Faduma Edey Eng 101 Television in Our LivesWhy do people watch television? Is it to be entertained? Or keep us busy during free time? Knowing the harmful effects of television to our body and to our family we still continue to spend hours a day in front of the television. Day in and day out, this has become a routine, either through traditional ways of sitting in front of the television or modern ways like Netflix and YouTube in our mobile device. My own view, however, is that people watch television to escape from life, to escape reality and live life through the characters on that television program we are watching, we relate to them, we see ourselves in them, that is why we are hooked and can’t stop watching them. The more television advances the more addicted we become. Watching television can be an addicitive activity. In the essay “Television is No Mere Metaphor” by Robert Kubey and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi presents how far television addiction can go. Often the word “Addiction” is used metaphorically as a person doesn’t have to do anything they want to do. A human being has control over their daily actions, but when it comes to televisions that is not the case. “Television: The Plug-In Drug” by Marie Winn with a new perspective when it comes to the negative effects of television. Presenting and expounding the obvious yet neglected effects of television not only to ourselves, but most importantly to our family. Winn suggests that television affects family relationships, human brain development and quality of life. I completely agree with Winn, these results are due to extended exposure to television a exposure that can be and should be controlled. When television sets was first introduced, it was big and expensive, a household can only afford one unit, it was more of a luxury to have. This is not the case today; nowadays a household will have 2 or more sets; children have their own television in their own bedroom placed by their parent to keep them occupied. So instead of going outside and playing with the neighbors kids, children would rather sit in front of their television all day. This is brought about by parents not tolerating their children’s actions and parents’ lack of action. FAMILY RELATIONSHIPSRoutines and rituals are important to the health and wellness of today’s families -one might even argue that it is the backbone of a healthy family. Small yet meaningful routines like being tucked-in the bed at night or rituals like gathering around the Christmas tree to open gifts on Christmas morning might seem miniscule to some people but to a growing child, these are important memories embedded in their brain. As Winn mentioned “these are regular, dependable, recurrent happenings that give members of a family a feeling of belonging to a home rather than living in” in making this comment, Winn argues that to a member of the family, primarily the child these are more than routines and rituals, these are memories that help form and shape their personality and values, it is about feeling and being a part of a family, rather than just a group of people living together.Parental involvement is important at an early age because children who develop a secure attachment relationship with their parents are at an advantage, they tend to achieve more academically, and they also are more sociable and emotionally secured compared to peers who have not developed secure attachments with their parents growing up.BRAIN DEVELOPMENTMost children are introduced to the world of television long before they step inside a classroom. Even after being enrolled to a school, parents would let their child to watch educational or child friendly television shows all day after school. But does this really help a child’s brain development in the long run? Television exposure can affect a child’s brain development. The first few years are considered critical in brain development. It is when a child’s brain is like a sponge, absorbing all the information that is fed into it, it has no filter, right or wrong it consumes. Letting a child watch television all day is a bad idea; giving no or minimal attention is worst. In raising a child parental supervision and guidance is key, without the love and support of the parents the child is doomed to fail.QUALITY OF LIFENo one has ever claimed that television can be healthy, but we are now discovering how unhealthy it is. Exposure to television may lead or can cause serious illness to a person. This directly affects the quality of life a person can live, the longer a person is exposed to television the chance of getting sick increases.Extended exposure to television can affect a person’s health, because everything in excess is bad, everything should be in moderation. It is easier to sit in front of the television and flick through the television to see what is on, rather than lacing up the running shoe to go outside for a quick run. But which one would be more beneficial in the long run? People tend to choose the easy way without thinking of the long term effect of our decisions.TELEVISION IS GOOD FOR YOUThe standard way of thinking about television is that it is bad for a person, all of the reasons and evidences point to the same thing. Some argue though that television can in fact be good for a person. It can be a resource for kids, students and even teachers. television is not all bad; it can be good depending on what a person watches, and who that person is. In times it can actually be good for a person, especially to younger children with developing minds. it is how long a person is exposed to television that hurts them; it is the quality and contents of the show a person watches that causes troubles. Third world countries can definitely benefit from television, they can learn basic english from free television programs. On the other hand, a question that must be answered is how well are these television programs being monitored, specifically the free programs? Can we really rely on the government to provide a non-biased rating to television shows? These are questions that I think need to be answered before a person can argue that the problem is the quality of the television being watched, and not how long they expose themselves to these shows.CONCLUSIONThe obvious effects of television exposure to a person are often neglected, choosing the convenience of flicking through the television, searching for something that catches our eye, rather than choosing a book to read or the hassle of going outside for a run. Television exposure indeed affects the family relationship we built in our homes, the brain development of a child through its formative years and its effect on the quality of the life we live. Knowing all the harmful effects of extended exposure to television and the arguments presented, will you continue your habit? Or will you go and pick-up a book instead of picking up the remote?