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The Symptoms and Risks of Television Addiction

addiction of television essay

Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.

addiction of television essay

History of TV Addiction

Screen-overload, when tv and screentime is a problem, symptoms of television addiction, the research lag, risks of tv addiction, treatment for tv addiction.

Is television or screen addiction real? This is a complicated, hotly debated question. Officially, if you go by the disorders listed in the latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , fifth edition (DSM-5), the "bible" of recognized mental health conditions, the answer is no.   However, countless researchers (and laypeople alike) view screentime overuse as a looming crisis.

While scientists and psychologists wrestle over exactly what qualifies as an addiction or disorder, the fallout of TV and screen overuse is plain for most of us (experts, doctors, parents, and teachers included) to see. So, even though TV addiction has not yet made the list, there is still plenty of reason to work toward a healthier relationship with your screens.

The idea of television addiction is nothing new and predates the explosion in media and screens of recent years. Worry over too much TV has been conceptualized and discussed since the 1970s, well before some of the behavioral addictions that have since overtaken it in terms of scientific research and widespread acceptance, such as internet addiction.   Although early research into TV addiction was limited, the concept of TV addiction was relatively well accepted by parents, educators, and journalists, as television watching became more common, particularly among children. 

Much of the research on screentime has been devoted to its impact on children but, as we all are aware, adults are also prone to overuse.  

Doctors, teachers, counselors, parents, and even kids are growingly concerned as the quantity of content, types of available media, proliferation of electronic devices, and time spent on screens all soar. According to data in Common Sense Media's 2019 "The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Tweens and Teens," the average teen spends 7 hours, 22 minutes on screens daily—not including for school or homework.

Time in front of screens is up significantly from the last survey in 2015, which is even more alarming when you consider that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends significantly less screentime than kids are getting.

In 2001, the AAP, citing concerns over possible links of excess screentime to aggressive behavior, poor body image, obesity, and decreased school performance, set a guideline of two hours of screentime maximum for children aged 2 and older and no screens for those under 2. In 2016, those guidelines were reduced to one hour for children aged 2 to 5, and more open-ended "consistent limits" were recommended for kids 6 and up, along with the advice to implement age-appropriate supervision and to teach children media-savvy skills.

Clearly, today's children are far surpassing the recommended limits. Smartphone ownership has also increased sharply with 69% of 12-year-olds now having a phone in their pockets, compared with just 41% in 2015. Today, nearly 90% of high schoolers and over 50% of 11-year-olds are smartphone owners as well.

As we all know, if you have a smartphone (or any other electronic device), you also have the potential for 24-hour access to television and other content via streaming. While overuse is all too common, the relative ability or inability to self-regulate viewing time and choosing screentime to the exclusion of other activities is a key indicator of a problem.  

Common Sense Media research found that tweens and teens spend the majority of their screentime binge-watching TV and videos, with YouTube and Netflix topping the most used content providers. After TV, the most frequent electronic activities among teens are gaming and social media.  

According to 2019 Common Sense Media data , teens spend 39% of their over 7 daily screentime hours watching TV and videos, 22% devoted to gaming, and 16% to social media. This adds up to over 5.5 hours total and nearly 3 hours a day watching content. Tweens, who average just under 5 hours of daily screen time, allot 53% of their media time to TV and videos, 31% to gaming, and 4% to social media.

When TV addiction was first studied in the 1970s, it was described as paralleling five of the seven DSM criteria used for diagnosing substance dependence.   People who were "addicted" to television spent large amounts of their time watching it; they watched TV longer or more often than they intended; they made repeated unsuccessful efforts to cut down their TV watching; they withdrew from or gave up important social, family, or occupational activities in order to watch television; and they reported "withdrawal"-like symptoms of subjective discomfort when deprived of TV.  

Studies conducted with self-identified "TV addicts" have shown that those who consider themselves addicted to television are more generally unhappy, anxious, and withdrawn than other people who watch television. These people use television watching to distract themselves from negative moods, worries and fears, and boredom.   They are also somewhat more likely to be solitary and hostile and to withdraw from or have difficulty maintaining social connections with others, although it is unclear whether there is a causal link between these personality characteristics and addiction .

More recently, research shows there is a growing popular trend toward binge-watching television in our culture, which may be exacerbating television addiction.   Characteristics that have been associated with self-identified TV addiction are binge-watching, susceptibility to boredom, and the use of TV to fill time. The TV (whether streaming on a device or watching on a traditional TV) is used as a way to avoid rather than seek out stimulation. In addition, people who become addicted to TV tend to have poor attention and self-control, feel guilty about wasting time, and are prone to daydreams involving fear of failure.  

One reason TV or screen addiction isn't considered a true addiction is a lack of sufficient research and the fact that many symptoms of overuse have been normalized. Most of us partake in some of these behaviors to some degree, from spending a weekend binge-watching our favorite show to winding down with a few hours on Facebook, YouTube, or game consoles.   Everywhere we look people are staring at screens and, if not, are holding them in their hands, pockets, or bags.

However, while the research data hasn't caught up quite yet to our rapidly changing media and screen landscape, it will soon. Many studies are now in the works that should shed light on the impact all this screentime is having and whether obsessive behaviors around TV watching, social media, gaming, and/or any other electronically-based activity should be classified as true addictions. Regardless, there is a vast agreement that chronic TV watching and screen overuse is a problem.

One pertinent study is the National Institute on Drug Abuse's ongoing, large scale Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD Study) project. The ABCD Study, which began in 2016, is following nearly 12,000 youth over 10 years to determine the effects of screentime on brain development, among other social and environmental factors.

The one electronic activity addiction that has gained official legitimacy is gaming addiction, which was listed as a potential disorder in need of further research in the DSM-5.

Alarmingly, rates of many mental health concerns, from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to suicide, are also on the rise—and some wonder if this may be, in part, related to skyrocketing screentime. In fact, a 2018 study in Pediatrics , found a link between screentime, quantity of sleep, and impulsivity-related disorders. These findings echo what many parents and experts see as a link between screens and the exacerbation of ADHD symptoms and other behavioral and mental health issues in children.

Research has also revealed disturbing evidence that excessive TV watching is associated with a shorter lifespan.  Those in the highest risk category watched an average of six hours of television a day and had a lifespan nearly five years shorter than people who did not watch TV. But does TV itself cause a shorter lifespan? Perhaps not. The study’s authors have stated that the results may be caused by other factors strongly associated with excessive TV watching such as overeating , lack of exercise, and depression.

Indeed, there are multiple addictive behaviors that lend themselves to hours of TV watching. Marijuana addiction and heroin addiction both tend to lead to hours of inactivity, often in front of screens. People with chronic pain who are reliant on painkillers are often limited in their mobility so they can’t get out and about. And while the focus of research into shopping addiction tends to be retail stores and online shopping, it may neglect one of the most compulsive scenarios for the shopaholic—the shopping channel.

Television may be addictive, along with other forms of media, such as video game addiction , internet addiction , cybersex , and smartphone addiction . Still, it seems likely that it co-exists with many other addictions that feed off the isolation that is felt by people with numerous other behavioral and substance addictions.

So, what can we do to offset the danger of too much TV and electronic device usage? Whether or not TV or screen overuse is technically an addiction, we can take steps to reduce its effects. Many parents have intuitively recognized the need to monitor and manage their kids' screen time, long before the rise of the internet—and getting back to the time before the internet can be key to shaking its allure.

Experts suggest the most effective methods for countering screen overuse are removing access to devices, logging use to build awareness and accountability, utilizing screentime apps that will track and limit access, and replacing electronic leisure time with old school activities, such as board games, exercise, and family (device-free) meals.   Parents can also model good screentime self-control by limiting their own use. Cognitive behavioral therapy may also help for those who feel they need more intensive help.

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database .

A Word From Verywell

While we await more concrete data on TV and screen overuse to emerge from ongoing research studies, what is certain is that screentime is on the rise and there is increasing concern over "addictive" screen behaviors in both children and adults. Many parents worry that their children are guinea pigs as the impacts of this untested influx of high tech gadgets, social media, and pervasive screens play out in real-time before research on possible detrimental effects can be fully vetted.

Luckily, screens don't have to take over and control our lives. While it is certainly a challenge, we have the tools to reduce screentime in our lives simply by limiting access, building awareness, and swapping virtual actives for ones done in the real world.

Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders . 5th ed. Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association; 2013.

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Sussman S, Moran MB. Hidden addiction: Television .  J Behav Addict . 2013;2(3):125–132. doi:10.1556/jba.2.2013.008

Media Use by Tweens and Teens 2019: Infographic . Common Sense Media.

American Academy of Pediatrics: Children, adolescents, and television . Pediatrics . 2001;107(2):423-6. doi:10.1542/peds.107.2.423

American Academy of Pediatrics. Digital Guidelines: Promoting Healthy Technology Use for Children .

Alavi SS, Ferdosi M, Jannatifard F, Eslami M, Alaghemandan H, Setare M. Behavioral addiction versus substance addiction: Correspondence of psychiatric and psychological views .  Int J Prev Med . 2012;3(4):290–294.

Grant JE, Potenza MN, Weinstein A, Gorelick DA. Introduction to behavioral addictions . Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse . 2010;36(5):233–241. doi:10.3109/00952990.2010.491884

Flayelle M, Maurage P, Billieux J. Toward a qualitative understanding of binge-watching behaviors: A focus group approach .  J Behav Addict . 2017;6(4):457–471. doi:10.1556/2006.6.2017.060

Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD Study) . National Institute on Drug Abuse.

National Institute of Mental Health. Suicide .

Guerrero MD, Barnes JD, Walsh JJ, Chaput JP, Tremblay MS, Goldfield GS. 24-Hour movement behaviors and impulsivity . Pediatrics . 2019;144(3). doi:10.1542/peds.2019-0187

Veerman J, Healy G, Cobiac L, et al. Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: A life table analysis .  Br J Sports Med . 2012;46(13):927-930. doi:10.1136/bjsports-2011-085662

Zhao H, Tian W, Xin T. The development and validation of the online shopping addiction scale .  Front Psychol . 2017;8:735. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00735

By Elizabeth Hartney, BSc, MSc, MA, PhD Elizabeth Hartney, BSc, MSc, MA, PhD is a psychologist, professor, and Director of the Centre for Health Leadership and Research at Royal Roads University, Canada. 

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Essay on TV Addiction | TV Addiction Essay for Students and Children in English

February 14, 2024 by Prasanna

Essay on TV Addiction: TV, abbreviation for  television, is a telecommunication tool employed for transmitting moving pictures in 2D and 3D, along with audio. Television is a medium for advertising, news, sports and entertainment. The television was incited for the public for entertainment purposes and offered important news to people of all age groups. Some people contend that television does not always positively influence people because it can sometimes hinder communication between people. In this essay, we will talk about TV addiction; it causes, symptoms, outcomes, and preventive measures to overcome TV addiction in long and short essays.

You can also find more  Essay Writing  articles on events, persons, sports, technology and many more.

Short Essay on TV Addiction 150 Words in English

Short Essay on TV Addiction is usually given to classes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

TV addiction is observed between people of all age groups. While television is an excellent source of relaxation and can be used to escape from our routine stress, getting addicted to it can be damaging. Television addiction is usually caused because of low social life and the incapability to manage emotions skillfully. It is also a consequence of boredom. While television stifles these issues momentarily, in the long run, it only exacerbates these problems. People addicted to TV start avoiding social events and family reunions just to watch their favourite dramas. They become emotionally clinging on television and undergo withdrawal symptoms when they don’t access it. They don’t like getting engaged in any other work and get bored easily.

TV addiction has various other adversarial consequences too. Some of these include irregular sleep patterns, depression, impaired vision, hemialgia, strained relations, lack of poor performance at work, diminished brain exercise, temper problems, social segregation and physical health problems. TV addiction is a serious matter. If you watch television for ampere-hours a day and cannot stay without watching the television, then you might be addicted. One needs to immediately discuss the problem and get relieved from it before it takes a toll on your life. There are several approaches to defeat this addiction. One just needs to stay resolute and battle their way through.

Long Essay on TV Addiction 500 Words in English

Long Essay on TV Addiction is usually given to classes 7, 8, 9, and 10.


The term addiction doesn’t mean only the dependence of substances such as cocaine or heroin. A person who cannot hold themselves from taking a particular drug or chemical has a substance dependence. Some addictions also include an incapability to cease participating in activities, such as gambling, eating, or working. In these situations, the person has a behavioural addiction.

Addiction to television has been conceptualised and debated since the 1970s. In the initial years, the obsession with TV was limited, but, nowadays, TV addiction is moderately well accepted by parents, educators, and journalists. TV watching has become more prevalent between children and adults, as they are also inclined to overuse.

Getting addicted to anything implies sealing down partially or entirely on other stuff in life. Addiction of all kinds, including TV addiction, is bad. It disturbs a person’s private as well as professional life and influences his health severely. Many people around the world are addicted to television, and this is ravaging their lives.

TV Addiction Agitates Personal Life

We need to employ quality time with our family members to build healthy dynamics with them. A family with a warm and healthy atmosphere fosters happy and healthy kids. People addicted to TV prefer watching television rather than talking to their family members. This disrupts normal family life.

As a person becomes addicted to TV, he also suffers the right equation with friends. He does not socialise much and eventually grows socially detached. This is a matter of great concern. Television addiction is one of the causes of people getting away from each other. People addicted to television may not understand this initially; however, they soon start to feel lonely. Most of them even fall into depression because of the television addiction.

It Hinders Professional Life

A person addicted to TV always aches to get back home and watch his favourite programs on the TV. Such people often juggle important meetings, get late in every task, and even take leaves from their workplace to watch TV, which can also hamper their career. All they worry about is to reach home quickly and relax in front of their TV set. People addicted to the TV are likely to function poorly at work because watching television for a prolonged time can reduce their capability to focus on the job at hand.

Many people around the globe are suffering from TV addiction. They are destroying their life in replacement of temporary entertainment. It is necessary to recognise the cause of this obsession and get rid of it to commence a healthier life.

Essay on TV Addiction 800 words in English

TV addiction is as critical as any other sort of obsession. It is effortless to get addicted to television but challenging to defeat it. With various new channels and compelling television shows being launched regularly, it is difficult to get past this habit. However, it is important to get cured, in time as its influence on a person’s life is arduous to deal with. Television addiction is usually caused because of typically non existent social life and the incapability to manage emotions skillfully. It is also a consequence of boredom. While television stifles these issues momentarily, in the long run, it only exacerbates these problems.

Methods to cure TV addiction

Start by restricting your TV viewing time. Make a schedule that involves different activities throughout the day to help you to keep you busy. Adhere to your plan to run your day orderly and limit your TV viewing hours. This can prove to be a notable move in getting rid of TV addiction. Spending time with your family is much more fun and satisfying than wasting time in front of the idiot box. When trying to get over your television obsession, it is always a great idea to seek help from family members. They will assuredly assist you in the situation. Every person in this world has a hobby. It may be painting, dancing, landscaping or playing a sport. We can also get engaged in doing household chores, reading books, and many other activities. This will reduce our urge to watch tv and get rid of this addiction. One may have the urge to watch TV while they sit at home for a long time. It is a great idea to get involved in outdoor activities, or visiting a friend, going for a walk which will help you stay away from the television for long hours.

TV Addiction in Children

In earlier days, people lived in a joint family. Children were blessed to have a lot of brothers and sisters, uncles, aunts and grandparents with whom they could play and spend time. But things have evolved over time. 1qaThe trend of a nuclear family is one of the chief causes of TV addiction among children. In a nuclear household, both the parents work to secure a better lifestyle for the family, which often isolates the kids. Therefore, the easiest thing for the children to turn to for a companion is the television.

Parents often switch on the television and make their children sit in front of it, so that they can move on with their work tranquilly. And before they realise, their kids are already addicted to the television. It is easy to get addicted to the TV but challenging to get over it. Kids who develop television addiction cannot focus on their education and perform badly in their exams. They also exhibit health problems and behavioural problems. Parents are required to assure that they restrict their child’s TV viewing time. This is essential for the mental as well as physical well being of the kids.

Impact of TV Addiction

TV addiction is apprehended to create behavioural problems. A person who is addicted to TV is expected to show signs of aggressiveness. This is because most television programs stream brutal content. It can blur the ability of a person to contemplate. The reasoning and behaviour of a television addict are primarily influenced by the type of shows they watch repeatedly. They are not capable of focusing on their work. They have this never-ending urge to revert to the television and watch their beloved shows. Additionally, this obsession also decreases the activity of the brain that results in bad performance at work.

TV addicts usually daydream and start living in a fancy world. They cut off connections from reality. They frequently complain of migraine. They often suffer from redness in the eyes, and their eyesight also declines over time. Television addicts usually seclude themselves from society. This results in depression over time. This obsession ends in irregular sleep patterns which causes apathy and hinders work. It can reduce physical activities and result in several health problems such as diabetes, obesity, heart problems, etc.

TV Addiction Essay Conclusion

The addiction of TV is correlated with obsessive behaviour of watching television shows for hours. TV addiction destroys the brain to a large extent. It hinders a person’s all-round growth and creates various other issues. The problem must be addressed immediately to lead a happy and fulfilling life.. It is straining personal relationships, lowering professionals’ performance level, and increasing negative thinking among the masses. Television addiction is the same as other forms of addiction such as – drug addiction, computer addiction, mobile addiction and other disorders. If one cannot subdue TV addiction, they should immediately meet a guide or therapist who can help them to handle the addiction.

