General, Research, Technology

How strongly does television affect the lives of children?

The first television in the history of mankind wasinvented in 1884 by the German technician Paul Nipkov. The image quality and the execution itself were lousy, so in the following years the invention was constantly improved. The first modern TVs appeared in the homes of ordinary people around the 1960s. Since then, TV has become one of the most important home entertainment for adults and children. Many people believed that television programs were negatively affecting children's minds. Of course, they had some influence, but not always bad. Recently, American scientists decided to find out which programs were popular with children from 1967 to 2017 and how they influenced their values ​​in life. Sounds interesting, so let's find out which TV shows nurtured kindness in children, and which lower values ​​like the lust for fame?

Many parents say that television is bad for children. Is it so?

Most Popular TV Shows

At the first stage of scientific work, the researchers selected two TV programs that are popular among children aged 8-12 years. The resulting list is:

  • 1960s: The Andy Griffith Show and The Lucy Show;
  • 1970s: Happy Days and Laverne & Shirley;
  • 1980s: Alf and Growth Problems;
  • 1990s: "Sabrina, the Little Witch" and "The Boy Knows the World";
  • 2000s: Hannah Montana and American Idol Show;
  • 2010s: America Seeking Talent and Riley Stories.

Some of the shows around the same time werepopular in Russia as well. At the very least, you've probably heard about the series about the alien Alpha, the witch Sabrina and the superstar Hannah Montana. And we had our adaptations for American Idol and America Seeking Talent. It can be noted that until about the 2000s, serials were mainly shown on TV. And then shows about achieving success and the like gained great popularity.

Frame from the series "Sabrina the Little Witch"

Recently, the term has appeared in academia"Procrastination in bed." This is the name of the phenomenon when a person lies in a blanket for a long time and does not fall asleep, watching memes and various videos on YouTube. Probably, many people have such a tradition - here is an article on why we behave this way. But let's first talk about the impact of television on children, read the rest later.

How does TV affect children?

In the second stage of the study, scientists found outwhat life values ​​were most important for children in each decade. This list includes such phenomena as kindness, self-acceptance, thirst for fame, a sense of unity with others, and so on. It turned out that until about 2000, it was important for children to accept themselves, express kindness and be a useful part of society. But in 2007, the desire to be famous increased greatly, and the listed kindness and so on became less significant phenomena.

A still from the American Idol show, in which the jury selects the best emerging artist in the United States

Based on all this, the researchers madea very obvious conclusion. According to them, TV series fostered self-acceptance, kindness and many other useful values ​​in children. But fans of the reality show "America Seeking Talent" focused on the desire to become famous all over the world. According to the researchers, there is nothing good about this kind of show, because it portrays tough competition from a positive side. And at the same time, such shows rarely show that the path to success consists not only of one desire and "victory at any cost" - it requires hard work.

It is important to note, that as part of the study, scientists also foundthat children's values ​​are also influenced by social media - they increase narcissism and decrease empathy. This result seems to be the most relevant today, because very few people watch television, especially children.

The harm of television to people

According to the authors of the scientific work, their researchcan help TV show creators launch programs that are more useful to the younger generation. In addition, parents now know what values ​​different kinds of programs can bring up in children. But it's hard to believe that the creators of the show will pay attention to the results of the work done. As sad as it may sound, at the moment such shows are being released that the audience likes the most. The opposite may even happen - research can show that people like programs about success and their number, on the contrary, will increase.

A still from the popular TV series "WandaVision". You can read about why people like to watch TV shows in this article.

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But in TV shows and films, scientists do not see anything.bad. However, what impact they have on people depends on the genre and theme of each project. Many people believe that horror films are the worst impact on a person. After all, they often demonstrate cruelty and there is no reason for happiness in the plot. But scientists have a different opinion. Many studies have shown that horror movies help people prepare for difficult times in life. In 2020, it was found that fans of films about zombies and all kinds of viruses were more prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic than everyone else. You can read more about what horror movies are so good at in this article.