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Television Watching and Effects on Children


Television is a medium of telecommunication used to transmit images, either monochrome or polychrome, in two or three dimensions and transmits sounds. It is a common medium in houses, institutions and businesses. It is mainly used to broadcast programs aimed at entertaining, provides education and information (Kostyrka-Allchorne et al. 19). There are various types of television, including Liquid Crystal Display, Digital Light Processing, Organic Light-Emitting Diode and Plasma Panels.

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Positive Impacts of Television

There are many effects of television that are both positive and negative. The positive impacts of television on children include providing educational content, entertainment, sports, exposure to different cultures, inspiration, and programs. Television provides educational content through airing channels that provide informative content specifically to children. The channels that broadcast informative content including history, arts, science, geography, craft, and mathematics. Television is a crucial medium of communication that exposes children to many languages in the world (Kostyrka-Allchorne et al. 20). It is essential to encourage children to watch news channels, enabling them to stay updated with the world’s current affairs.

In entertainment, television produces colourful images and sounds on the screen, appealing to the children’s ears and eyes. Many television channels broadcast cartoons, movies that keep children engaged. Based on the age of the children, it is advised that the content broadcast is appropriate to the children. Sports such as soccer, tennis, basketball, and baseball are broadcasted by television. Parents are advised to watch the games with their children and teach them about the rules, facts, and gameplay in sports (Kostyrka-Allchorne et al. 21). When children show interest in certain games, they are encouraged to play those games.

Television can expose children to many cultures around the world. Watching television can enable children to learn about different cultures in different countries when choosing appropriate programs and channels, which exposes them to various traditions, lifestyles, and people worldwide. Television not only educates children but also inspires them. It encourages children to try new ways of doing things by airing various innovations across the world. Other examples of inspirational television programs include broadcasting creative arts, which encourage children to make new things using paints, papers, and clay. The use of documentaries about public figures, scientific innovations inspires children to do good things which will impact their lives positively. It encourages children’s creativity through television programs such as music, cooking, crafts, and theatre (Kostyrka-Allchorne et al. 23). This enables the inner inspiration which stimulates the mind of children.

Television improves children’s academic performance in the sense that responsible and effective use of television enhances mental and emotional stability. When children have mental stability, they tend to concentrate more on their academics, enabling them to score very high in school. Besides, the airing of educational and informative content allows students to have more knowledge other than what they could only receive in the classroom. Television promotes healthy stress relief through watching entertainment in programs. It has proved to keep children engaged, especially children who constantly keep jumping around the house and make noise every time (Kostyrka-Allchorne et al. 24-27). Television keeps children engaged, which improves their cognitive development.

Social participation is encouraged by watching television, whereby children mimic those who are broadcasted on the television. Children who watch individuals who perform productively on television will try to mimic the lifestyles and behaviours of those characters in real life. This is also applied to events and competitive tasks, especially when children watch other individuals who perform best in sports and exams. Children will try to be like them, which promotes positive development. In addition, television fosters independent thinking and personality development (Kostyrka-Allchorne et al. 28-30). It enables children to be independent in their thinking skills and teaches them to think big (Kostyrka-Allchorne et al. 31). These are vital to the children’s development of thinking and creativity in various perspectives.

Negative Effects of Television

Television also affects children negatively, although there many positive impacts on their life. The adverse effects of television include encouragement of inactivity, negative social development, undesirable behaviour, exposure to vices, distorted views of the world, and consumerism (Kostyrka-Allchorne et al. 32). Television curbs activity by reducing the amount of time spent on physical activities. Sometimes when children are watching television, they refuse to do other chores at home. Exposure to too much television time can lead to poor vision and lack of appropriate physical activities (Kostyrka-Allchorne et al. 33). Children experience reduced and blurry vision, which is corrected by wearing glasses. Studies have shown that obesity is directly proportional to the amount of time children spend on television. Addiction to television promotes a sedentary lifestyle and exercise, negatively impacting the brain and heart (Kostyrka-Allchorne et al. 35-39). This can lead to the development of cardiovascular disorder and arterial diseases.

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Television impacts negatively on the social development of kids who do not have time to socialize and play. Minimal interactions with their peers affect the social development of children negatively. Children use a lot of their time watching television; therefore, it deprives them of time to interact with others in their social circle, which affects their understanding and knowledge of social behaviours and interaction. It also affects children’s brain development and the behaviour they exhibit (Kostyrka-Allchorne et al. 40). Watching television excessively affects the development of children’s brains even though it is educational (Kostyrka-Allchorne et al. 41). Studies have shown that children’s exposure to television watching during the first years of childhood development affects their brain development (Kostyrka-Allchorne et al. 42). It lowers the cognitive abilities related to language development, early reading, and short-term memory (Kostyrka-Allchorne et al. 43). Other studies have shown that toddlers who spend two hours daily watching television per day affect their behaviour (Kostyrka-Allchorne et al. 44).

Exposure to vices increased while watching television since parents may not always control what their children watch. Inappropriate content that is broadcasted, such as alcohol, drugs, and sex, may raise a question to children which they cannot find themselves. Exposure to these vices may change the way children view these vices. The violence that is portrayed in superhero movies makes them think that it is okay to be violent. This encourages aggressive and violent behaviours in some children, which is detrimental to the social development of children. These aggressive behaviours can be manifested immediately, while others can manifest in later years. Besides, television can give a distorted view of the world by portraying a mean world view. Movies and television show exaggerated reality and show extreme violent scenes on online platforms, which can be terrific to kids (Kostyrka-Allchorne et al. 44-48). The use of guns and violence in movies can give children the impression of a dangerous world.


In conclusion, television watching by children has both positive and negative impacts. The positive implications for the children include improvement of academic performance, provision of inspirational content, provision of entertainment, and sports content. When children watch television, they are exposed to more educational content which cannot be taught in class. When children watch sports on television, parents are encouraged to watch with them to teach them gameplay and play rules. The negative impacts include the inability to participate in outdoor activities, which increases cardiovascular diseases. It also exposes them to vices and violence, making them think that it is okay to participate in aggressive and violent behaviours.


Kostyrka-Allchorne, Katarzyna, Nicholas R. Cooper, and Andrew Simpson. “The Relationship Between Television Exposure and Children’s Cognition and Behaviour: A Systematic Review.” Developmental Review 44 (2017): 19-58. Web.

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