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Home — Essay Samples — Life — Watching TV — A Report on Television Addiction According to Marie Winn’s


A Report on Television Addiction According to Marie Winn's

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Published: Jul 17, 2018

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addiction of television essay


The Impact of TV Addiction on Mental Health: Exploring the Connection between TV Addiction and Depression

Imagine a world where the line between reality and fiction blurs, where the glow of the television screen becomes a source of comfort and solace. A world where binge-watching endless episodes becomes a way to escape from the challenges of everyday life. This is the realm of TV addiction, a phenomenon that is silently gripping millions around the globe. But what are the consequences of this seemingly harmless habit? And how does it relate to one of the most prevalent mental health issues of our time – depression ?

In this article, we delve deep into the intricate connection between TV addiction and depression, exploring the profound impact it has on our mental well-being. We unravel the tangled threads that bind these two afflictions together and shed light on the underlying causes, prevalence, and implications for individuals trapped in the vicious cycle of excessive television consumption.

Defining TV addiction is the first step towards understanding its intricacies. We examine the concept in its entirety, dissecting its signs and symptoms, and uncovering the factors that contribute to its development. From there, we embark on a journey through the prevalence and impact of TV addiction, scrutinizing the rising rates and dismal consequences of excessive television viewing on physical and mental health.

But it is in the exploration of the connection between TV addiction and depression that we truly begin to unveil the intricate web that binds them together. We delve into the role of escapism and isolation, shedding light on how these aspects contribute to both the addiction and the mental health disorder. Moreover, we scrutinize the impact of excessive media consumption on self-esteem and mood, unraveling the hidden dangers that lie beneath the surface.

Ultimately, this article serves as a guidepost, offering strategies to overcome TV addiction, managing depression, and discovering alternative activities to replace excessive television viewing. By promoting awareness and balance in media consumption, and recognizing the importance of mental health support, we can begin to untangle the web that binds TV addiction and depression, helping individuals find solace and reclaim their lives.

Defining TV Addiction

Television addiction, also known as TV addiction or television dependency, refers to the excessive and compulsive consumption of television content to the extent that it interferes with one’s daily life and overall well-being. Like other forms of behavioral addiction, such as gambling or gaming addiction, TV addiction involves a loss of control and an inability to resist the urge to watch television.

Identifying signs and symptoms of TV addiction

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of TV addiction is crucial for addressing the issue effectively. Individuals who are addicted to television often exhibit behaviors such as:

1. Excessive time spent watching television: TV addicts will spend a significant amount of their day in front of the screen, often at the expense of other important activities, such as work, social interactions, or household responsibilities.

2. Loss of interest in other activities: TV addiction can lead to a decrease in engagement with hobbies, exercise, and socializing. The individual becomes solely focused on consuming television content.

3. Neglecting personal relationships: TV addicts may withdraw from loved ones and isolate themselves to indulge in uninterrupted television viewing.

4. Failed attempts to cut back or control television consumption: Despite recognizing the negative impact of excessive TV viewing, addicts struggle to reduce their screen time and repeatedly fail in their attempts to control the habit.

5. Restlessness and irritability when unable to watch TV: TV addiction can result in withdrawal symptoms, causing feelings of restlessness, irritability, and anxiety when individuals are unable to access or watch television.

Discussing the underlying causes of TV addiction

Various factors contribute to the development of TV addiction. These include:

1. Escapism and stress relief: Television offers an escape from reality, providing a temporary respite from stress, worries, and everyday challenges. People may turn to television as a coping mechanism to numb negative emotions and seek comfort.

2. Emotional attachment to characters and narratives: The emotional connection individuals form with fictional characters can be powerful. The development of strong emotional bonds with these characters can lead to a desire to watch more and more, contributing to addictive viewing patterns.

3. Availability and accessibility: The ubiquitous presence of televisions, coupled with easy access to a diverse range of on-demand content, intensifies the likelihood of addiction. The rise of streaming platforms and the ability to binge-watch entire seasons further exacerbate addictive behaviors.

4. Lack of alternative activities: A lack of engaging alternatives or fulfilling activities may drive individuals to turn to television as their primary source of entertainment. Additionally, limited social interaction or a lack of supportive relationships can contribute to the reliance on television for companionship.

By understanding the definition of TV addiction, identifying its signs and symptoms, and exploring its underlying causes, we can begin to comprehend the complex nature of this behavioral disorder. In doing so, we pave the way for further exploration into its prevalence and impact on individuals’ lives, and ultimately, its relationship with the widespread mental health issue – depression.

Exploring the Prevalence and Impact of TV Addiction

The prevalence of TV addiction has surged in recent years, with the growing availability and accessibility of television content. This increase in addictive behavior has significant consequences on individuals’ physical and mental well-being, as well as their overall quality of life.

Examining the increasing rates of TV addiction

The rise of streaming services and the vast array of television channels have contributed to the exponential increase in TV addiction. Binge-watching, where individuals consume multiple episodes or entire seasons in one sitting, has become a widespread phenomenon. The ability to effortlessly access an endless supply of captivating content at any time has heightened the risk of addiction for many individuals.

Discussing the consequences of excessive TV viewing

Excessive television viewing has far-reaching consequences on various aspects of individuals’ lives. The dependence on television can lead to:

1. Impaired physical health: Excessive TV watching often results in a sedentary lifestyle, reducing opportunities for physical activity and exercise. This lack of movement can contribute to weight gain, obesity, cardiovascular issues, and other physical health problems.

2. Decline in cognitive functioning: Not only does TV addiction affect physical health, but it can also impact cognitive abilities. Spending excessive time in front of the television diminishes opportunities for intellectual stimulation, learning, and critical thinking.

3. Social and relationship problems: TV addiction often leads to social withdrawal and isolation. When individuals prioritize television over social interactions, it can strain relationships with family and friends. This isolation can exacerbate feelings of loneliness and adversely affect mental health.

4. Academic or work performance decline: TV addiction can hinder academic progress and work productivity. The excessive time spent watching television can detract from studying or completing tasks, leading to poor performance and reduced achievements.

Highlighting the negative effects on physical and mental health

TV addiction also takes a toll on individuals’ mental health and emotional well-being. Excessive television viewing has been associated with:

1. Increased risk of depression and anxiety: Studies have shown a correlation between high levels of TV consumption and the development of depressive symptoms and anxiety disorders . The sedentary nature of TV watching, combined with the withdrawal from real-life experiences, can contribute to feelings of sadness, emptiness, and anxiousness.

2. Sleep disturbances: Extensive TV viewing, especially close to bedtime, can disrupt sleep patterns. The blue light emitted by screens interferes with the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, leading to difficulties falling asleep and obtaining sufficient rest. Sleep deprivation further exacerbates mental health issues, including depression.

3. Lower self-esteem and body image dissatisfaction: Advertisements and media portrayals of unrealistic body standards can negatively impact individuals’ self-esteem. Constant exposure to these images and comparing oneself to idealized versions can lead to body dissatisfaction, poor self-image, and potentially trigger or worsen symptoms of depression.

Understanding the prevalence and impact of TV addiction is crucial in recognizing the severity of the issue and its potential consequences. As we delve deeper into the connection between TV addiction and depression, we begin to unravel the complex relationship that exists between these two significant concerns affecting individuals worldwide.

The Connection between TV Addiction and Depression

The link between TV addiction and depression goes beyond mere correlation. Several underlying factors contribute to the development and worsening of both conditions, creating a complex relationship that demands further exploration.

Understanding the link between TV addiction and depression

TV addiction and depression often coexist, with one influencing the other in a cyclical pattern. Studies suggest that individuals struggling with depression may be more prone to excessive television consumption as a form of self-soothing or escape. Conversely, prolonged exposure to television content, with its often idealized portrayals of life, can contribute to feelings of dissatisfaction, social comparison, and low mood, thereby increasing the risk of developing or worsening depression.

Exploring the role of escapism and isolation in TV addiction and depression

The need for escapism is a common driving force behind both TV addiction and depression. Television provides a temporary escape from reality, allowing individuals to immerse themselves in fictional worlds and temporarily put aside their worries and problems. However, relying excessively on television as a coping mechanism can perpetuate feelings of isolation, disconnection from reality, and avoidance of real-life challenges, ultimately worsening depressive symptoms.

Discussing the impact of excessive media consumption on self-esteem and mood

Excessive media consumption, including television, can significantly impact an individual’s self-esteem and mood. Television often portrays a narrow and unrealistic range of beauty standards, success, and happiness, leading to constant social comparisons. This constant exposure to idealized images and the perception of an unattainable reality can contribute to lower self-esteem and a negative impact on mental well-being, potentially triggering or intensifying symptoms of depression.

Furthermore, excessive TV watching can disrupt daily routines, limit social interactions, and hinder the pursuit of meaningful activities. The lack of engagement in fulfilling experiences and the withdrawal from real-life relationships further exacerbate depressive symptoms, perpetuating a cycle of isolation and low mood.

Understanding the interconnectedness of TV addiction and depression is essential for effective prevention and intervention strategies. By addressing both the addictive behaviors and the underlying mental health concerns, individuals can break free from the cycle and find healthier ways to cope with stress, manage emotions, and regain control over their lives.

In the next section, we will explore how TV addiction can act as a significant risk factor for the development of depression, examining the emotional attachment to TV characters and narratives, as well as examining the impact of disrupted sleep patterns on mental well-being.

TV Addiction as a Risk Factor for Depression

While TV addiction and depression are closely intertwined, it is important to recognize that TV addiction can also act as a significant risk factor for the development of depression. There are various mechanisms through which excessive television consumption can contribute to the onset and exacerbation of depressive symptoms.

Highlighting the potential risk of developing depression due to TV addiction

Engaging in excessive TV viewing has been associated with an increased risk of developing depression. The sedentary nature of TV watching can lead to a lack of physical activity and reduced exposure to sunlight, both of which are known to impact mood regulation. Additionally, constant exposure to negative news stories or distressing content through television can contribute to feelings of anxiety and helplessness, contributing to the development of depressive symptoms.

Exploring the impact of emotional attachment to TV characters and narratives

Viewers often form emotional connections with characters and storylines portrayed on television. These attachments can be incredibly intense and result in a merging of reality and fictional worlds. Emotional identification with characters can create a sense of companionship and fulfillment, particularly for individuals who may lack satisfying real-life relationships. However, when these attachments become too intense or individuals become overly invested in the lives of fictional characters, it can lead to feelings of loneliness, disillusionment, and even the exacerbation of depressive symptoms.

Discussing the role of disrupted sleep patterns in the development of depression

Excessive TV watching, particularly close to bedtime, can disrupt sleep patterns. The blue light emitted by screens suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. Consequently, individuals may experience difficulties falling asleep or maintaining quality sleep, leading to sleep deprivation and insomnia. Sleep disruption is strongly associated with the development of depressive symptoms and can contribute to feelings of fatigue, irritability, and a diminished sense of well-being.

Moreover, disrupted sleep patterns can impact the body’s circadian rhythm and disrupt hormonal balance, further exacerbating depressive symptoms. By interfering with the natural sleep-wake cycle, excessive TV viewing undermines the restorative and rejuvenating benefits of sleep, which are crucial for maintaining mental health.

Recognizing the significant role of TV addiction as a risk factor for depression is essential. By understanding the potential mechanisms through which excessive television consumption can contribute to depressive symptoms, individuals and healthcare professionals can develop targeted intervention strategies. These may include addressing addictive behaviors, promoting healthy sleep hygiene, encouraging physical activity, and fostering real-life connections to mitigate the risk of depression associated with TV addiction.

In the next section, we will explore strategies for overcoming TV addiction and managing depression, helping individuals regain control and improve their overall well-being.

Overcoming TV Addiction and Managing Depression

Recognizing the detrimental impact of TV addiction on mental health, it is crucial to explore strategies for overcoming this addictive behavior and managing concurrent depression. By adopting a comprehensive approach that addresses both aspects, individuals can regain control over their lives and improve their overall well-being.

Providing strategies to overcome TV addiction

1. Set limits: Establish specific time boundaries for TV viewing and stick to them. Use tools such as timers or phone apps to remind yourself of these limits.

2. Find alternative activities: Engage in activities that bring joy and fulfillment outside of television. Pursue hobbies, exercise regularly, spend time with loved ones, and explore new interests to break the cycle of excessive TV consumption.

3. Create a schedule: Plan your days and allocate dedicated time for activities that promote mental and physical well-being. This structured routine can help reduce the impulse to turn to television as a default leisure activity.

4. Practice mindful viewing: Be intentional about what you choose to watch. Select programs that align with your interests or provide educational value. Engaging in mindful viewing can help avoid mindless and excessive consumption.

Discussing the importance of seeking professional help for both TV addiction and depression

1. Therapy and counseling: Reach out to mental health professionals who specialize in addiction and depression. They can provide guidance and support through various therapeutic approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or mindfulness-based interventions.

2. Support groups: Joining support groups, whether in-person or online, can provide a sense of community and understanding. Interacting with others who are going through similar struggles can offer valuable insights and encouragement.

3. Medication management: In cases where depression symptoms are severe, healthcare professionals may consider prescribing antidepressant medications. Proper medication management, in tandem with therapy, can be effective in managing depressive symptoms.

Exploring alternative activities to replace excessive TV viewing

1. Creative outlets: Engage in creative activities such as painting, writing, or playing a musical instrument. These activities can provide a sense of fulfillment and act as healthy alternatives to television.

2. Outdoor hobbies: Spend time in nature, go for walks, take up gardening, or participate in outdoor sports. Nature and physical movement have been shown to have positive effects on mental well-being.

3. Socializing and building relationships: Prioritize real-life interactions and strengthen connections with friends and family. Engaging in meaningful conversations and shared experiences can provide fulfillment and combat feelings of loneliness associated with excessive TV viewing.

By incorporating these strategies into daily life, individuals can break the cycle of TV addiction and manage depression more effectively. It is important to remember that overcoming addiction and managing mental health concerns often requires time, patience, and professional guidance. Seeking support from therapists or support groups can provide the needed tools and encouragement to navigate this journey towards improved well-being.

In conclusion, raising awareness about the detrimental impact of TV addiction on mental health is crucial. By recognizing the interconnectedness of TV addiction and depression, individuals can take proactive steps to regain control over their lives, foster healthier habits, and seek the necessary help and support. Striking a balance in media consumption, prioritizing mental well-being, and accessing professional assistance are key in ensuring a healthier relationship with television and promoting overall mental health.In conclusion, the connection between TV addiction and depression is a multifaceted and intricate one. TV addiction, characterized by excessive and compulsive consumption of television content, can have a profound impact on individuals’ mental health and overall well-being. As explored in this article, TV addiction is associated with an increased risk of developing depression, as well as exacerbating existing depressive symptoms.

Understanding the signs, symptoms, and underlying causes of TV addiction is crucial in addressing the issue effectively. The prevalence of TV addiction has risen significantly, driven by the widespread availability and accessibility of television content. Excessive TV viewing not only affects physical health, cognitive functioning, and relationships but also has a negative impact on mental health, contributing to the development of depression , anxiety, and sleep disturbances.

Escapism, emotional attachment to characters, and social isolation are underlying factors bridging TV addiction and depression. Individuals turn to television as a means to escape from reality or cope with negative emotions, but this reliance can perpetuate feelings of loneliness and disconnection from real-life experiences, intensifying depressive symptoms. Furthermore, the idealized portrayals and constant exposure to unreal standards in television content contribute to lower self-esteem and dissatisfaction with one’s own life, further fueling depression.

Overcoming TV addiction and managing depression require a comprehensive approach. Strategies such as setting limits, finding alternative activities, creating structured routines, and practicing mindful viewing can help combat TV addiction. Seeking professional help through therapy, counseling, support groups, and medication management is crucial for effectively managing both TV addiction and concurrent depression. Engaging in alternative activities and fostering real-life connections are key steps towards breaking the cycle of addiction and improving overall mental health.

By promoting awareness of the connection between TV addiction and depression, recognizing the importance of balance in media consumption, and providing support for individuals struggling with these issues, we can work towards fostering healthier relationships with television and promoting mental well-being. It is essential to prioritize mental health, seek professional assistance when needed, and adopt strategies to find fulfillment and balance in life beyond the screen. Together, we can create a society that is aware, balanced, and supportive when it comes to media consumption and mental health.

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Michael J. Rounds B.A., L.A.C.

The Danger of Seeing Addiction on TV

Numerous tv shows promote alcohol or drug use..

Posted March 12, 2021 | Reviewed by Kaja Perina

Sukhveer Hans/UnSplash

Every day, millions turn on the television to watch their favorite programs. For the most part, the shows people watch have little to no known negative effects. However, for those that have an addiction, watching TV can prove to be a very dangerous road to go down.

The reality of what you see on television is not necessarily reality. Every show that depicts a group of friends hanging out at the local bar can prove to be a trigger for an individual that has a history of alcoholism . It allows the person to think that it will be ok to associate with their friends and that they can have one drink and everything will be alright.

The problem is that television does not stop at showing scenes of bars. As society continues to push the boundaries , the more dangerous the addictive trigger becomes. Today, it has become the norm to even see some people getting high on the thought that it was fun. I mean after all, everything will be fixed after 30 minutes to an hour.

Television programming has continued to allow the promotion of drug abuse and for what reason? The answer is simple and that is ratings. The aspect of an individual getting wasted just to make the audience laugh is growing in popularity each and every day. You cannot continue to think that this lifestyle excuses them for relapse into a negative mindset.

Shows such as The Simpsons and Cheers depict drinking as something that is simply done after work with friends or on the weekend. It shows all the so-called fun that everyone is having and that there are no negative consequences for their actions.

However, shows such as CSI , Cops and The Shield promote drug use, and while there is some accountability, these are not nearly the worst. In the show Breaking Bad , the character not only glorifies methamphetamine use, but also makes viewers think that it is alright to manufacture and sell drugs.

So how did we allow ourselves to think that this is something that is acceptable to watch? As society accepts things as the norm, the things that we watch on television will continue to grow worse.

