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The Pros and Cons of Television Time

The Pros and Cons of Television Time

A percentage of people will argue that television is nothing but garbage, while others will demand that TV is a tool for good. Some people blame television shows for all of the world’s violence, while others see it for being a resource for education. Who is right and who is wrong? Well, it is not as simple as that. The truth does not come packaged nicely in a concrete answer, rather it is more of a discussion with compelling arguments on both sides.

The Pros of Watching Television

Those who are opposed to television time might ask if there are any advantages to it at all. Yet, here are some of the pros of watching television:

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  1. Television is a cheap and easy source of entertainment in this life that is quite busy and expensive. It provides us with access to international news, making it easy to stay informed about world news.
  2. There are also channels that are exclusively educational that increase our knowledge about the world around us. PBS and Discovery are just a few of the educational channels available.
  3. DIY channels provide access to information on cooking, home improvement, investing, and so much more. Many people even use television to help them learn another language.
  4. Television also provides a way for people to realize dreams or goals that they didn’t even know they had, and it can give them a push in the right direction.
  5. Social Surrogacy is the term used by psychologists to explain how television can make people feel less lonely. It sort of fills the shoes of absent family or friends. Television also helps people to expand their minds through watching others travel and being taught about different cultures and societies, giving us a broader understanding of the world that we live in.
  6. Television events like the Olympics or an award show can gather families and friends around in a central location, where they are able to discuss their thoughts and feelings on the particular event.

The Cons of Watching Television

This list could go on and on, but here are a few of the highlights.

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  1. The violence, crime, and sex depicted on television shows can have negative impacts on young, impressionable children. Some researchers argue that the kids that see these violent acts are more likely to reenact this violent and aggressive behavior.
  2. Watching too much television is also bad for your health. Watching more than 3 hours of television a day may contribute to behavior problems, sleep difficulties, health issues, and lower grades.
  3. Too much television can also make you antisocial, and it is potentially a waste of time. The time that is spent watching television could be spent doing something productive like being social with other people, doing physical activity, enjoying the outdoors, reading, chores, or homework.
  4. Some people fear that television brainwashes people into consumerism. Advertisers target children and on average, children will see 40,000 advertisements per year, many of them being for snack foods and alcohol. The motive is to get consumers to buy.
  5. Television can be seen as making people shallow, because that’s what the majority of the content is. Many programs do not go into detail about issues, or they actively present them in a way that is biased. It has also been said that too much television can ruin relationships. This happens when someone is spending too much time watching the TV, and not enough time with the ones that they love.
  6. Oddly enough, television can also be addictive. Those who watch a lot of TV may find it harder to stop. Some studies have found that as much as 12% of TV watchers are unhappy with the amount of TV that they are watching, and would consider themselves addicted and feel incapable of stopping this habit.

To conclude, television time can both positively and negatively affect the viewer, although children tend to be affected more adversely than adults.

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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