicated to one topic of the lesson or educational event. It is a small composition – assembling specially selected visual material that is accompanied by the speaker and has a logical sequence and a complete rundown.

Today, people can easily travel to any country and see anything they want without leaving their comfortable chairs. Television plays a great role in the sphere of advertising. Besides, it is the main source of news, as well as entertainment.

Today, scientists and specialists of many countries raise the question of the need to develop the information ecology, forming the healthy lifestyle of people in the social and natural environment, as well as helping to create the guidelines for the education of children. Following the rules of the information hygiene leads to a conscious information lifestyle. Such components of lifestyle as labor, socio-political component, training, household, social, cultural, and leisure activities have the possibility to influence the socialization and education of the children positively.

Political activity, in which a teenager is actively involved by the media, acquires a new depth using interactive television (TV with feedback). Adding to the usual TV transmitter a remote-control feedback allows the teens to respond to the questions of speakers, take part in the survey or discussion. It helps work out an active living position of a young man.

Therefore, the connection of the media, especially, television and the newest computer technologies allow to intensify their educational influence on children and teenagers. Of course, it is important to note that the material offered by such systems to teenagers is of particularly important quality. The developed system of codes and passwords, of course, does not provide a completely closed way of harmful information for a teenager in the formation of his/her identity, but minimizes this protection, thus answering to a fair criticism on the corrupting impact of the media on the younger generation.

In terms of active influence of this kind of symbiosis of modern media and emerging technologies, there is a danger of isolation from the real life. However, the environmental education program that is actively implemented today helps avoid this phenomenon. Experienced psychologists and educators will certainly participate in the development of the information intended for children and teenagers, thereby reducing this danger to a minimum and the media have a positive impact on the education of youth.

The development and formation of the children’s personality come in constant contact with the outside world. Today when, on the one hand, people increasingly began to think about the education of the younger generation, and on the other hand – the influence of the media associated with the technological progress and the realization of the ideas of interactive engagement has increased, it is particularly important to control the upbringing and development of the children in their interaction with different information flows, obtained through the media. Today, the influence of television on the education of children is an urgent problem and is one of the first tasks of pedagogy.

It is important to note that there is a great danger that the development of the media and new information technologies will outstrip the development of pedagogy. Currently, the existing children’s channels established control, on the one hand, filtering the information available to children, on the other hand, organizing a clear interaction with the producers of information products for the younger generation with a view to the compliance of the problems of education and personal development. This policy is carried out directly at the state level, through the publication of the legislative bodies of various kinds of regulations governing such relations.

Analyzing all the information mentioned above, it becomes clear that the television plays a positive role in children’s life. However, it is necessary to note that television can positively influence the development of the child only if it is limited to the viewing time according to the child’s age. Moreover,

The most important thing for parents to do is to choose their children’s television viewing wisely. Think of television like food (but less essential to living). Not all food is good for you. For children especially, parents need to choose food with the best nutritional content and avoid too much sugar, or junk food. Television programming needs to be carefully selected as well. This means the content of the show as well as the way the show is presented. (“Positive effects of television on kids,” n. d.)

TV communicates useful information for the child in an interesting manner. It is desirable to choose educational children’s programs and good cartoons. Getting out of the TV the useful information, the child develops and trains memory and thinking. A bright pictures and images develop a good imagination, which is very important for the further development of the child.

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