According to the Project Know website, which discusses how television influences the nature of addiction, comedy-related shows account for an astounding 41 percent of addiction-related topics. Often these shows' focal point was using addiction for humor and completely erasing the factors of the consequences of the abuse of said substances. Doing so often leaves the audience with the process of thinking that this form of behavior is completely accepted in society.

When drug use and alcoholism are mentioned in this light, it often has an influence that pressures those not of legal age to want to use. Studies have often shown that teenagers who are exposed to substances through television have a higher tendency to want to pick up and use.

As someone who has spent nearly 30 years in recovery, I can relate to the temptation that television shows often bring. For an individual who is early in their recovery, seeing someone use often brings back the euphoric effect and tricks the person into thinking that this is something that is acceptable. What they do not see is the negative side of the addictive behaviors. I honestly wish that they would show individuals who became sick from drinking too much alcohol or having withdrawal from not getting drugs into their system. I think that if I had seen the negative impact of addiction through the power of television, there might have been the opportunity to not go down that negative pathway.

Television seems to promote and even celebrate alcohol as a coping device in times of trouble or stress . And portrayals of drinking onscreen are ubiquitous: Alcohol is the top drug portrayed on American TV, with about one drinking scene shown every 22 minutes. The overall message to viewers is that, while other drugs might be considered complicated, alcohol is a harmless social substance.

The problem with a variety of television shows is that they create the illusion that the addiction can be recognized, addressed, and cured in a matter of 30 minutes or less. There was an episode on the show Saved by the Bell in which the character Jessie starts taking caffeine pills to keep her awake to prepare for a huge test. During the show, she was confronted about the addiction, came to the consciousness of her problem and was fixed before the show was completed.

This is sending a message to an audience that in 30 minutes to an hour all will be well. This could not be further from reality. The reality of addiction is much more complex than what it has made out to be in certain TV shows. An addiction cannot be cured in the course of an episode, and it takes more than a few days to quit using drugs and alcohol completely. Without formal help, withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous, and the person’s condition can worsen.

addiction of television essay

To conclude, most people do agree on the danger of normalizing drugs, and this danger is more pronounced in series as compared to movies. A movie is a one-time shot — it does influence you, but it is not continuously present. Series make you get to know the characters, you see them every week, and they will stay in your memory , sometimes feeling a bit like your friends. Seeing this repetitive use of drugs by someone you start to think you know might have a significant influence on your decision to use a drug or not.

So I want to ask you this question: Is what I am seeing on television impacting my life in a positive manner or in a negative manner? If it is something that could cause you to relapse, then you need to address what you are seeing and address the ways that you will be able to cope with the negative situations. You have a choice to change the channel or to turn off the television and remove yourself from the negativity that it provides.

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Michael J. Rounds is the author of 10,000 Days Sober and an addiction recovery specialist at a correctional facility in Indiana.

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  • v.2(3); 2013 Sep

Hidden addiction: Television

Steve sussman.

1 Departments of Preventive Medicine and Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Meghan B. Moran

2 School of Communication, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA

Background and aims: The most popular recreational pastime in the U.S. is television viewing. Some researchers have claimed that television may be addictive. We provide a review of the definition, etiology, prevention and treatment of the apparent phenomenon of television addiction. Methods: Selective review. Results: We provide a description of television (TV) addiction, including its negative consequences, assessment and potential etiology, considering neurobiological, cognitive and social/cultural factors. Next, we provide information on its prevention and treatment. Discussion and conclusions: We suggest that television addiction may function similarly to substance abuse disorders but a great deal more research is needed.


Recently, there has been consensus accumulating that there exist many types of behavior that might be considered addictions (e.g., see Sussman, Lisha & Griffiths, 2011 ). Addictions do not include only behaviors typically associated with excess and being a waste of potentially productive time (e.g., substance abuse, gambling). Addictions may include behaviors that may be intrinsically life-fulfilling but have appeared to spiral out of control (e.g., exercise, binge eating, relationships or work). Addictions also may include behaviors that are often intrinsically not associated with excess, are not generally considered life-fulfilling, but are often considered a waste of productive time (e.g., television viewing).

Sussman (2012) identified 16 categories of addictions based on an extensive electronic literature search of “types of addictions”. These categories were: Drugs, Food-related, Compulsive anti-social behavior (e.g., aggression), Technology/communications related (e.g., videogames, television), Gambling, Working, Social group-related (e.g., sex, love, platonic relationships), Physical attractiveness-focused (e.g., tanning, cosmetic surgery), Fantasizing (e.g., isolation, laziness), Exercise-related, Spiritual obsession, Pain seeking (e.g., self-mutilation, skin picking), Shopping, Thrill/adventure seeking, Hoarding (e.g., small collectables), and Voyeurism (e.g., celebrity or other idolization, gossiping). Television addiction is an example of a technology addiction, according to this scheme. Television (TV) addiction refers to out-of-control behavior pertaining to the medium of television, 1 as opposed to a particular show on television ( McIlwraith, Jacobvitz, Kubey & Alexander, 1991 ). That is, one may feel a subjective craving to view television a great deal to achieve a sense of satiation, become preoccupied with the idea of viewing television, not be able to predict how long one will watch TV (loss of control), and suffer negative life consequences as the result ( Sussman & Sussman, 2011 ).

Widespread television viewing began in 1936 in Great Britain ( http://www.teletronic.co.uk/tvera.htm ; accessed December 14, 2012), and in 1947/8 in the United States ( Barnouw, 1992 ). Prior to that time, before TV was widely available, there could not be a phenomenon of television addiction. However, the suggestion of the existence of television addiction began shortly after widespread viewing in the U.S. For example, Meerloo (1954) , based on clinical case study observations, suggested that television addiction was a real entity, another source of “food for the senses” that might involve such a preoccupation so as to lead to generalized apathy, neglect of responsibilities, negativism, and fantasy. More recent work (1980s Swedish small general population sample) provided similar information, based on experience sampling data ( Sjoberg & Magneberg, 2007 ). The first survey study on television addiction was conducted by Smith in 1982 ( Smith, 1986 ), which led to questioning the prevalence of the phenomenon (though a majority of subjects perceived the existence of the phenomenon) but did identify a small sample of self-identified television addicts who viewed twice as much television as others.

Television viewing remains the most popular form of leisure activity in the United States (an average of 2.8 hours per day in the general population; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012 ), as well as in Australia and Western Europe (e.g., http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-causes/television-and-sedentary-behavior-and-obesity/ ; accessed January 30, 2013). Clearly, wide variation exists regarding what is considered heavy viewing, and the addictive aspect is more a function of interference with completion of life tasks rather than number of hours of viewing per se ( Horvath, 2004 ). Because of the sheer amount of time people view TV, however, and because of the apparent consensus that TV addiction exists, this is an avenue of addiction research worth pursuing.

There has been argumentation and a little evidence for an opposing perspective regarding the impact of TV viewing, and the existence of TV addiction. For example, one discussion piece argued that television has been a scapegoat for social ills, derived in part from a television-as-drug metaphor ( Mittell, 2000 ). Also, one study of college student subjects found that television viewing was inversely related to sensation seeking, alcohol, and drug use, and positively associated with religiosity, suggesting that it was an innocuous activity ( Finn, 1992 ). Furthermore, television may facilitate relationship bonding (e.g., family gathering around the television). That is, television viewing can be a communal experience, as many television viewers come together to view and discuss programs ( Andrejevic, 2008 ; Bagley, 2001 ). Finally, a considerable body of evidence indicates that television operates as a form of entertainment-education and is a source of health information for many viewers (see Singhal, Cody, Rogers & Sabido, 2004 for a review).

Thus, TV may exert positive as well as negative effects. However, just as alcohol use may serve a social lubrication function for some people and a source of drug dependence for others, so might TV operate differentially. Although TV addiction may occur in some people but not others ( Appell, 1963 ; Krosnick, Anand & Hartl, 2003 ), television addiction is perceived as a reality among a majority of research study participants (though research subjects generally have been university students; McIlwraith, 1998 ).

The purpose of this paper is to attempt to summarize the work that has been completed on television as an addiction, including its qualification as an addiction and its assessment, etiology of television addiction, and its potential prevention and treatment. We consider whether or not television addiction might be considered a relatively safe substitute addiction ( Sussman & Black, 2008 ), and conclude that there are several reasons that research in this arena is needed.

Methods: Literature Review

To ascertain the state of research in this arena, we engaged in a literature search using the key words “television addiction” and “television dependence”. In Google Scholar there were 643 and 117 pages found, respectively (accessed August 22, 2012). In Ovid MedLine (1946-August Week 3 2012) there were only two pages, and zero pages found, respectively. Finally there were only nine pages, and three pages, located in PsycINFO. In total, we were only able to locate 33 published, relevant studies on the topic outside of books and dissertations. On the other hand, using the key words “television” and “consequences” we located 863,000 pages in Google Scholar. In the next section of this paper we briefly review examples of negative consequences of excessive TV viewing.

Examples of negative consequences of TV viewing

Consequences mentioned in a cursory search of the literature include the impact of relatively heavy television viewing on (a) creating political or social biases (e.g., regarding presidential candidates, racial stereotyping) and shaping or increasing purchasing behavior ( Jusoff & Sahimi, 2009 ; Romer, Jamieson & Aday, 2003 ), (b) increased aggression or fear of being victimized Romer, Jamieson & Aday, 2003 ),(c) attention and cognitive deficits (e.g., may contribute to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; Christakis, Zimmerman, DiGiuseppe & McCarty, 2004 ; Sigman, 2007 ), (d) possibly a negative impact on academic achievement at least at extreme levels of viewing (though not in all studies; Paik, 2000 ), (e) predicting later cigarette smoking ( Hancox, Milne & Poulton, 2004 ), (f) sleep difficulties ( Sigman, 2007 ), (g) avoidance of relationship maintenance ( Chory & Banfield, 2009 ), (h) lower life satisfaction ( Frey, Benesch & Stutzer, 2007 ), (i) poorer body image among women ( Grabe, Ward & Shibley Hyde, 2008 ), and (j) sedentary lifestyle leading to lower cardiorespiratory fitness, elevated serum cholesterol level and obesity (e.g., Anderson, Crespo, Bartlett, Cheskin & Pratt, 1998 ). Regarding the last consequence, for example, children 8–16 years old who watched four or more hours of TV per day were found to have greater body fat and a higher body mass index than those who watched less than two hours per day ( Hancox et al., 2004 ; McIlwraith et al., 1991 ). One rather dramatic finding is that persons who watch six hours of television per day have been found to live 4.8 fewer years than lighter or non-viewers ( Veerman et al., 2012 ).

TV viewing as an addiction

The allure of television as an addiction not unlike drug misuse has infrequently been the topic of empirical study ( Kubey & Csikszentmihalyi, 2002 ; McIlwraith, 1998 ). Yet, in several of the surveys that did measure this construct, prevalence of self-identified television addiction is approximately 10% in the United States (see Kubey & Csikszentmihalyi, 2002 ; McIlwraith, 1998 ). Furthermore, one study found that television addiction was significantly positively associated with addictions to alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes, chocolate, exercise, gambling and the Internet; and that the greatest “degree of addiction” was to exercise, caffeine, television, and alcohol ( Greenberg, Lewis & Dodd, 1999 ). Prevalence of this addiction in the U.S. may be equivalent to the prevalence of addiction to alcohol or work, and only second to cigarette smoking ( Sussman et al., 2011 ).

TV addiction – Similarity/differences from substance use disorders, and its assessment

There are some similarities to but also some differences from the four criteria that compose substance abuse disorder in the DSM-IV. As with substance abuse disorder, role and social consequences can result ( APA, 2000 ). First, one's ability to continue to function in roles at work or at home could become jeopardized as the result of one's television addiction, as case and ecological assessment studies suggest ( Meerloo, 1954 ; Sjoberg & Magneberg, 2007 ). Regarding social consequences, heavy TV viewers are less likely to participate in community activities and sports ( Kubey & Csikszentmihalyi, 2002 ), or focus on relationship maintenance communications, such as conflict management, positivity, or providing helpful advice ( Chory & Banfield, 2009 ). Regarding legal problems or entering dangerous situations, it is difficult to see where TV addiction would apply (except for the rare situation in which people might view TV in their cars while driving). However, with advent of the DSM-5 ( Jones, Gill & Ray, 2012 ) in May of 2013, legal consequences were dropped as part of the single Substance Use Disorder category. Craving replaced it as a criterion, and is associated with TV addiction (e.g., Kubey & Csikszentmihalyi, 1990 ; Meerlo, 1954 ; Sjoberg & Magneberg, 2007 ). Thus, TV addiction may fit DSM-5 type criteria rather well.

Likewise, as with the seven criteria that define Substance Dependence Disorder in the DSM-IV ( APA, 2000 ), which are retained as part of the 11 criteria of Substance Use Disorder in the DSM-5, television addiction also exhibits consequential dependence-like features (e.g., Kubey & Csikszentmihalyi, 2002 ). There may be a need for markedly increased amounts of the behavior (increased time spent watching TV) to achieve the desired emotional effect, although there is not much empirical support for this criterion other than anecdotal reports or as considered within a heavy viewing factor ( Horvath, 2004 ). There do appear to be subjective urges to continue the behavior when one tries to stop engaging in the behavior (e.g., anxiety and irritability when restrained from viewing TV, heartache and longing to watch TV, like drug withdrawal; Kubey & Csikszentmihalyi, 2002 ), there is evidence among problem viewers that the behavior is engaged in over a longer period than was intended (e.g., one may continue watching TV many hours rather than say 30 minutes, as planned), there appears to be a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control the behavior, and it is feasible that a great deal of time is spent on activities necessary to begin or continue the behavior, or recover from its effects (e.g., one may try to work at home as often as possible to be able to watch TV, one may frequent restaurants or bars that have TVs in them; later one may have to catch up on work).

In addition, important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of the behavior (e.g., one may reduce engagement in some prosocial hobbies, or ignore job or family duties, while watching TV; McIlwraith, 1998 ), and the behavior may continue despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or worsened by the behavior (e.g., one may suffer from relative social isolation, financial loss or weight gain as a result of excessive TV viewing, yet continue to watch TV excessively).

Horvath (2004) created a 35-item measure of TV dependence, composed of seven sets of five items intending to tap each of the seven dependence criteria. Factor analysis indicated that 31 of the items loaded on four factors among a sample of 300 diverse subjects. These factors were: problem viewing (e.g., “alienating my loved ones”, “feel bad but can't stop”, “all my leisure time”), heavy viewing (e.g., “longer time than intended”, “think I should cut down”, “guilt about watching so much”), craving for viewing (e.g., “watch more to feel the same”, “can't reduce amount”, “same amount, less satisfaction”), and withdrawal (e.g., “could easily go without it”, “can't imagine going without”, “withdrawal when unable to watch television”). She also developed a shorter, dependence CAGE-like measure (“Have you ever felt you ought to Cut down on the amount of television you watch?”, “Have people Annoyed you by criticizing your television watching?”, “Have you ever felt bad or Guilty about your television watching?”, and [as an Eye opener] “Do you usually turn on the television first thing in the morning?”).

In summary, TV addiction has several similarities and some differences from substance abuse and dependence disorders. Legal consequences are unlikely, as are immediate physical dangers. Thus, it may be a highly prevalent but socially tolerated problem that can be adequately assessed. However, otherwise, this type of behavior appears to meet the other criteria typical of the addictions ( Sussman et al., 2011 ), and there are numerous potential negative consequences that may result from heavy or addictive viewing. Its etiology, prevention, and treatment are worth consideration, and are discussed next.

Etiology of television addiction

Since the whole concept of TV addiction is not well-researched, it is not surprising that the etiology of television addiction is not well understood. As with other addictive behaviors, one may speculate that television addiction stems from aberrations in neurobiological and social learning processes. For example, TV addiction might be expected particularly among persons experiencing inadequate turnover of mesolimbic dopamine, who are relatively anxious or bored, who have difficulties with social communication, or who are consistently reinforced for spending time watching TV, as is the case with several other addictions (e.g., Freimuth et al., 2008 ; Sussman et al., 2011 ). Indeed, McIlwraith (1998) found, among a subsample of self-identified TV addicts, relatively high reports of anxiety, being more likely to use TV to distract them from unpleasant thoughts, and being more easily bored and distracted, than others in the sample.

Some communications researchers argue that enjoyment of media use is the equivalent of need satisfaction (e.g., Tamborini, Bowman, Eden, Grizzard & Organ, 2010 ; Tamborini et al., 2011 ). In other words, pleasure a person derives from television viewing may be attributable to that medium's satisfaction of the viewer's hedonic and non-hedonic needs, from which addiction may stem ( Sussman, 2012 ).

In particular, two lines of theory and research within the communications discipline (Media Systems Dependency Theory and Uses and Gratifications Theory) provide classifications of motivations for television viewing or outcomes of viewing that may be helpful in conceptualizing the etiology of television addiction. According to Media Systems Dependency Theory (MSD: Ball-Rokeach, 1985 , 1998 ; Ball-Rokeach & DeFleur, 1976 ), individuals use media more heavily in times of ontological insecurity. In other words, when an individual feels insecure in his or her identity, relationships or environment, he or she becomes more reliant on media. Specifically, there are six main goals individuals may seek when using media: self- and social understanding, action and interaction orientation, and solitary and social play. Self-understanding is the extent to which an individual feels secure in his or her beliefs, values and identity. Social understanding refers to the extent to which an individual has “knowledge ... of how society and its institutions function” and his or her role in that society ( Loges, 1994 ). Action orientation refers to the knowledge of how to behave appropriately in given situations, while interaction orientation has to do with the acquisition of interpersonal skills. Finally, solitary and social play refers to escape, entertainment or diversion – either alone or with others – which one can obtain through media use. Consistent with MSD Theory, TV addiction is relatively likely to occur when one feels insecure in identity, feels alienated socially, feels unable to act or learn to act appropriately in social contexts, and is preoccupied with TV viewing as a means of solitary and social play.

