Could You Give Up Television?

Rachel Madden, Student Writer

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Can you imagine your life without television? I bet your answer is no because tv networks, such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime have become extremely popular in the last few years and are used everyday by millions. Even though we think these networks are extremely beneficial and are a great source of entertainment, I don’t think we are aware of some of the damages they can do. Lots of kids rely on Netflix and similar networks to combat boredom and keep them entertained instead of finding other ways to be productive. What about going outside or calling up a friend to hang out? Too many kids are “binge” watching Netflix shows and don’t understand the damage that can do to your brain, or even yourself individually.

According to recent research study, “70% of Americans are binge watchers.” That is more than half of the American population that watch episodes on repeat without having any time to rest your brain or do something productive. According to a study conducted by scientists from the University of Michigan and Belgium’s University, binge watching episodes is linked with poorer sleep quality, fatigue, and insomnia. This happens because your brain develops increased cognitive arousal that occurs when stimulating your mind with TV and movies. Even though television is a wonderful source of entertainment , we must find other solutions to keep individuals entertained. Pennridge student Maddie Geib stated, “I watch TV while I’m doing my homework and use it as background noise. Sometimes I can get distracted by it, but for me, it’s better than silence.” Television shouldn’t be eliminated from anyone’s lives, it should just be monitored. Using it as a background noise when sleeping, or doing homework is a great way to limit it. Importantly, we shouldn’t be watching it for hours on end, and not letting yourself be active at all. It can cause more damage than we think.

For any of you who are reading this and thinking “I can’t do this. Netflix is what I do everyday after school, all night long,” we have some tips to help you. First, don’t watch television alone, because someone who doesn’t watch it much could help keep you in check with your time. Second, maybe set an alarm or a time limit so you watch how long you are watching a day. Lastly, watch your television in the light. When you watch it in the dark you forget about your surroundings and become extremely focused on your show for too long. Senior at Pennridge, Autumn Kitabijan, said “Binge watching can stress me out and increase my procrastination, but for the most part it gives me something little to look forward to and allows me to relax.” This isn’t written to discourage you from watching tv, just to watch with moderation because television is a great way to relax. In the long run, you will be thankful if you are more active and manage your time appropriately.