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Kids becoming prisoners of TV

T. Gamble
Feature Columnist

T. Gamble Feature Columnist

New Zealand researchers recently reported the results of a study of 1,000 children and the affect long-term TV watching had on them. The study was published in the medical journal Pediatrics.

It discovered, among other things, that a child has a 30 percent increase in the likelihood of having a criminal conviction for every hour of TV the kid watched each week night.

The world as we know it is doomed.

Even the most non-TV-watching kids in America now watch at least two hours of TV a day. That means they are 60 percent more likely to have a criminal conviction, as opposed to the already 50-50 odds they’ll end up in jail without TV. I may as well go ahead and fit the 8-year-old hurricane boy in an orange jumpsuit.

Based on this study, I’d say no more than 500 or 600 kids of today — in the entire country — will end up not in prison. I’m no fortuneteller, but I’d suggest any entering college freshman consider a major that will qualify one to become a prison warden, law enforcement personnel or criminal lawyer.

The study did not even begin to ask what happens when the rest of the day is spent on video games killing zombies, terrorists and pretty much anything else that breathes, walks or crawls.

The researchers found increased TV watching also resulted in adults with increased rates of antisocial behavior, aggressive personality traits, tendency to experience negative emotions and antisocial personality disorder. Sounds like everyone who works at the IRS watched too much TV to me.

I suspect watching a lot of TV is not the greatest thing for the developing young mind. Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe young minds need to see if someone will eat raw pig brains to win $10,000. Maybe it is important to understand the effect of being struck by a missile-launched grenade and to see in graphic detail the end result. Maybe the young brain needs to know that the average sitcom character sleeps around about as much as a Russian mink.

To back this up, I saw where the once No. 1 show “Friends,” about six wholesome friends living in New York in apartments that would break Donald Trump while they worked menial jobs, had between 27 and 55 sexual partners during the show’s run of success. Joey and Phoebe were the worst — or best, depending on how you look at it — and I’m not sure who came in last.

Who knows? All I saw as a kid were flesh wounds that didn’t bleed and an ocassional short skirt.

I’d like to blame it all on TV, but I can’t. Truth be known, the kids that watch the most TV are also the kids that have the least amount of interaction with their parents. The study didn’t address that particular tidbit of information.

Kids become who they are one of two ways. One, by following the example of their parents. Two, If they have no example, by what they see elsewhere, and part of that is TV.

So, who do you want ‘em to follow, you or the TV?

Contact columnist T. Gamble at t@colliergamble.com.