Similarly, the Uses and Gratifications Theory (U&G: Katz, Blumler & Gurevitch, 1973 ) assumes that television viewers are active individuals who choose to watch television in order to fulfill specific needs (e.g., to obtain a gratification). These gratifications can be classified as: diversion (including escape and release), personal relationships (using television to facilitate relationships or as a substitute for them), personal identity (understanding and reinforcing one's values, attitudes, etc.) and surveillance (understanding and keeping track of what is going on in one's world; McQuail, Blumler & Brown, 1972 ). Watching TV to escape, as a substitute for social play, or as a means of reinforcing one's values certainly would seem able to facilitate addictive viewing.

Both the MSD and the U&G theories focus on functional aspects of television viewing. Although each theory stems from a different set of assumptions (see Ball-Rokeach, 1998 ), their typologies of gratifications or goals sought from television viewing contain similarities. Specifically, using these theories, motivations for television can be conceptualized as: (a) learning (e.g., understanding or orienting oneself to one's world), (b) connection (with either real or fictional people) and (c) affect regulation (via diversion or entertainment). Each of these motivations provides insight as to the potential etiology of television addiction.

First, a “learning” motivation can lead individuals to search TV for information needed to function in their world, thus providing them with a sense of security. Viewing political news channels, for example, can help a viewer decide which candidates to vote for. Additionally, information learned through television viewing may provide individuals with functional rewards. For example, many programs – most notably talk shows (e.g., Dr. Oz) – provide individuals with recommendations for products and behaviors that they can use to improve their lives. Importantly, structural features of television technology that impact the way in which information provided is processed (passive involvement, fast pacing), may make television viewing more entrancing, information provided seem more believable, and contribute to making this medium addictive ( Kubey & Csikszentmihalyi, 2002 ).

Television can also be used to compensate for a paucity of interpersonal “connections”. For example, some TV shows or large scale cultural events (e.g., “The Simpsons”, “Superbowl”) that emphasize the family gathered around the TV, or the involvement of many people focused on an event, may assert the primacy of TV viewing as a focal point for social bonding or recreation, even when one is watching TV alone. In fact, some research has shown that individuals who are lonely tend to watch more television ( Perse & Rubin, 1990 ) and, building on this research finding, Wang, Fink and Cai (2008) found that men who are chronically lonely are more likely to develop parasocial (imagined) relationships with media figures than are their non-lonely counterparts, perhaps as a way to compensate for this loneliness. It is likely that a “social connection” motive may facilitate preoccupation with TV viewing and subsequent addiction.

Regarding “affect motives” for watching TV, Kubey and Csikszentmihalyi (2002) summarized their work with the Experience Sampling Method (ESM) of time sampling daily life experiences and noted that people feel relaxed (quickly) when watching television. However, they feel less relaxed right after terminating television viewing, along with more difficulty concentrating, and with continued lower alertness. As such, television can be used to “regulate” one's level of arousal and mood. McIlwraith et al. (1991) suggested that television may modulate arousal level (to reduce neuro-biologically-based overstimulation). Thus, persons who are relatively overstimulated may gravitate to television viewing to modulate arousal level. Conversely, individuals who are seeking arousal may use television as a way to obtain that stimulation ( Bryant & Zillmann, 1984 ). Also, Anderson et al. found that experience of stressful life events is associated with relatively greater time spent viewing television, suggestive of stress-reduction motives often attributed to addiction ( Anderson, Collins, Schmitt & Jacobvitz, 1996 ). TV viewing's potential ability to temporarily satiate various affect-based motives may qualify it as a potential object of addiction ( Sussman, 2012 ; Sussman & Sussman, 2011 ).

It must be noted that use of television for learning, connection or affect-based motives is not inherently problematic and in many cases is beneficial (e.g., learning healthy lifestyle tips from a talk show or staying on top of a popular series in order to bond with co-workers). However, the fact that TV has the capacity to satiate these needs may predis-pose it to be a source of problematic use for vulnerable individuals. Certainly, much more etiology research is needed to confirm or disconfirm these speculations but few empirical studies have been completed in this arena thus far, and are needed.

Prevention and treatment

There is very little empirical work on the prevention or treatment of television addiction. The next two subsections examine potential prevention and treatment strategies.

Whether television is harmful is a function of what programming is being viewed (e.g., violence on TV), who is viewing (e.g., addiction prone), how often TV is viewed (e.g., more than two hours per day may become a problem), and whether viewing involves other significant others (which may or may not be relationship enhancing; Kubey, 1990 ). Parents can assist in making their children media literate and screen out certain types of programming ( Jusoff & Sahimi, 2009 ; Singer & Singer, 1998 ). Media literacy could be provided through a variety of modalities (e.g., schools), and involves a deliberate analysis of media programming. In such an analysis, depending on the age of the viewer, one may be asked to search contents for advertising ploys, stereotypes, major themes and purposes of a show, whether contents are attempting to be realistic or a fantasy, and how shows might impact ones feelings ( Singer & Singer, 1998 ). Several impactful media literacy curricula have been implemented over the last 20 years ( Singer & Singer, 1998 ), and these could focus more on limiting the amount of television viewed as well as interpretation of programming.

Certainly, counseling that attempts to facilitate a secure attachment style with others may help delimit reliance on television as a form of passive social contact. Clients also might be engaged in cognitive restructuring to remove fantasy-based thinking (e.g., if there was over-identification with television characters) that could lead to later television addictive behavior. Mood management techniques might be instructed to reduce the desire to search out external sources of relief such as the TV.

Additional types of prevention strategies might be envisioned. For example, since it is possible that development of television addiction may occur through social learning processes (e.g., exposure to the behavior of significant others, mass media influences), corrective information about healthy and unhealthy television viewing patterns may be instructed as part of school health curricula, or through other types of community health promotion programming. One may, for example, be presented with a set of age-appropriate/inappropriate television viewing scenarios. One could be guided through a decision-making sequence about the benefits and costs to self and others for each scenario, and learn when costs outweigh benefits.

Prevention efforts can also take advantage of the fact that the source of addiction (television) is also a communication medium. Specifically, ads could be run on television to alert individuals as to the signs of dysfunctional television viewing and provide information on how to seek assistance prior to developing a deeply ingrained addiction. Prevention efforts could also take advantage of entertainment-education strategies, whereby educational storylines are embedded within a television program, that attempt to limit number of hours of viewing or unhealthy viewing motivations.

One may also consider policy actions that could serve a preventive effect. For example, warning statements might be placed on television consumer channel packages/plans to encourage limiting viewing time to no more than two hours per day. Certainly, some persons might view such action as extreme. However, if there is evidence that the TV media promote addiction, and if TV addiction prevalence is sizable (e.g., 5% or greater of the population), then such action would seem justified. There is much research needed regarding types of prevention programming that could be developed.

Some work exists regarding the treatment of television addiction, though most of this work is clinical (non-research). Kubey and Csikszentmihalyi (2002) suggest that TV viewers keep a diary for a few days to identify the amount of time TV was being viewed and how much the viewer benefited from the various programs. In addition, they suggested that families might promote other activities (e.g., involving live social interactions), exercise willpower or enforce time limits, make use of channel blocking features, plan which shows to watch ahead of time (decision making), limit the number of TVs in the home, limit location of TVs, and otherwise learn mindful television viewing (e.g., through media education).

There does not appear to be a highly organized 12-step program on recovery from television addiction, though there are some blogs (in particular, see TVAA; http://tvaa.blogspot.com/ ; accessed on December 14, 2012). Therapy for television addiction (outside of 12-step organizations) appears in the literature, and also may be helpful. Various individual-level therapy options might be considered. Motivational Interviewing (MI) may help TV addicts understand maladaptive functions of excessive viewing. For example, one may learn through MI techniques that their TV viewing involves an ongoing pattern of equivocation about issues of trust and intimacy. One may then try to reduce the discrepant feelings by deciding to practice entering relationships, particularly in locations where television is not available.

Developing non-TV hobbies may be important. The therapist may establish short-term goals with a TV addict that could include signing up for community courses (e.g., photography), participation in meditation or exercise, and making friends. Group therapy also may be a helpful option. One may conjecture that group therapy techniques (e.g., use of psychodrama) may help one decrease illusions toward television, and help one understand ones feelings toward long-term significant others such as one's nuclear family. One may also learn through group interaction how to better participate in healthy relationships, which may be less immediately engrossing but more rewarding in the long run.

Conclusions and Future Research

Television addiction indicates a constricted pattern of repetitive behavior directed toward one activity that leads to negative role or social consequences, which also has several dependence-like features making it difficult to stop. It may involve brain neurotransmission processes similar to the effects of drug misuse, and may be a substitute addiction for drug misuse for some persons. This arena has been studied primarily through use of clinical inference in books and communications theoretical articles. Very little empirical (data-driven) work has been completed. Future work should investigate the social, psychological and physiological responses to television. In particular, we need to learn if there is a quantifiable threshold for TV viewing that we might identify as addiction. We need more research that identifies harm from addictive TV viewing specifically. Empirical studies that investigate neurobiological impacts (e.g., brain pattern changes, neurochemical production changes), would be an excellent direction to take and draw parallels to other addictions on which such data is available (e.g., drug abuse, gambling).

Television addiction is a useful area to study for several reasons. First, if it is true that 5% to 10% of the population suffers from television addiction, its prevalence alone would be a cause of concern that needs remedy. Further validation of this estimate is needed. With the options of TV screen involvement ever increasing (e.g., as accessed on the Internet as well as television set) it would not be surprising if the prevalence of TV addiction is increasing. Second, it is possible that it is an addictive process that arises during childhood or adolescence as with other problem behaviors, such as tobacco use or drug experimentation. Importantly, it is feasible that TV addiction is one of the first to be present among people as children. They may learn that they can regulate affect through a behavior or substance at a young age. This addiction, or replacement addictions after an addictive process becomes engrained via TV, may exert a life span hold on vulnerable persons ( Sussman, 2013 ).

Third, and related to the second reason, the functional overlap between substance misuse and television addiction is striking in some ways, as previously discussed. In investigating both disorders concurrently, one may be able to learn about the underlying processes involved (e.g., impact on mesolimbic dopaminergic turnover). Fourth, some researchers and practitioners might consider TV addiction as a relatively safe substitute for drug or other addictions. Drug recovery centers typically have television rooms in which a great deal of viewing time is going on. One may conjecture that, while being a sedentary and potentially wasteful activity, at least one is not likely to incur legal or immediately physically destructive consequences (e.g., overdoses or accidents) likely to be experienced via drug abuse. Future research is needed to explore this possibility.

Finally, the mere lack of research completed deters one from achieving conceptual clarity regarding television addition. It may overlap with personality or other disorders such as histrionic or narcissistic personality disorders, or other behavioral addictions, which needs to be delineated. That is, the existence of TV addiction as a “stand-alone” phenomenon still needs investigation.

With many addictions, there is the notion that an individual is engaging in the behavior “too much”. That is, the person is losing money (e.g., spending a lot of money to buy alcohol, or on paying for consequences related to impulsive behavior resulting from being drunk), risking physical consequences (e.g., alcoholic liver disease), or is experiencing a diminished scope of activity (e.g., passing out, or passive experience of life, due to being drunk all the time), through over-investment in the addictive behavior. For example, there is some consensus that drinking more than two drinks of alcohol a day is physically hazardous, and that drinking more than six drinks a day may be considered alcoholic drinking (e.g., see http://www.icap.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=KtXj8PGibT8%3D&tabid=75 ; accessed February 8, 2013; Sussman & Ames, 2008 ). However, it may be relatively difficult to determine an addictive level of TV viewing frequency, particularly because certain forms of television have been shown to have positive consequences for viewers (e.g., entertainment-education: Singhal et al., 2004 ). It is possible that an equivalent amount of viewing time may be addictive (cause problems) for some people but not others, depending on competing life demands. Trying to establish a consistent normative threshold of addictive viewing time may be impossible. For example, among U.S. university students back in 1998, self-identified TV addicts were found to watch TV an average of about 21 hours a week, whereas those who did not so identify watched an average of approximately 13 hours per week ( McIlwraith, 1998 ). However, that amount of TV viewing reported by those TV addicts equates to three hours per day, about the same as the average viewer reported in the recent Bureau of Labor Statistics time use survey for the general population ( U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012 ). Strangely enough, Neilsen put out a report in 2009 that indicated an average viewing level of 141 hours per month (almost five hours a day) among people who own a TV ( http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/ThreeScreenReport_US_2Q09REV.pdf ; accessed December 14, 2012). Thus, it will take some research effort to better explore how viewing time relates to addictive viewing, versus other parameters of addictive viewing (e.g., ignoring other activity demands, self-perceptions of one's TV viewing, impact on physical health).

Notably, the media landscape has changed considerably since 1998. The boundaries of television viewing are expanding. For example, many people are watching television shows online via Hulu or Netflix, are watching timeshifted TV, or are even viewing TV on mobile phones ( http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/ThreeScreenReport_US_2Q09REV.pdf ; accessed December 14, 2012). Gauging total television viewing time may need to be revised, and contexts of heavy television viewing may shift. Social normative confusion over the boundaries of healthy television viewing suggests there is much to be learned. Related to this are the numerous other forms of mediated content to which individuals are exposed, such as YouTube videos which allow viewers to post comments and interact with other viewers, movies and video or computer games. All of these media might be considered as a constituent of a broader category of “screen addiction” in future research. It is possible that, while similar to television, these forms of content may fulfill different motivations. Alternately, these forms of content may more fully satisfy a need addressed by television use. For example, YouTube allows viewers to interact directly with each other by posting comments, posting videos to one's social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and directly emailing or texting videos to one's friends. Thus, this form of video content may be particularly well-suited for fulfilling a social connection need, and may be addictive. Clearly, more research is needed to delineate the positive and negative effects of these different forms of video content (e.g., see Kuss & Griffiths, 2011 , regarding social network addiction).

In summary, there does appear to be a phenomenon of television addiction, at least for some people. TV addicts are likely watch TV to satiate certain appetitive motives, demonstrate preoccupation with TV, report lacking control over their TV viewing, and experience various role, social, or even secondary physical (sedentary lifestyle) consequences due to their out of control viewing. These consequences are in part contextually driven, due to amount of viewing time contrasted with competing time demands. As with other addictions, it is likely that self-reported TV addicts suffer from multiple addictions ( Sussman et al., 2011 ), and that both prevention and treatment approaches may be needed for them. Much research is needed to better understand this addiction which prima facie seems relatively innocuous but in reality may incur numerous life problems.

1 Given the prevalence of video content on the Internet, we include televised content accessed via the Internet in our definition of television. This includes content first broadcast on television (e.g., viewing an episode of “Modern Family” on Hulu) as well as content produced exclusively for the Internet (e.g., “House of Cards”, which can be viewed only via Netflix). However, for simplicity's sake we refer to this content as well as traditional televised content as “television”. We hesitate in applying this same label to many YouTube videos (which vary a great deal in air time, might be filmed and aired as well as viewed, and which has Web 2.0/social aspects). The latter might be more realistically placed under a more broad category of “screen addiction” (e.g., also encompasses videogames, social networking, and texting), which goes beyond the scope of this review.

Funding sources

This paper was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (DA020138).

Authors’ contribution

SS took the lead role on the manuscript literature search and writing throughout. MBM contributed substantially to the etiology and Discussion sections, as well as elsewhere throughout the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

Nothing declared.

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January 1, 2004

Television Addiction Is No Mere Metaphor

Understanding how closely compulsive TV viewing resembles other forms of addiction may help couch potatoes control their habit.

By Robert Kubey and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

SA Mind Vol 14 Issue 1

Insight logo

When is Binge-Watching TV an addiction?

TV is a great way to relax, but it’s sometimes difficult to draw the line where binge-watching gets excessive. Learn about when it becomes a concern here.

We have more instantaneous access to media than ever before. At the touch of a button—or even a simple voice command—you can pull up your favorite movie or TV show anytime, anywhere. However, these advancements are also often paired with psychological effects on the human brain.

Many technological devices and programs have proven to be addictive, including TV. While plenty of people use television as means of entertainment or unwinding after a long day, others can be consumed by television in every waking moment. These people are classified as TV addicts.

Since television watching is so prolific, a gray area has developed for watchers who are not sure whether or not they are “addicted.” Especially during COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, individuals have found themselves relying more and more on screens for entertainment.

The use of TV and streaming services surged during lockdowns and are only expected to grow. As television-watching increases, many people may have picked up addictive tendencies when it comes to TV and movie binge-watching.

When is binge-watching OK, and when does it become an addiction?

What is an Addiction?

According to Medical News Today , addiction is the “psychological and physical inability to stop consuming a chemical, drug, activity, or substance, even though it is causing psychological and physical harm.”

From this definition, we understand a few things. For one, addiction is more than just a habit. Addiction renders its victims psychologically and physically unable to stop performing the addictive activity.

We also see that addiction extends beyond substances, meaning activities and actions can also be addictions—like binge-watching TV.

What is Binge-Watching?

Binge-watching, binge-viewing, or marathon-viewing are acts of watching content on TV or online for hours on end in one sitting. If you have stayed up all night to watch up to six episodes of your favorite show, then you have participated in binge-watching.

The bite-sized nature of television shows or other video content can also contribute to binge-watching tendencies. This can be connected to shortened attention spans among humans—the average attention duration is now less than eight seconds , shorter than that of a goldfish.

When Does Binge-Watching Become an Addiction?

According to the list of disorders found in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , binge-watching cannot officially be classified as an addiction. That said, it’s undeniable that there’s still a huge problem to be addressed here, as excessive TV viewership can have serious effects on the brain.

Addictive tendencies can arise when you experience psychological or physical harm as a result of watching TV and you still find it challenging to stop. In addition, if you are experiencing what is known as binge-watching depression (a down feeling that comes with binge-watching), then you are probably addicted to TV.

