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The Effect of Television on the Total Development of the Child : Advantages and Disadvantages


Television and Its Effect

The most controversial of all the mass media is the television.

Child psychologist and educators in the early 18th century, foresaw the educational potential of televisions, however, they also warned of the adverse effects which might be caused by prolonged and uncontrolled viewing.Researches confirms the advantages and hazards of television in the child's total development.

The total development of a child composed of the following:





Spiritual/ Moral

Disadvantages of Excessive Uncontrolled Television Viewing

Physiological Aspects

1.He may become passive,lethargic,and dependent.

2. He may interrupt his eating,sleeping,study schedule and routine.

3. Consume more high caloric foodsa and or lose appetite.

4. Become hyperactive and have difficulty in sleeping.

5. Not perform chores

6. Substitute television viewing for exercise, play activities and sports

7. Develop eyestrain and poor posture

8. not develop virtues which demand physical exertion.


1. Become overanxious, aggressive,impulsive,confused,indecisive and passive

2. Develop unrealistic expectations and demand immediate gratification

3. Have difficulties solving conflicts and working through own problems

4. Retreat into a fantasy world to escape unhappiness or problems and have bad dreams


1. Experience disruption of peace,harmony, routine,communication in family life

2. Not develop social skills,example, interactive play

3. Imitate bad manners of role models


1. Be exposed to immoral values,radical ideologies,political propaganda and consumerism

2. Be destructed from his studies,reading, imaginative and creative play and from acquiring active learning and writing skills and from developing talents in the arts

3. Not distinguish between fact and fantasy at young age

4. Not develop articulate verbal communication and precision

5. May become incapable of listening without visual effects

6. May become incapable of attention and concentration, because television allows understanding without attention

Spiritual and Moral

1. View repeated violations of a moral law and learn falsehood and half-truths

2. Be exposed to repeated criminal acts,terror and brutality

3.Become desensitized towards violence, cruelty and horror

4. Be exposed to sexual permissiveness,pre and extra-marital sex,divorce,pornography,sadism,eroticism and portrayal of unrealistic sex roles and sexuality which confuse and mislead

5. Identify with immoral role models who glamorized

6. Receive unrealistic messages about drugs and alcohol which indirectly encourage their use

7. Absorb ethnic and social stereotyping,making fun of a particular race.

Benefits of Controlled Television Viewing on the Child

Physiological Aspects

1. He may be inspired to engage in sports,exercise,and physical fitness.

2. He may absorb information and suggestions about hygiene,nutrition,health and good grooming.

3. He may develop audio-visual skills.

Emotional Aspects

1. Derive enjoyment from the programs

2. Inspired by role model's maturity and self-discipline

3. Acquire healthy emotional experiences through identification with the characters


1. He may learn concepts of social reality

2. Develop social skills and manners by imitating role models


1. Absorb information and universal truths

2. He may supplement his knowledge,especially in arts and sciences

3. Develop his vocabulary ,imagination, creativity,memory,interest in reading

4. Learn critical learning skills,how to process problems and ideas and how to predict outcomes

5. Be stimulated to be more interested in school work and participate in classroom discussion

6. Be helped to learn more thoroughly through audio-visual techniques

Spiritual and Moral Aspects

1. Learn universal truths

2. Absorb good moral values

3. Identify with role models who uphold the Moral law.


According to some research, the evidence from different subcultures and countries shows that children who are at an educational disadvantage in the world of lectures and books do not have this same disadvantage when it comes to learning from television.

The medium of television could do much to raise both the minimum and the average levels of education in the industrialized countries and the third world alike.


Subtle Story-lines

Nobody now can doubt that television has made more than a small contribution to the generalized acceptance of permissive sex and the view that marriage and marital fidelity are things of the dark. Divorce,adultery,live-in lovers and all sorts of other immoral situations are television's common line and not only in operas' and plays and films, but in 'sitcoms' and even chat-show interviews.


Television as an Advocate of Education

The medium of television need not to be a teacher of violence. It can function as a friend in family life and advocate of education in values.

Through television, the spirit is infused.

Television helps to unite men.

It serves people.

It gives us objective and true information.

It entertains us.

It enlighten our minds.

It contributes to the development of the child.

It fosters the progress of society.

It respects moral law.

It forms and propagates correct public opinion.

When television is placed at the service of man.

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