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Monday, April 5, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 a.m.
 
Share your thoughts

Do you worry that your child's TV viewing will affect his or her behavior later in life? Are you considering changing your child's viewing habits? Share your thoughts.

Here's a sample of what readers are saying:

I am not at all surprised by the conclusions of this study. Our children don't watch TV in our household, and we won't be changing that pattern. My question is this: When will computer games be assessed for their impact on children's well being? My anecdotal observations of the children in my life are that the more time spent in front of the monitor playing games, the fewer friends, outdoor activities, social skills and study skills. I'd really like to see some research into this.

— Rebecca Sandel,
Seattle


Once again, popular opinion catches up with the obvious... TV clearly affects what we recognize as "normal" attention span. Since its inception, it has provided the watcher with a "ready-made" stimulus not unlike what storytellers have provided the ancient civilizations since the emergence of mankind. The only notable difference is that we are required to process the modern stories through a two-dimensional medium, extrapolating the information at a phenomenal rate... If you've ever been to an opera or a play you can note a significant difference in your mental ability to remember the details of the show... Sports enthusiasts would probably also recognize the same thing at an arena event versus watching the game on TV.

The question that needs to be raised: Is having a reduced attention span a bad thing overall? Modern society is moving at such a pace, I would be willing to bet that attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is an evolutionary reaction to our need to increase our ability to disseminate large amounts of data over a relatively unchanged portal (our eyes and ears). I've known people who grew out of ADHD and are leading normal lives... I think people just need to understand that we are still evolving as a result of our environment. Don't take what I'm saying as a license to sit your kid down in front of the TV... It should be part of a well-balanced diet of radio, TV, Internet, music, books, puzzles, games, periodicals and socializing, all of which will increase brain activity and allow for comfortable growth in the ever rapidization of modern civilization.

— John Eggers,
Seattle

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