Effects of Television on The Brain

The effects of binge-watching on mental health are numerous. Some of them include:

  • Reduced quality of sleep
  • Increased risk for stroke and heart disease due to lack of physical activity
  • Mental and physical effects such as depression, insomnia, and obesity
  • Decline in verbal memory

How to Stop Binge-Watching

Try these tips to stop binge-watching and regain control of your TV viewing:

  • Limit the time you spend watching TV. Try setting timers to keep yourself disciplined or set a certain day of the week that you watch a particular show.
  • Use your favorite shows to reward yourself after you have completed a set task or necessary work.
  • Delete streaming apps on your devices.
  • Try apps such as TV time , moment , to limit the amount of time you spend on streaming sites every day. When that limit is reached, stop watching immediately.

If you are interested in studying more about addiction psychology and the steps that can be taken to deal with addiction, consider applying to The Chicago School’s B.A. in Psychology, Addiction Studies minor program .

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Essay on Television for Students and Children

500+ words essay on television.

Television is one of the most popular devices that are used for entertainment all over the world. It has become quite common nowadays and almost every household has one television set at their place. In the beginning, we see how it was referred to as the ‘idiot box.’ This was mostly so because back in those days, it was all about entertainment. It did not have that many informative channels as it does now.

Essay on Television

Moreover, with this invention, the craze attracted many people to spend all their time watching TV. People started considering it harmful as it attracted the kids the most. In other words, kids spent most of their time watching television and not studying. However, as times passed, the channels of television changed. More and more channels were broadcasted with different specialties. Thus, it gave us knowledge too along with entertainment.

Benefits of Watching Television

The invention of television gave us various benefits. It was helpful in providing the common man with a cheap mode of entertainment. As they are very affordable, everyone can now own television and get access to entertainment.

In addition, it keeps us updated on the latest happenings of the world. It is now possible to get news from the other corner of the world. Similarly, television also offers educational programs that enhance our knowledge about science and wildlife and more.

Moreover, television also motivates individuals to develop skills. They also have various programs showing speeches of motivational speakers. This pushes people to do better. You can also say that television widens the exposure we get. It increases our knowledge about several sports, national events and more.

While television comes with a lot of benefits, it also has a negative side. Television is corrupting the mind of the youth and we will further discuss how.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

How Television is    Harming the Youth

addiction of television essay

Additionally, it also makes people addict. People get addicted to their TV’s and avoid social interaction. This impacts their social life as they spend their time in their rooms all alone. This addiction also makes them vulnerable and they take their programs too seriously.

The most dangerous of all is the fake information that circulates on news channels and more. Many media channels are now only promoting the propaganda of the governments and misinforming citizens. This makes causes a lot of division within the otherwise peaceful community of our country.

Thus, it is extremely important to keep the TV watching in check. Parents must limit the time of their children watching TV and encouraging them to indulge in outdoor games. As for the parents, we should not believe everything on the TV to be true. We must be the better judge of the situation and act wisely without any influence.

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How I Overcame TV Addiction, Reclaimed My Life and Gained Two Months Per Year

Also see: 21 Motivational Quotes to Help You Overcome Your TV Addiction .

Nobody on their deathbed ever wished they’d spent more time watching television. Life is short, and there are too many things that are more important and fulfilling than sitting in front of a television for hours on end. That’s not to suggest you should stop watching TV altogether, but I’ve come to see it as something best placed at the edge of life, rather than the center.

I didn’t always feel this way. In fact, there was a time in my life when I wasted nearly six hours of my day watching television. As evening rolled around, I’d plant myself on the couch, turn on the television and vegetate till I fell asleep near midnight. Eight hours later, I’d wake up with the TV still on, feeling no more rested than when I went to sleep.

When you do the math, it’s rather shocking. Six hours per day adds up to 2190 hours over the course of a year, which equates to 91 days. THREE MONTHS! per year . Sitting in front of a television. Hypnotized. Tuned in, but zoned out. Living in a make-believe world while the real world passed me by.

“In its easy provision of relaxation and escape, television can be beneficial in limited doses. Yet when the habit interferes with the ability to grow, to learn new things, to lead an active life, then it does constitute a kind of dependence and should be taken seriously.” From “Television Addiction Is No Mere Metaphor” — By Robert Kubey and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi —

Coming to Terms With My TV Addiction

Although I failed to recognize it at the time, it’s clear now that watching television had become a full-blown addiction for me. An escape mechanism that I used to distract myself from the problems, fears and challenges I was refusing to deal with in my life.

I used television to distract myself from the shame, embarrassment and stress I felt about some irresponsible financial decisions and their resulting fallout. I used it to avoid facing my fear of stepping out into the world more fully, connecting with others and pursuing the higher purpose to which my soul was being called. I used it to cope with boredom and fill the void of an otherwise empty life.

In short, my life was a mess, my self-esteem was shot, and while TV may have provided a short-term escape from that reality, it ultimately kept me locked within it. Said another way, instead of using my time and energy to deal with my problems and improve my life, I was wasting it on television.

“Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” — Mary Oliver —

First Steps on My Journey to Recovery

Fortunately, I met Ellen, my life partner for the last several years. When I met her, she didn’t even own a television. This puzzled me. What does she do for entertainment, I wondered. Doesn’t she get bored? How can she stand the silence? I didn’t ask her those questions directly, because I didn’t really care. In fact, on a deeper level, I respected and envied her for that choice.

In Ellen, I saw a person living a mindful, purposeful life that revolved around the things that matter most – her health and well-being; her family, friends and community; and her life’s work as a Yoga Therapist. In her, I saw a potential life-partner, and an inspiring example of the kind of person I wanted to be and the type of life I wanted to live.

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t thank the Universe for bringing Ellen into my life. She provided the inspiration, encouragement and support to help me see beyond the challenging circumstances of my life at the time. Besides the inspiring example of how she was living her life, I remember an article she published for her Yoga students, in which she wrote:

“Where do you see yourself in five years, one year, one week, or one day? This can be a difficult question to answer, but it is imperative that you hold vision for your life. Without vision, your life shifts into idle. “When you have an idea or vision for what you want to manifest in life, the wheels are set in motion. It is as if you’ve shifted out of ‘park’ and into fast forward. All your thinking, creativity, active and passive energy begins to consciously and unconsciously direct itself toward that which you want to create. “It is really quite simple. Without a vision nothing happens. There is nowhere to direct your thoughts or energy. Without a vision, growth and movement comes to a halt. With vision, life becomes a course of ongoing expansion, opening doors to infinite possibility.” — Ellen Shaeffer —

I remember that article, because it described my life so perfectly at the time. I had no vision for the future. I was locked in my misery, and my life had essentially come to a halt.

How I Conquered TV Addiction

Soon after I read Ellen’s article, I sat down and wrote out an inspiring vision for the life I wanted to live and the person I wanted to be. As you might imagine, my vision didn’t include watching six hours of television every day.

Still, my addiction was well-established. So, while my heartfelt vision statement was a great place to start, I knew it was going to take more than words on a page to begin turning that vision into reality. Here are several things that worked for me.

1. Monitor and Track How Much Time You Waste on TV

“You cannot manage or improve something until you measure it. Likewise, you can’t make the most of who you are – your talents and resources and capabilities – until you are aware of and accountable for your actions.” From The Compound Effect — Darren Hardy —

When I first started on the road to recovery, I kept a daily, written log to document the number of hours I spent watching television each day. This helped me see exactly how much of my life I was wasting. It also helped me see where I could eliminate some TV time and replace it with more purposeful activities.

At the time, it was a revelation to realize I could turn off the TV at 9pm instead of midnight, get a good night’s sleep, and wake up at 4am. This freed up a good 3-4 hours in the morning that I could use however I wanted. I still live by this schedule, and my early-morning time is the most productive and creative part of my day.

2. Develop a Sense of Purpose and Mission for Your Life

“Human beings are teleological creatures. We are hard-wired to live purposively, to have direction. Without a target to shoot at, our lives are literally aimless. Without something productive to do, without positive goals and a purpose, a human being languishes. And then one of two things happens. Aimlessness begins to shut a person down in spiritual lethargy and emptiness, or the individual lashes out and turns to destructive goals just to make something happen.” From The Art of Achievement — Tom Morris —

Besides my ever-deepening relationship with Ellen, the thing that’s been most critical to my recovery is the deep sense of purpose and mission I’ve developed about my life. When you feel this deep sense of purpose and that you have a mission in life, it’s much easier to let go of anything that distracts or takes time away from it.

For me, purpose is about working each day to become the best human being I can be. It’s about cultivating and strengthening the values that are most important to me – peace, love, creativity, excellence, perseverance and service. Life purpose, for me, is more about being and becoming, rather than doing.

Mission, on the other hand, is about doing; it’s about using my time, energy, skills and other resources to serve the world. Specifically, my mission is to help you – and others like to you – create a happier, healthier, more prosperous life through my writing, teaching and coaching.

This deserves repeating – when you feel a profound sense of purpose and mission in your life, you don’t want to waste your time and energy on television. Instead, you’re driven to use your resources wisely, and in service to that purpose and mission.

3. Realize That Television is Stealing Your Life

“Every single hour of television watched after the age of 25 reduces the viewer’s life expectancy by 21.8 minutes.” — Gretchin Rubin, Get Up. Get Out. Don’t Sit. —

As I said at the beginning, I believe there’s a small place for television in life. Very small though, because when you really think about it, aside from some short-term relaxation and entertainment value, what do you get out of it?

If you watch 3 hours of TV tonight, will you be any happier tomorrow? Will you have more friends or more love in your life? Will you be any smarter? Will you be any healthier or wealthier? If you watch 3 hours of TV tonight, will it improve your life in any way tomorrow?

To paraphrase author Annie Dillard, how you spend your days is how you spend your life. I don’t know about you, but I’d hate to wake up many years down the road and realize I’d wasted much of my life watching TV.

4. Find Alternatives to Watching Television

“Too many vacations that last too long, too many movies, too much TV, too much video game playing – too much undisciplined leisure time in which a person continually takes the course of least resistance gradually wastes a life. It ensures that a person’s capacities stay dormant, that talents remain undeveloped, that the mind and spirit become lethargic and that the heart is unfulfilled.” From The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People — Stephen Covey —

Idle hands are the devil’s workshop. With nothing else to do with my time, it was far too easy to get pulled toward watching television. Certainly, there’s something to be said for cultivating the ability to simply sit in silence with only your thoughts, but that only goes so far. I had to find other ways to use my time.

When I’m not working or spending time with Ellen, I read a good book or write in my journal. In fact, that’s how I spend my early-morning hours. Back when I started on my recovery, I created a morning writing ritual known as Morning Pages . This is the writing practice made popular by Julia Cameron in her book, The Artist’s Way . I pour myself a hot cup of coffee, sit down at my desk and write in the early-morning silence.

You don’t have to spend your free time reading or writing, although a daily journaling practice might do wonders for you. You can use your free time however you like.

  • Watch some excellent personal development classes online.
  • Get outdoors and go for a hike.
  • Take up drawing, painting, dancing or some other creative activity.
  • Start an online business or launch a new blog.
  • Find some Meetup groups to join or start one of your own.
  • Clean out those closets or the basement, and sell or donate everything you no longer need.

Go to bed earlier. This probably isn’t a valid alternative if it’s the middle of the day. But if it’s 8:00 in the evening, and you have nothing else to do, instead of watching TV, why not just go to bed. Throw on the jammies, brush your teeth, grab a good book and head for the bedroom. You can make it a nice little pre-slumber ritual that, in time, you’ll come to love and look forward to. You’ll sleep better and wake up earlier, feeling fresh and ready for the day ahead.

The alternatives to watching television are limited only by your imagination and willingness to move out of your comfort zone.

5. Exercise Consistently

In her book, The Willpower Instinct , Dr. Kelly McGonigal calls physical exercise “ the closest thing to a wonder drug that self-control scientists have discovered .” Why, because multiple research studies have shown that when people begin exercising more consistently, other areas of their life improve as well. Exercisers tend to reduce their smoking, drinking and caffeine intake. They eat less junk food and more healthy food. They spend less time watching television and more time on productive activities. They save more money, feel more in control of their emotions and procrastinate less.

In his book, The Power of Habit , Charles Duhigg calls exercise a “keystone habit” that triggers widespread change in our life. I can attest to this. One of the first steps I took on my road to recovery was to re-initiate my exercise routine, and I’ve managed to stay consistent with it for the past several years. I don’t do it every day, but often enough that it’s an integral part of living a healthier, happier, more productive life.

The Journey Continues

I still watch television, but I’ve created a healthy relationship with it. Instead of wasting six hours per day, as I did at the height of my addiction, Ellen and I now watch less than 10 hours per week. And since we don’t own a television, we only watch movies on DVD or from an online service, such as Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.

Effectively, that means I’ve gained 32 hours per week, which works out to roughly two months per year. Think of what you could do with an extra two months per year .

Of course, life still has its problems and challenges. Its ups and downs. That’s just how life is. The difference now is that, rather than medicate myself with television, I find healthier, more purposeful ways to invest my time and energy.

There are 244 brilliant comments

I’m addicted to TV. I’ve ovcome past addictions. I know that getting rid of TV is for the best, I was without TV for 5+ years, but now I’m in a quagmire. You see, my love-in partner bought a huge TV a few years ago. He plays video games, but not for hours on end. It brings him joy and laughter, he connects with people via gaming(we do not go out), and it’s also allows him to wind down from the stress of work at end of night. How do I ask this of him? He says he’s willing to get ride of it(b/c I told him that unplugging it will not solve the problem, I will just plug it back in), but I hate to take that away from him, plus he spend big $ on it.

He says he is willing to get rid of it. What an awesome, supportive partner! Receive his gift of love and support, and know that you are worth the sacrifice😊!

Dear Michael, thank you so much for this superb article. It hit the nail on the head with how I’ve been feeling and thinking of late. I notice that on average I watch 2 hrs of TV almost every night. With so many quality shows being released, TV has become the easy and lazy choice for the way I spend my evenings. For me, it’s a form of escape from all the things I know I could be doing that would significantly improve my life and take it in a whole other positive direction. All the quotes resonated with me and I’m going to start this weekend by carving out my vision. Next, for the entire month of May, I will keep my TV switched off. It’s good to get uncomfortable… that’s where the magic lies I’m told 🙂 Thank you again and all the best!

literally, it was a life-saving article for me. I have been a TV- addict from my childhood and I never thought about its bad effects on life, but somehow when I came to your blog( one of my friends recommended your post), I realize I have wasted a big part of my life and it’s time to stop this. I followed your tips and they were really helpful for getting out form this addiction. Thank you so much.

Michaels recovery stemmed from meeting Ellen. He had a safety network with her giving him the motivation to get over his addiction.

What does the person with no emotional support nor to do things other but don’t have the motivation to do nothing but because watch TV ?

I’d try to go out or do activities I enjoy in group! Meet new people with the hope of slowly building this safety network myself

Go out for a walk. A walk makes me feels “awake” because I feel like I am actually sleeping/ a living corpse/ soulless meatball when I am watching TV or Youtube. I think a lot during the walk: I waste too much time on Youtube, I should start learn programing, I should keep praticing piano……since there is no TV around you and there is nothing you can do except thinking. I always find myself a lot of goals and plans even in a short one-hour walk, and desire of watching Youtube become lower after walk. I am not get rid of my addiction yet, but at least this is one way to deal with it.

You don’t have to go out. My most vivid memories are of the years when I had no TV before Youtube existed. I remember the songs of birds I had never notjced, the creative ideas I had, the curiosity to learn new things. Then along came Youtube, and this is more invasive because it’s readily available for free on any web browser. So I’m doing the opposite of all advice here, I’m spending less time with others and going into solitude with music and knitting and talking with God about my favorite subject, me. I look at it as a transformative journey, and I have to go it alone.

I’m not sure how I came about your article, but I’m very glad I did. I’m not addicted to TV, but I waste time in an evening just looking at crap on my phone, or the iPad and sometimes TV/YouTube.

Your article is a reminder to switch it off more often, and it’s so true about exercise. I used to do intense Bootcamp style training a few years ago for 3 times each week, and managed to land a great job, that I still have because I was more focused and alert than I am now.

My career has slowed down because I’ve been so less active and I’ve taken my foot off of the accelerator, and started wasting time.

Thank you for this post. It was much needed, I’m booking myself back into the Bootcamp I enjoyed so much.

There is hope if you are struggling with this addiction!

I recently joined a 12 step fellowship (like Alcoholics Anonymous) for internet addiction, it’s a broader fellowship for people who struggle with compulsive internet and technology use, including binge watching. Many members are TV addicts like me and you. I joined three months ago and I have been completely and utterly blown away with the positive results I am seeing in my life every day. TV, movies and streaming ruled my life for years and years. I couldn’t imagine giving it up for even one evening – my body went into panic mode just thinking of it. I really tried absolutely every method of self-control to use TV in moderation. It simply wasn’t possible for me to stop once a started and once I did stop, I couldn’t *stay* stopped. Finding this fellowship is the *only* thing that has been able to drag me up from the depths. Today I’m so grateful to say I have only had one binge in three months. I’m learning how to become the person I always wanted to be and to do all the things I always wanted to do. I’m not religious and I feel really cheesy writing this but now I’m starting to understand why people use the word ‘miracle’ – so many things I thought would never be possible for me are now within my reach.

We have online meetings every day (at the time I’m writing), why not check out one meeting just to see what it’s all about? It’s totally free and nobody will force you to do anything at all – you can even just sit and listen if you want. https://internetaddictsanonymous.org/

If you take one thing away from this message please hear this: you are not alone. There is hope!

Thank you for the group link. I am joining a meeting today because of you.

This is a great general advice for all kinds of addiction, TV/Internet/Social media addictions included.

Thank you for this article, Michael, and thank you every one else who has shared their experiences here in the comments. I have seen many stories like my own here, and it has inspired me to share my thoughts as well. I am turning 30 tomorrow. I have spent most of my 20s alone, and am still waiting for right person to spend my life with. I cannot say that my adult life has been without achievement; I am about to receive my Masters in Education and I have many dear friends in my life. The problems come when I have to stand still. I have ADHD, and my thoughts spiral and shift unendingly. Simply being at rest is stressful to me. TV is how I turn my brain off. The last 5 years, you were as likely to find me alone staring at the screen on a Friday or Saturday night as anywhere else. When the rest of my life- job, school, music performances- keeps me running all day, this time is a refuge. I’m pretty introverted, and enjoy this recharge time in the evenings. But it eats whole weekends, most days off, all the time that I don’t absolutely have to be somewhere. I was laid off in April as part of the COVID-19 lockdown, and ever since I’ve been watching more and more. I should wake up and work on my classes or my thesis, but instead I open up Hulu or Netflix- just for one show as I get going. Just one, or maybe two. Soon the day is gone, and I’ve done nothing. On the days when I can resist, I feel amazing- productive, energetic, coordinated and on top of things. There are some days when I can even manage some TV and still get things done, but I’ve lost weeks to the tube. After reading this article, I sat down and built a method for checking myself and stopping my spiral of sloth. Whenever I look at the time, I ask myself 4 questions:

Are you Creating? Are you Sharing? Are you Learning? Are you Managing?

If I can’t answer yes to any of these, then I need to do something else. Right now, I’m creating this post, and sharing it with anyone who might read it. After this, I will manage my health by brushing my teeth. I’ll probably share some time with a friend on the phone before I go to bed. I’ll read a book, and create a whole world from the words on the page. If I find myself watching TV, I am not creating. I’m not sharing. I’m not managing my life. I might be learning- documentaries or how-tos . If I want to watch something purely entertaining, I’ll have to find someone to share it with. Otherwise, I’d better find something else to do. I hope this is something I can stick to. I don’t want to waste the next 10 years like I did the last 10.

Spencer I love this – thank you

I watch movies on my laptop for hours on end. Am in campus now and have felt that it’s interfering with my studies. It takes up all my study time and before I know it the semester is over and another begins almost failing all units. I just feel like time is rushing and nothing is happening in my life except fantasizing what I see in movies(healthy relationships, vacations, a lot of friends, creativity, making an impact in the world…).

I currently feel so empty and have none of those. It has become my hideout from life. I feel alone, i don’t interact with people a lot and this has took away almost all my self esteem, ability to communicate with people and all of my social life. I have these big plans and ideas in my mind but always gets carried away by movies looking for a “high point” and filling a void which never gets filled.

Under the current coronavirus crisis schools have been closed and find myself watching up to 20 hours a day even struggling to get time to sleep or cook for myself. I feel that I finally need to have a control of my life again and become a better person and this article has just given me a starting point. I am so grateful for this article.

Lev, i dont want give some catchy quote that makes sense. Rather I would say just try harder every day and know that you are not alone

Hi Lev, I really feel like I get what you are going though. I’ve always been addicted to tv/ netflix series. Unlike other people who watch cartoons and science fiction to relax, I watch ‘realistic’ movies and series to escape into a different reality. The confronting thing is that my younger sister is living the kind of life I see in those movies. This makes it so painful knowing that I could’ve had that if I hadn’t chosen to take the easy way, but instead living life to the fullest like her. My entire family and a lot of my friends I feel are like this, very succesfull and living a truthfull life. I don’t get why I am how I am. I feel so messed up and fake.

Thank the universe that you met Ellen, and that you were so inspired that you made a commitment to overcome your TV addiction. Thank you for stepping away from TV and moving into your purpose and mission. I appreciate you honesty and your skill as a writer to break down the process in a way that is clear and concise and easy to understand.

I was sitting here watching yet another TV show that I had little interest in, and this was after mindlessly watching TV all day, frustrated, I did a google search for overcoming TV addiction and your blog popped up. I was reading y our blog while the show was still running. Midway through reading your post, I turned off the TV and felt a sense of peace immediately and finished reading.

For many years I had no TV and loved it. I was a holistic healer, painter, sculptor, and writer and then I began losing my vision. I returned to school to get my MS in counseling to blend with my holistic healing work. Which is what I currently do. However, when I am not working, I use, no, I have used my loss of vision and a stroke that I had 7 months ago as an excuse to be passively engaged with life my purpose and my mission. Can you tell how inspired I am? You have given me what I give to my clients every day ~ hope and a plan of action!

Thank you Michael and Ellen. I have subscribed to your blog and look forward to reading more. I also look forward to going to bed and getting up early and tomorrow, beginning a new chapter in my life; actually it begins right now!

Dear Michael, this article was very help full.Thank you for the wakup call!

Thank you for this. TV is really just a big waste of my time. It used to be in small doses as I had a lot of things to do, However as I am now not working it just came to be my default “activity” and consumed my life. Your words really resonated and I see how it’s going to make a big impact on my life. Can’t wait for living my life’s potential.

Thank you soo much for sharing. I didn’t even know this was an actual addiction until I came across this article. I have known for a while that a problem, I just never thought if not as an addiction! I have let TV and Netflix steal my life and my joy. Instead of thinking about my future and trying to make my life better I have been trying to live vicariously through the people I watch daily. It’s crazy. It’s even more sad because I know I have the potential to live an excellent & fulfilled life. My life is a mess. I need help! Thanks for the article. Is there an online support group I can join?

Thank you for this article. TV has stolen my husband’s life. It has turned our marriage into a mess. It has ruined us financially. I don’t even know how to turn the TV on and my husband can’t stay away from it.

So sorry to hear this Robin. If you’d like to discuss further, please contact me directly. Blessings 🙂

My TV broke down last Saturday and rather than fix it, I decided to try going without it to see what would happen. I’ve been aware for a couple of years that I rely on TV watching for company (I live alone, and am an introvert) and that I will have it on for 6’to 8 hours most evenings. So I kind of suspected I was addicted to it. It’s been very peaceful at night with out it, which is a nice surprise. But today I felt exhausted, like I’ve been hit by a truck. And I’m wondering if giving up an addiction, even if it’s not to a substance, can give a person physical symptoms? Has anyone else experienced anything like this?

Great article, I found it very well put together and touched on some very similar thoughts I have been having lately. I only just came to the realisation that I was wasting my time and I should treat it as an addiction. Considering how much time I have dedicated to my problem over the last 5 years I suspect it will be difficult for me to break the cycle. Hopefully recognising the problem and the adverse effects it has on my life will get me on the right path, and articles like this will help keep me in line. Thank you.

Loved your article. I googled on TV addiction as my husband is completely addicted to TV. He still doesn’t think it’s a problem. He says what else will I do if not TV. It’s almost been an year we got married, before marriage I did not have a TV. I still had my laptop on which I used to watch a few series, but that’s about it. I came here after wedding and realise that the TV was perpetually on at all the times of the day. He wakes up at 6 am and I wake up at 6:30 am. By the time I reach the living room, the TV used to be on. And before going to bed in the bedroom as well. After a few months of fighting I finally was able to convince him to never put it on in the bedroom at least. Before me moving in, the TV used to be on the entire night, if he used to wake up from his sleep, he used to put it on (thankfully that has stopped after a lot of our fights). He still watches videos on his mobile for a few minutes and then he finally asks me if I want to sleep. If I say yes I would like to sleep now, he take out his air pods, puts either friends (the series) or any other series and flip over the phone screen so that the light doesn’t disturb my sleep. This goes worse- even in the toilet when he’s taking a dump or he’s taking a shower, some or the other video or series in playing on his cellphone.

Honestly, after an year of watching this and fighting over it almost every two weeks, I have given up. I feel it’s his life, what can I do if doesn’t understand. I literally wonder how can someone watch so much of tv/Netflix/amazon prime or whatever. I watch 2 episodes back to back and feel unproductive.

I don’t know if you’d even reply. But it felt good to just type all this down.

I am in the same phase now. Every time I am home I always end up starting Netflix and spending hours every day. It’s like Netflix is my hideout from the rest of the world and problems. Instead of facing and solving problems, I spend an awful lot of time on movies and end up feeling even more miserable. Recently I started reading some blogs, and have been trying to improve my habits and stay focused on my goals. Your blog definitely gave me a kick I needed. Thank you. I have long wanted to start my blog and write my thoughts. I will start now.

Where and who do I want to be in 5 years? Bahaha I’ve been asking myself this same question my entire life! I’m stuck unable to progress because I still don’t know this answer. I’ve always wanted to make a huge impact on the world! I never thought I would be 40 and still have no clue what my calling in life was or even have a clue what my ideal life looks like. Sadly now it just feels too late. 40 is old, my life is practically over.

I enjoyed your article, it made me think I could definitely be doing more if I stop escaping through tv. I should be actively looking and finding ways to serve the greater good. I may die never finding my calling in life but at least my offspring will have memories of me actively searching and serving.

“40 is old, my life is practically over…”

You’re not alone. about 3 out of 4 people are in your same boat. But a little story of hope,..

My fiancee’s father was 47 when he retired from teaching and found his passion in financial planning. Over the past 20 years, he and his wife have built a financial planning practice together…but 20 years ago, they never imagined they would have had the success and well-being.

Now, at 67, with the ability to retire comfortably, he continues to grow his book of business because he loves rising to the challenge and taking care of his people.

So when you say, your life is practically over, I hope you find some comfort knowing that you still have a few years to be able to really dig in and identify what is it you want.

Me, I just turned 30 and do web design & marketing for a small book of clients I gathered over the past two years. My living arrangement right now is a small studio apartment, and the only seating is a futon directly facing the TV.

Most nights I stay up until 2a making mediocre progress at best as I play some show or movie in the background. But most of the time, I’m bouncing between the story line and what I’m doing, and what takes me 20 minutes at deep focus, takes me 2-3 hours. Since I don’t bill hourly, I make the excuse that it’s not hurting my clients…but really, it only harms me, and the ones I love because of it.

The best way to find out what your God given talents are is serving others. You should try different things and eventually one of them will feel like, “Man I’m really good and this and I love doing it! I want to know everything about this.” That’s usually your talent/purpose. It usually starts as something that seems superficial but there are ways to use it on a deeper level. Hope that helps 🙂

Hi I can relate but I’m 61! ( I don’t look it). I’ve got a masters in social work to help people, accomplished things. But when too many obstacles happen I get ashamed and disappear. I’ve been very creative in my life but didint continue once someone criticized me, especially people I cared about. I know I was supposed to push through but it wore me down. without letting people in to inspire me to go on I lost my drive. Change and pursuing your passion is risky. We gravitate to being safe but that’s how we miss out. I have things that happened to me that influenced that. I suffer from PTSD. No excuse I had no compassion for myself. I still have created something over the past 3 years to serve the creative community. I struggled to show up . But I did. I was appreciated but It started to feel I’m doing it all for others like a slave. The pandemic gave me relief honestly .I haven’t taken time off in three years. It has given me time to rest and think about what I want. I regret NOT continuing things I loved because I decided I wasn’t good enough only to see others “not as good “ as me out there confidently. . I’ve been hiding out. I am taking care of things and getting out but the anxiety overwhelms me. I think about the negative. For months watching a lot of TV, and YouTube videos saving so many! I help my son and husband . We have some good times but they really judge me harshly for my escaping. It’s a protective mechanism. Its frustrating to people who can’t relate. A new opportunity to do something creative is coming from my years of devotion. I can see how I could be successful and happy doing this. I have to put myself out there. Is it too late to have a new purpose and be happy? Forget age. What will make you feel joy and give to others? Do it with out reservation. I always start out that way. This is an opportunity to turn off the TV and focus on life. This time I’m going to respond to some of the people I’ve met who show they care about me. One day at a time. So 40? Age is just a number. I wish I was 40 again. I did enjoy the time. House in the Hamptons. But I still kept more aloof. I can step up now and create anew. You can too.🙏🏻

Dear Janet, I just read this sharing from you and want to thank you for everything that you have written. It is so inspiring and encouraging. Thank you for your generosity and all the very best!

Overcoming TV addiction is rather easy – you simply take the TV and get rid of it. (That worked for me, I put it into the attic and forgot about it). You won’t miss it (for long). But TV addiction is so 20th century – Internet is the new TV.

I use the Internet to distract myself, cope with boredom, to avoid facing my fear of stepping out into the world, connecting with others.

While the Internet may provide a short term escape from reality it ultimately uses my time and energy to deal with my problems and improve my life, which I am wasting on the Internet.

However, unlike the simple task of getting rid of TV living an offline life is a rather difficult task to accomplish. Have you ever tried booking a flight offline? Order some widget related to your obscure hobby? An Uber? Dating? Getting rid of something (craigslist? If you put it in the classifieds you won’t get a call, even if you give it away for free)

Since everyone and everything is online (and expects you to be online as a matter of course), leading an offline life is (unfortunately) not a real possibility in a modern world.

Being offline is not an option, but whenever I am online I start wasting my time…wasting a little to unwind would be fine, but just like TV used to the Internet sucks me in instantly and I will not complete the task(s) I wanted to.

IMHO Internet addiction (unlike TV addiction) is like having an eating disorder. You cannot not eat, you cannot not have Internet.

Not having a TV is like being a dry alcoholic – you “simply” don’t drink beer if you know its bad for you. But you “have to have” Internet and then only use it in moderation, like a tool to accomplish whatever you need to find out, buy, whatever, but not getting carried away…which is difficult. Or you say “only one youtube clip to unwind and then I’ll research new job possibilities” … many hours later you are still on youtube…Even if you do something useful (research flights for your next holiday, hunt some obscure widget or information on the hike you want to do next weekend) the information overload (too much useful information) leads you to get sidetracked by wanting to know “everything”. The Internet has been stealing my life.

I substituted television watching with internet use and still found the article helpful. I totally get what you are saying – the internet and rabbit hole that goes with it is (to me) way worse than the television. I can go all day with the television off but get anxiety if I have not checked my phone, texts, or social media in more than 15 minutes. It is debilitating.

But really, it’s that feeling of “having to have”, which is an outright self made lie. I totally get what you’re saying. The internet provides a convenience to our life and because it does everyone uses it. I too used to have an internet addiction led by rabbit holes and social media. The things that we do that make life easier such as booking a trip, posting on Craigslist, job hunting etc, don’t take much time but it requires discipline to do.

For example, job hunting, which agreeably, can be something very difficult to stay focused on (because typing in your work history over and over is the most mundane thing you can ever do). What I like to do it open up a notepad doc or something type everything out that I’ll likely need to enter and then google some opportunities. I enter in the information and I have a place to type in answers to individual questions that I could use on other application or add points to my resume. Creating the notepad doc doesn’t require me to have internet so I can turn it off for the time being, googling anything I need to google when I’ve done absolutely everything else.

When I open up my job search query I already have the information up and can knock out a few job applications in a row since the information is copy/paste-able and get the satisfaction of productivity in a short period of time. For social media, it’s honestly lost it’s appeal past 💩posting for me, but I don’t run in large circles, and some people may have a different relationship with it. When I was more social I would NEVER use it when I was actually in front of people. I think that’s incredibly rude.

I would challenge myself to go without checking my phone for intervals at a time, gradually increasing the and rewarding myself for long periods of disconnectedness. Most of the stuff we use the internet for to make life easier doesn’t take long and there’s nothing wrong with researching stuff but just ask yourself how useful that information is before getting lost. Like does it matter if I don’t know the name of that guy in that movie/band? Will I lose sleep if I don’t know what Day Christmas falls on this year? Ya know? 🤪

Not just TV addiction, now people have another addiction to face and that’s the internet/social media/mobile phones addiction which is far more worse.

Yeah, but there are a lot of sources you can watch to up your I.Q. instead of lowering it. Youtube has a lot of good videos.

I agree. I am retired and used online courses to learn basic acrylic and watercolor painting techniques, which has led to my signing up for “real world” studio classes. There are many fantastic learning opportunities available through our public library’s website. Avoiding Netflix, etc., is a bit more of challenge right now as I injured my foot. I cannot do some of the activities that keep me away from the screen, like walking our 2 little dogs and more strenuous household chores. I read, spend time on hobbies and volunteering, see friends and family, exercise, and cook healthy meals, and talk more with my husband. I will say that on gloomy weather days, I used to spend almost entire afternoons binge watching series. I was disgusted with myself. Life is so much better now in 3-D instead of 2-D. Good luck everyone!

This is inspiring

This article was extremely timely for me. I am trying to get my face away from in front of a screen in 2019. This is my first day of withdrawal – I’m watching no cable at all today. I hope by the end of the month – one day at a time – I will be able to cancel the service. It’s been hard today – I usually watch six hours a day at least – especially as some of my favorite programs were on. But I also realize how useless, time-wasting, and violent many of them are. I’m allowing myself two episodes of a streaming show in the evenings. But I’ve been feeling the effects. I’ve had to recover from both a smoking and a drinking addiction, and have been both smoke- and alcohol-free for over 20 years. I know I can do this by using many of the same techniques I used to break those habits!

thanks for a great article michael! came across this because i decided today to spend 2019 without the tv, internet or computer (at home) – only use email at work and/or essential internet use at work only. 20 years ago i gave up tv for 1 year, managed it but substituted the internet instead which wasn’t ideal – so this time there won’t be that avenue to go down. this will mean that i will be able to discover what it is like to live a ‘real’ life, be comfortable with silence, being with myself, spending time with family, appreciating what i have and experiencing life and slowing down. so much of what we do at home is wasted in ‘escapism’ for the sake of it, with excuses such as being tired, stressed etc. also an opportunity to practise more self-care – meditate, sleep. thanks for the inspiration. regards nick

Thank you for sharing your story, really inspiring and very helpful!

6 hours? That’s nothing, I have a father who watches 18 hours a day. There is absolutely ZERO exaggeration. The remaining 6 hours is dedicated for him to rest up and do it all over again the next day. Even while sleeping the TV is left on. So you can now imagine how the television is on 24 hours a day.

Hey Michael

Thanks for this inspiring and motivating article! I have the bad habit of watching too much tv or series aswell. It mostly affects me during summer holidays because that’s a long stretch and I just find myself lacking motivation to do other stuff. Nonetheless I recognise it’s something I need to remedy and will try my best to do so! In general I think having television or laptop before going to bed is rather disrupting and the “get fresh and grab a book” strategy will probably benefit me and others a lot more.

Cheers, Nick

Thanks for the kind words Nick. Yes, it’s important to have some other activity/behavior to engage in rather than watching TV. In the addiction recovery field, this is known as a VACI – Vital Absorbing Creative Interest. This can be a new hobby or an old hobby that you might want to rekindle. Or, as you said, it can be something as simple as reading a book or learning a new skill such as drawing, painting, writing or even meditation. This doesn’t have to be the case, but it would be ideal if this new activity involved engaging with other people. Addiction of any sort thrives in isolation.

Thank you for this interesting article. I think many people, including myself, find themselves in situations like this because of lonliness. TV has been filling a social void, especially in North America, for decades. I am very motivated and ambitious, working full time, going to school, and running a business. I enjoy cooking and reading. But at the end of the day, there isn’t always people to talk to. Coming from a distant and unsupportive family, and having only a few close friends, this leaves me with few options in the evenings. I also like to read, but I will watch usually watch TV for about 3 hours per night, and more on the weekends.

I just think that humans are made for much more community and connectivity than what we typically experience now. I would love to connect with friends most evenings after work, or even talk on the phone. But no one wants to do that anymore. After work, everyone goes home to their own family, and I live by myself. And its rare to find anyone that wants to talk on the phone now and then, let alone once a week.

I don’t have a large enough network of friends to fill my evenings and weekends. And being around family can be extremely stressful and harmful. So I see TV as a way to not only be entertained, but to also feel connected to something, even if it isn’t real or personal.

I’ve always wanted a warm family and a reliable group of friends (just like you see on tv, haha). But that is not reality for many people. What else is one to do, day after day, to fill the time?

Thanks for the very thoughtful comment Kristina. You make a compelling case, and I can’t say that I disagree. I think what it comes down to is how you feel about your life and how you are spending your free time. If you feel that watching a few hours of TV each night is not taking away from you living a happy, healthy and prosperous life, who’s to say otherwise? On the other hand, if it feel like it’s creating problems for you in some way, that’s the point to do something about it.

Thank you so much for this article and the comments. I was shocked to come across Kristina’s comments and how they described my same thoughts, feelings and situation. This would be a first for me to google something like this in addition to leaving some type of comment. I googled this today because the TV has just gotten too out of hand, while I know it is symptom of so many other issues, it has been a cure for the loneliness.

I’m very similar to you Kristina. I don’t know the answer but I do know that when I was younger I felt so sorry for people who watched a lot of tv…and now that’s me! I try to remember what I used to do and how creative I was and feel that in a lot of ways tv has drained that from me. I decided to severely limit my tv watching and get busy again, no matter how lonely I am at the moment. I didn’t depend on tv when I was young and I am determined not to when I’m old!

Melissa and Kristina — I don’t know how old your comments are or if you will see mine, but my heart broke after reading your stories. I AM kinda old — 62. I came across this article because I have successfully given up all tv and streaming with the exception of one episode of a show or one movie per week that my husband and I select to watch together at a specific day and time.

So I am going to suggest 2 things that you might be sick of hearing, but they really could be your answer.

1) Find a volunteer group or a group related to your career that would be thrilled to have your talents and your time. It may take a few tries to find one that fits, but just fill out the volunteer application and do it! Believe, me they would love to have an extra pair of hands. You will meet like-minded people and your empty hours will be filled.

2) Find a church or similar group that congregates for fellowship and a shared search for personal or spiritual growth.

I will be thinking good thoughts in hopes that you find happiness and fulfillment away from TV and Netflix.

I fully agree with what was said here. My personal opinion is that people now days are more careful and certain, but the previous generations simply went with the flow and reacted to what came next.

I honestly don’t know what to do, I’ve tried so many different techniques and this addiction is insurmountable for me – I just cannot imagine ever overcoming it. I am wasting my time on earth, secluding myself in my room and it’s negatively impacting every aspect of my life. Is there a support group or 10-step program or some more formal way I can try to tackle this with the help of others who have overcome it in the past? I’ve tried therapy with doctors who are not trained in this specific addiction and it doesn’t seem to work at all.

I’m not aware of any sort of 12-step program or other group for this problem. Not yet anyway. If you’d like to discuss maybe working 1-on-1 with me as your coach, please reach out to me here: https://www.michaeldpollock.com/contact/

F. I found this article a month ago, and read your comment just now. If it still is a issue in your life – there is a 12-step program concerning tv-/streaming-/phone-addiction.

Here’s the link to the group’s website: https://internetaddictsanonymous.org/12-steps-of-itaa/

Hope you have received help, or if you haven’t, can find it there. Daniel

I nearly started to cry after reading this. This hit so close to home. Every day after work I plant myself on the couch and waste several hours on the TV. I realize now that I have a full blown addiction to television. I have had substance addictions in the past that I thankfully got out of. The television is now my only remaining addiction but I am unsure how I can kick that. The only thing that probably would help is to throw out the TV but that feels excessive. I’m not sure how to go about it. The TV has been with me literally my whole life. Thanks for this great article. It really opened my eyes.

Thanks for the comment Alexander. Getting rid of your TV is not excessive. That said, if you’re not ready to do that, I’d suggest you start with the suggestions I offered in the article.

Yup, it’s my last addiction to try and kick too. The best for last…keep at it bro

Thank you for such a well-written article. There is so much information there.

I have been pretty successful at overcoming my own tv addiction. I still watch tv sometimes.

My kids deserve better. TV really takes away from time that they deserve to have. They need interactions to develop their brains and their personalities.

Thank you for the article. I wish I could figure out how to help my wife with her tv addiction, but you know how difficult that road can be. Each individual has to make their own choices about how to spend their time and attention.

Thanks for the kind words Paul, and good luck with your wife 🙂

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Essay on TV Addiction: Addiction to Television

addiction of television essay

What is TV Addiction?

What are the signs of tv addiction, what are the causes of tv addiction, what are the effects of tv addiction, how to prevent tv addiction.

In this post, I will help you know what exactly TV addiction is, causes of TV addiction, signs, effects and preventive measure to overcome TV addiction.

Television is one of the powerful means of communication. Due to extensive availability of telephone, internet and satellite channels – it is very difficult to keep technology away from our lives. Television was started for public purpose to offer a relaxing time and useful information to people of all age groups. Some people argue that television does not always have a good effect on people because it obstructs communication between people. Television provides a rich topic to talk about and mingle with others.

Here I am not telling you to stop watching television altogether. Television is beneficial in limited doses. However, it is harmful when it interferes with day to day activities and ability to learn new things. Though television will provide a short-term escape from real life, it will keep you locked within it. Instead of using time and energy to deal with problems, many people waste time on television.

Everyone in this world love spending time watching TV, as it is relaxing and fun. If you think that you are loyalty to TV shows, it means television is interfering in your life to a great extent. Staying in relaxing mood is a necessary thing. However, if your favorite shows start to scoop other areas of life, it means you are addicted to television. Here are some of the signs if TV addiction that you should watch for –

1. You are highly excited to watch next episode

When your favorite show ends up at an excited moment and you can’t wait to watch the next episode, it means you are addicted to TV. There is nothing unusual to think about the characters you love. However, if you find that your thoughts are constantly juggling between the episodes — you are on the path of addiction. If you have ever faced such situation, you should fill up your time with things that are no way related to TV. Enjoy the characters, but don’t let it remain in your mind all the time.

2. Cancelled important plans to watch TV show

Have you ever felt immense pleasure in cancelling an important program to watch TV show? If yes, it’s a sign of TV addiction. It is always a good idea to stay relaxed at home without any worries. You should re-valuate your priorities to maintain a right balance between work and leisure activities. If you ever get into the thought of cancelling important meetings just to watch your favourite show, it means you are in deep trouble.

3. Use TV as a tool to cope up with problems

Many people use TV as a medium to deal with their problems such as – depression, loneliness, etc. It is easier to sit in couch and watch TV for hours, rather than dealing with the problem. Try to figure out what is bothering you, rather than drowning it with constant noise. Limit the TV time to an hour and notice what kind of emotions come up. You have to look for ways to manage your feelings by talking to a counsellor or therapist.

4. Lack of non-TV hobbies

We see a lot of people saying “watching TV is my hobby”. Well, this is not a hobby — but just time pass. Life is too short and one should not spend it on someone else’s reality. Remember that you have to come out of the couch to create your own life. This is possible only by staying away from TV. If you don’t have any hobby other than watching TV, it’s time to get into a new hobby.

5. Irregular sleep schedule

Is TV disturbing your sleep cycle? If yes, you should stay committed to watch TV for a certain period. Watching TV for long hours has a negative effect on your thinking and behavioral patterns. The electric activity in your brain increases and neutrons start to race, as you watch TV for long period at night. Don’t watch TV to go into sleep. Turn off the TV an hour before going to the bed and try to shut your eye in dark.

6. Starting and ending the day with TV

You can really be addicted to TV, if you are starting and ending the day with TV. If you turn to TV as soon as you wake up or do not fall asleep without watching TV, it is a sign that you are addicted. Try to get back the silence in to your life by starting and ending the day without TV. You can fall asleep by reading a book, instead of watching latest crime drama. You will surely feel calmer.

There is nothing wrong in watching TV. However, you need to make sure that it won’t control your life. Take a break from routine activities, if you find it difficult to avoid TV.

A lot of people who are addicted to TV have poor control over their will. They are the daydreamers who involve fear of failure. People who were addicted to TV spend more often they intended. They withdraw from family and professional activities to watch television. They are reported to have withdrawal symptoms when deprived of TV. TV is one of the powerful means of communication and is highly competing with today’s technology. Due to extensive availability of media, it is difficult to keep it away from our lives.

There are a number of causes of TV addiction. Some people get addicted to TV just because they are not interested in any other activity. Some other possible causes of TV addiction are – emotional condition, depression, anxiety etc. Individuals with poor emotional condition are likely to get addicted to TV because they want to forget all their worries. They don’t want to face the real world, and in this process they get addicted to TV. They start living in a virtual world that is in no way related to their real life. They seek happiness in escaping from the problems and prefer living in a different world.

It is not easy to diagnose TV addiction, as it is not unusual. If you see a person watching TV for some time, you will not feel that the person is addicted to it. It is a common behavior for people to sit in front of TV for hours, especially if they have free time. TV addicts have a vulnerable personality that makes them dependent.

TV addiction can lead to a number of behavioral problems such as depression, anger, short-temper etc. People who watch TV for long period are more likely to suffer from emotional illness. Individuals should watch TV for fun and entertainment. However, you should watch TV for a limited period; else it will have a negative impact on the brain. Experts believe that early childhood years are extremely important and watching TV for too much can lead to improper brain development. Individuals should be encouraged to learn non-TV related activities such as exploring the environment, playing, interacting with people etc.

Increased level of aggression

Watching too much television may also increase the aggressiveness in individuals. These days, we find a lot of violent programs in television and it is not difficult to adapt them. Some television programs make violence as their main theme and seeing too much of television can desensitize people. It is also believed that too much television can engage the person in risky behaviors. When the individuals are detached from the real world and live in a virtual world, they may be influenced to engage in behaviors they see on TV. They may also show interest in smoking, drinking and drugs – as their favorite actor/actress is promoting them.

Emotional dependency

People who watch TV for longer hours become emotionally dependent on it and represent extreme behaviors seen in TV shows. Television can relax the person to a great extent, if they watch for limited period. Many people in TV industry argue that watching TV is not an addiction and there is nothing wrong, if they watch for hours. The issue is with the most frequent viewers, as they develop a tolerance and shows withdrawal symptoms when they are deprived of it. Television is very effective technology that controls the brain’s activities and changes the behavioral patterns.

Reduces brain activity

TV addiction is measured by the level of sedation. If the individual lack selectivity in watching programs or feels loss of control while watching TV, it means they are addicted to TV. Many people realize that watching TV for long period does not bring satisfaction. Moreover, compulsive watchers are more irritated, sad and tense than those who watch television for limited time. TV addiction can no doubt lower brain activity; especially in that part of brain that processes complex information.

Television addiction can become a standard pattern. With the availability of hundreds of TV channels, serials and programs – people are engaged in television for hours. Watching excessive television can result in unhealthy eating patterns and lifestyle. The individual may neglect work, career and relationship. You can break the bad habit by reducing the amount of TV time and engaging in other activities. Cutting television gradually will help you to overcome computer addiction completely.

Limit television time

Individuals have the habit of watching TV as soon as they come home from office or school. Creating a goal to limit the TV time will help you prevent computer addiction. Make a schedule to watch TV for 1-2 hours a day and stick to the schedule. You might also set an alarm to turn off the TV. Cutting down the number of TV shows you watch is another best way to prevent TV addiction. There are many TV programs that we don’t enjoy, but still watch them because of addiction. You may not enjoy a few programs or even feel as waste of time. You can follow the synopsis of TV serial, if you just want to know the story.

Cut down TV subscriptions

There are many TV channels that we may not watch regularly. Sometimes, you feel like watching them just because you are bored. You can cut out some of the paid subscriptions. If you have multiple streaming services such as HBO, Netflix, Hulu etc, you should consider cutting at least two subscriptions. You will save a lot of money and time, rather than getting addicted to new shows. Make a commitment to watch only a few shows. Turn off the TV after the show to avoid getting up into a new program.

Television free day

Start spending a day completely without TV or related gadgets. Designate one day per week to do activities that you like such as – playing board games with family, going for outing, catching up household chores, spending quality time with partner etc. If you feel it is difficult to be without TV for an entire day, try with small sessions. Avoid watching the program that you dislike. Take frequent breaks and try to increase breaks over time.

Avoid multi-tasking

A lot of people watch television while doing other activities such as – ironing clothes, talking over phone, cooking, folding laundry etc. When you watch any TV program, make sure that you are mindful so that you don’t have to watch episodes on repeat. Avoid reading and sending mails during this time, as it will distract you from your work.

Do not turn on TV as soon as you come home

As said above, lot of people have the habit of watching TV as soon as they come back home. It is quite tempting to use TV as a way to relax after a long day at school or office. Use the first few moments to relax by doing activities such as – calling a friend, exercising, meditating, cooking a healthy meal or taking a walk. Taking this first step makes it easier for you to resist TV for the rest of the day.

Avoid watching TV while having dinner or lunch

Another best way to break TV addiction is to avoid it while having lunch or dinner. Do not associate TV with every activity you do. Whether it is eating food or cooking, enjoy the activity you do. You will have a healthy lifestyle by staying focused on what you eat and do. Get involved in the life of children, parents and other family members. You can even plan a family reunion and spend some time with your family. In addition to this, spend some time with friends. But, avoid going to a movie or watching TV show with your friends. Visit to beach or trips to skating rink will help you stay away from television.

Start a hobby

Start a hobby or take a class that you are interested in to use time in an effective way. You can stay occupied and productive by developing a new skill. There are many activities that you can engage in. some of the best hobbies to learn are – horse riding, painting, gardening, dancing etc. There is a whole world outside the home that you have not explored before. You can go on hiking, kayaking or canoeing for weekend with your friends — as these activities are good for physical and mental health.

C onclusion

Television addiction is associated with compulsive behavior of watching television programs for hours. Based on the most recent review on the model, television watching behavior can constitute a true addiction behavior. However, more research is needed on this topic to prove this. In most of the cases, it is extremely difficult to control the compulsion. Television addiction is similar to other forms of addiction such as – computer addiction, drug addiction, gambling and other compulsive disorder.

If you are not able to overcome TV addiction, you should consider approaching a counsellor or therapist who can help you treat TV addiction. Besides this, you can take a good look around your house to attend to household activities. Whether it is improving cooking, gardening or DIY skills – you will surely get benefitted from them.

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Essay on TV Addiction in English for Children and Students

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Table of Contents

TV addiction is a growing problem these days. The increasing number of television channels and a growing number of highly entertaining and interesting shows have contributed majorly to it. It is sad to see people hooked on to their television sets when they can enjoy several other activities.

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Target Exam ---

Often dismissed lightly, TV addiction is a serious problem. It is impacting people’s relationships with themselves and those around them. It is also affecting their work, health and overall development.

Long and Short Essay on TV Addiction in English

Here are long and short essay on TV addiction to help you with the topic in your exam.

These TV addiction essay have been written covering all the useful information on TV Addiction.

After going through the essays, you will know what is TV Addiction; effects of TV addiction on your personal life, psychology and health; what cures are there for TV addiction; how much prevalent is the problem of TV addiction among children, etc.

Short Essay on TV Addiction 200 Words

TV addiction is seen among people of all age groups. While television is a good source of entertainment and can be used as an escape from our routine problems, getting addicted to it can prove to be damaging.

Television addiction is usually caused because of poor social life and the inability to handle emotions well. It is also a result of boredom. While television suppresses these issues temporarily, in the long run, it only aggravates these problems. People addicted to television begin missing social events and family gatherings just to watch their favourite shows. They become emotionally dependent on television and suffer from withdrawal symptoms when they don’t have access to it. They don’t like getting involved in any other activity. They feel bored elsewhere.

TV addiction has numerous other negative repercussions too. Some of these include erratic sleep patterns, depression, weakened eyesight, headache, strained relationships, and poor performance at work, reduced brain activity, anger issues, social isolation and lowered physical activity leading to serious physical health problems.

Television addiction is a grave issue. If you watch television for several hours a day and cannot do without it even for a single day then you are addicted to it. You need to address the problem immediately and get rid of it before it takes a toll on your life. There are many ways to overcome this addiction. You just need to stay determined and fight your way through.

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Essay on TV Addiction 300 Words: Disrupts Personal and Professional Life

Getting addicted to anything means shutting down partly or completely on other things in life. Addiction of all sorts including TV addiction is bad. It disrupts a person’s personal as well as professional life and impacts his health badly. Several people around the world are addicted to television and are ruining their lives.

TV Addiction Disrupts Personal Life

We need to spend quality time with our family members to create a healthy dynamic with them. A family with a friendly and healthy environment raises happy and healthy kids. People addicted to television prefer watching TV rather than talking to their family members. This disrupts normal family life.

As a person grows addicted to TV, he also loses good equation with friends. He does not socialize much and eventually becomes socially isolated. This is a cause of great concern. Television addiction is one of the causes why people are growing distant from each other. People addicted to television may not realize this initially however they soon begin to feel lonely. Many of them even go into depression because of this addiction.

TV Addiction Hampers Professional Life

A person addicted to TV just wants to get back home and watch his favourite shows or just about anything on the TV. Many times such people miss important meetings, delay important tasks and even take leaves or half day off from their workplace just to watch TV. This can be damaging for their career. However, they do not realise this. All they care about is to reach home early and sit in front of their television set.

People addicted to TV are likely to perform poorly at work also because watching television for long period of time can decrease their ability to focus on the task at hand.

Importance of Television in our life Essay

It serves the purpose of giving us information, and it also brings enjoyment and helps fight off boredom. Importantly, it plays a crucial role in spreading news and knowledge. News channels are valuable for staying informed about what’s currently happening around the world.

Numerous people around the world are suffering from TV addiction. They are ruining their life in exchange of momentary pleasure. It is important to identify the cause of this addiction and get rid of it to lead a better life.

Essay on TV Addiction 400 words: Harmful for the Brain

Television addiction is much older than the internet and mobile addiction. It has been prevalent ever since the advent of cable TV. In earlier times, television shows were limited. A few shows were telecasted during the afternoon hours and few during the evening hours. This was a good trend as it ensured limited TV viewing hours.

However, cable TV was soon introduced and numerous channels came into being. These channels telecasted different kinds of shows all through the day and even at night. TV became one of the best sources of entertainment and a number of people got hooked to it. The number of TV addicts is only growing by the day.

TV Addiction Harmful for Brain Function

TV addiction has harmful impact on the brain function. It has been observed that people who are addicted to TV are unable to concentrate. Their attention span decreases and their ability to focus drops substantially. Inability to maintain focus hinders the ability to learn. TV addicts suffer from low grasping power.

t has been seen that children who suffer from TV addiction perform poorly in their exams. This is not just because they spend less time studying but also because they aren’t able to focus and learn their lessons even during the time they study. They aren’t even able to maintain focus during the classroom sessions and thus miss out on important things.

Spending a lot of time watching television also makes people more forgetful. Besides, TV addiction can make us experience different negative emotions. It impacts our thinking and behaviour to a great extent. A person who watches suspense thrillers often grows suspicious of everything and everyone around. Likewise, a person who watches emotional drama genre becomes highly emotional and is unable to control his emotions during real life situations.

A person who watches horror often begins to hallucinate and lives in constant fear of ghosts and spirits. Someone who watches news for several hours a day develops negative thinking as most of it is filled with the crimes and mishaps happening around the world. So, the mind of TV addicts is programmed based on whatever they watch which is not good. They cut off from the reality and start living in a different world altogether.

People who watch a lot of television also stand a high chance of suffering from depression. Depression urges them to watch more TV as not doing so makes them feel even more vulnerable and lonely. So, this is a vicious circle that one is unable to get out of.

To conclude, we can say that, TV addiction damages the brain to a vast extent. It hampers a person’s all round growth and causes various other issues. The problem must be addressed immediately to lead a happy and fulfilling life.

Essay on TV Addiction 500 words: Ways to Cure TV Addiction

TV addiction is as bad as any other kind of addiction. It is easy to get addicted to television but difficult to overcome it. With several new channels and interesting television shows being introduced regularly it is hard to get over this addiction. However, it is essential to cure it just in time as the impact it has on a person’s life is hard to deal with.

Here are some of the ways to cure TV addiction:

Limit TV Viewing Time

Start by limiting your TV viewing time. Make a schedule that includes various activities you ought to carry out during the day. When you jot down the tasks, you get a sense of how much you require accomplishing and the little time you have to do so. Stick to your schedule to run your day systematically and limit your TV viewing hours. This can prove to be a significant step in getting rid of TV addiction.

Spend Time with Family Members

Your family members always crave for your love and attention. They are ready to shower the same in abundance. Spending time with family is much more fun and fulfilling than sitting in front of the idiot box. When trying to get over your television addiction, it is suggested to seek help from family members. They will certainly support you in the cause. Try to spend more time with them to distract you from TV.

Limit Your TV Subscription

Most Direct to Home TV (DTH) operators allow you to choose the channels you wish to see and charge accordingly. It is best to unsubscribe the channels that have shows running twenty-four seven particularly the ones you have been hooked on to lately. You may also unsubscribe some of the movie channels. Limiting the number of channels is a good way to limit your television viewing time.

Enrol at a Hobby Class

Everyone has some hobby or the other. It is a good idea to enrol for the same. It may be dancing, painting, gardening or swimming. Join the classes and see how good it makes you feel. You will have a wonderful experience doing what you enjoy and it will also take your mind off from the television.

Get out of Your House

You may have the urge to watch TV when you sit at home for long period of time. It is a good idea to get involved in activities outside. You may go shopping to get things of daily needs. Similarly, you may visit a friend, go for a walk or just take your grandparents or kids to the nearby park and spend time with them. Make such activities part of your daily schedule. This will help you stay away from the television for longer hours.

It is difficult to get over TV addiction but you can do so with some effort. Start by limiting your television channel subscriptions and the number of hours you watch TV. Replace it with other activities that interest you. Besides, do not hesitate to seek help from your family and friends as you try to overcome this severe addiction. Their love and support can be of great help.

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Long Essay on TV Addiction 600 Words

TV addiction is an old problem that grips numerous people around the world. While most people are hooked to certain shows others just sit in front of the TV and keep scrolling through the channels for hours. They are so addicted to the idiot box that they neglect their work and other responsibilities.

Signs of TV Addiction

Here are some of the signs and symptoms of people addicted to television:

  • People addicted to television spend several hours of the day watching TV shows.
  • They keep surfing through different channels even though there is nothing good to watch. They just cannot put the remote down and turn off the TV.
  • They skip important events and cut off socially just to watch their favourite shows.
  • They often neglect important tasks and suffer loss at work/ business because of this addiction.
  • They feel anxious, depressed, bored and uncomfortable when deprived of watching TV.

TV Addiction among Kids

In the earlier times, people lived in joint families. Kids were lucky to have siblings and cousins with whom they could play and talk all day long. They also had uncles, aunts and grandparents around who involved them in different activities throughout the day. So, they stayed busy for most part of the day. But things have changed over the time.

The growing trend of nuclear family system is one of the main reasons for TV addiction among kids. Both the parents work in most of the families just to ensure a better lifestyle. The kids are often isolated and the easiest thing to turn to for companionship is a television.

Parents just turn on the television and make their kids sit in front of it so that they can carry on with their work peacefully. And before they know, their kids are addicted to television. It is easy to get addicted to the television but very difficult to get over it.

Kids who develop television addiction aren’t able to concentrate on their studies and perform poorly in their exams. They also develop behavioural issues and health problems. Parents need to ensure that they limit their kid’s TV viewing time. This is important for the mental as well as physical well being of the kids.

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Impact of TV Addiction

  • Television addiction is known to cause behavioural issues. A person who is addicted to TV is likely to show signs of aggression. This is because many television shows stream violent content.
  • Television addiction blurs the ability to think rationally. The thinking and behaviour of a television addict are largely influenced by the kind of shows he/she watches frequently. Such people begin to act and react accordingly.
  • Television addicts are not able to concentrate on their work. They have this constant urge to return to the television and watch their favourite shows. Besides, this addiction also reduces brain activity that results in poor performance at work.
  • Television addicts often day dream and start living in a fantasy world. They cut off ties from the reality.
  • Television addicts often complain of headache and migraine.
  • Watching television for hours can cause irreparable damage to the eyes. TV addicts often suffer from redness in the eyes or itchy eyes. Their eyesight also weakens over the time.
  • Television addicts often isolate themselves from the society. This results in depression over the time.
  • Television addiction results in erratic sleep patterns. This causes lethargy and hampers work.
  • Television addiction can cause tension in personal relationships. This is because TV addicts give importance to television over their family.
  • Television addiction can lower physical activities and result in various health issues such as obesity, diabetes, heart problem, etc.

Essay on TV Addiction FAQs

How is tv addictive.

TV can be addictive because it offers entertaining content that can be hard to stop watching, and it's easy to spend a lot of time in front of the screen.

What is television short essay?

A television short essay is a brief piece of writing that explains the significance, impact, or role of television in society.

What is the role of TV in your daily life?

TV plays a role in daily life as a source of information, entertainment, and connection to the world, but excessive TV time can also disrupt routines.

What are the effects of television?

The effects of television include influencing opinions, emotions, and behavior, but it can also lead to a sedentary lifestyle and impact social interactions.

What are the 10 disadvantages of television?

The 10 disadvantages of television can include reduced physical activity, disrupted sleep, addiction, desensitization to violence, and negative effects on academic performance.

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Television Viewing Addiction Characteristics of Secondary School Students

Profile image of Eclat Research Publication

for decades, research and studies have demonstrated that heavy television-viewing may lead to serious health consequences. Now the American medical community, which has long-voiced its concerns about the nation's epidemic of violence, TV addiction and the passive, sedentary nature of TV-watching, is taking a more activist stance, demonstrated by its endorsement of National TV-Turnoff Week. There is no definition of television addiction on which all researchers agree. But people who call themselves ''television addicts,'' studies find, watch television twice as much as the average viewer. One study found that self-described addicts watched an average of 56 hours a week; the A. C. Nielsen Company reports the average for adults is just above 30 hours a week. Recent studies have found that 2 to 12 percent of viewers see themselves as addicted to television: they feel unhappy watching as much as they do, yet seem powerless to stop themselves.

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addiction of television essay

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This study focused on television viewing patterns of adolescents and the degree of its impact on them in relation to: parental monitoring of TV pictures, activities performed during television viewing and socio-psychological perception of life. Structured survey questionnaire was constructed to obtain information from the subject on the above mentioned areas. The sample consisted of 193 adolescents; age 13 to 14 years from public schools of Chandigarh. Result shows that in teenagers a tendency of television viewing for a long span during holidays, before exams, and as an essential adjunct to daily physical activities is growing from long to longer span. Great majority of adolescents reported of its use to overcome loneliness during holidays and exam anxiety, while quite a few to overcome monotony during taking meals. There is a strong influence of television on children's thought and behavioural pattern which may lead to grave mental health problems in their psychosocial sphere of life.]

Thanh Huyen

Francesca Favieri

Background Binge-watching (BW) is the consecutive viewing of three or more episodes of the same series in one sitting. Although some negative effects on mental health were evidenced, the continuum of BW from leisure activity to problematic behavior is still unclear. This study aimed to analyze mental health (depression, trait anxiety, social anxiety, impulsivity, alexithymia) of people involved in different expressions of BW. Methods A cross-sectional survey collected data from 482 respondents. According to a validated BW questionnaire, participants were divided into Problematic BW, Moderate BW, Non-BW, and No-viewer, and differences between groups were tested on psychological dimensions assessed via standardized questionnaires evaluating: trait and social anxiety, depression, impulsivity, and emotional dysregulation. Results An association between problematic BW and worse mental health conditions was evidenced, and a positive effect of non-problematic BW was supported. A negative l...

Journal of Youth and Adolescence

Behavioral Sciences

The approach to the vision of TV series has deeply changed in the last years, and watching multiple episodes of TV content in a single session becomes a popular viewing pattern referred as binge-watching. Early studies defined binge-watching as a potentially addictive behavior showing characteristics similar to other behavioral addictions, such as loss of control and pleasure anticipation. This study aims to validate a short self-report questionnaire focused on assessing binge-watching behavior and determining whether it shows characteristics similar to addictive behavior, the Binge-Watching Addiction Questionnaire (BWAQ). An online survey was adopted to administer the questionnaire in the general population (N = 1277). Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses assessed both the validity and the structure of the scale in two independent samples. The statistical analyses confirmed a four-factor model (i.e., “Craving”, “Dependency”, “Anticipation”, “Avoidance”) of the BWAQ with goo...

Dissertation Thesis

The present study is aimed at examining the associations between television viewing patterns in adolescence and its subsequent effect on their quality of family peer relationship, academic performance and health behaviours’. Following were the primary aims of the present study: - 1. To find the average amount of time spent by adolescents’ viewing television. 2. To find the extent of time adolescents expose themselves to different content of the television programs i.e. informative, entertainment, violent and sports. 3. To find the differences on the dimensions of quality of parent adolescent, sibling relationship, peer relationship among heavy Vs light viewers. 4. To find the differences on academic performance among heavy Vs light viewers. 5. To find the differences on the eating habits of the adolescents’ and their physical activity among heavy Vs light viewers. 6. To find the relationship between exposure time of informative, entertainment, violent and sports and the dimensions of quality of parent adolescent, sibling relationship, peer relationship. 7. To find the relationship between exposure time of informative, entertainment, violent and sports and academic performance. 8. To find the relationship between exposure time of informative, entertainment, violent and sports and dimensions of eating habits and physical activity. 9. To find relatively which of the television content (informative, entertainment, violent and sports) predicted maximum and least variance on the dimensions of quality of parent adolescent, sibling relationship and peer relationship. 10. To find relatively which of the television content (informative, entertainment, violent and sports) predicted maximum and least variance on academic performance. 11. To find relatively which of the television content (informative, entertainment, violent and sports) predicted maximum and least variance on the dimensions of eating habits and physical activity.

Audrey Mohenu

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Essay on Television Impact

Students are often asked to write an essay on Television Impact in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Television Impact

Effects of television.

Television has become an integral part of modern life. It has the power to inform, entertain, and even educate. While television can be a positive force in our lives, it can also have negative consequences.

Positive Impacts

One of the positive impacts of television is that it can keep us informed about current events. News programs, documentaries, and talk shows can provide us with information about what is happening in the world around us. Television can also be a source of entertainment. Comedies, dramas, and reality shows can provide us with a way to relax and escape from the stresses of everyday life.

Negative Impacts

However, television can also have negative consequences. One of the biggest concerns is that television can lead to obesity and other health problems. Studies have shown that people who watch a lot of television are more likely to be overweight or obese. Television can also be addictive. People who spend a lot of time watching television may find it difficult to tear themselves away from the screen, even when they know they should be doing something else.

In conclusion, television can have both positive and negative impacts on our lives. It is important to be aware of both the benefits and the risks of television so that we can make informed choices about how we use it.

250 Words Essay on Television Impact

Television impact on entertainment, television impact on education.

Television can also be used as a tool for education. There are many educational channels that offer programs on various subjects, such as science, history, and math. These programs can be a great way for children to learn new things and supplement their schoolwork.

Television Impact on Health and Fitness

Television can promote health-related information and encourage people to live healthy lives. Television programs can provide tips on healthy eating, exercising, and managing stress. Some channels are dedicated to fitness and health, offering a variety of workout programs and healthy recipes.

Television Impact on Social and Political Views

Television can influence people’s social and political views. The way in which news and current events are presented can shape public opinion. Documentaries and talk shows can also influence how people think about different social and political issues.

Television is a powerful medium that has a significant impact on society. It can educate, entertain, and inform. It can also influence people’s social and political views. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the positive and negative effects of television and to use it wisely.

500 Words Essay on Television Impact

Television: its impact on society.

Television is a powerful medium of communication that has permeated almost every household. However, the effects of television on society are still a subject of debate. While it offers educational and entertainment benefits, the potential negative impacts are undeniable.

Positive Effects of Television

Entertainment and Relaxation: Television provides a source of entertainment and relaxation after a long day or during leisure time. It offers a wide variety of shows, including comedies, dramas, reality shows, and sports, that cater to diverse tastes. Watching television can help alleviate stress and provide a sense of escapism.

News and Information: Television keeps people informed about current events and allows them to stay connected with the world. News programs and documentaries provide information on political, economic, and social issues, enabling viewers to form opinions and engage in discussions.

Negative Effects of Television

Unrealistic Portrayals: The media can often portray unrealistic standards of beauty, body image, and lifestyle, which can lead to body dissatisfaction, low self-esteem, and eating disorders. Exposure to violence and negative content can also desensitize viewers and contribute to aggressive behavior.

Advertising: Television commercials bombard viewers with messages that promote consumerism and materialism. While advertising can provide information about products and services, it can also manipulate consumers into making impulsive purchases and create a sense of dissatisfaction with what they have.

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addiction of television essay

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TV addiction signs, symptoms, and treatments

Psychologist Vladimira Ivanova

Vladimira Ivanova

Last edited on 04-02-2024

Table of content

What is tv addiction, what are the causes of tv addiction, what are the effects of tv addiction, what are the signs and symptoms of tv addiction, how to overcome tv addiction, what are the risk factors for tv addiction, why is tv addictive, when is tv addiction counseling necessary, what are the symptoms of tv addiction withdrawal, when does binge-watching tv become an addiction, what are the effects of television on the brain.


TV addiction refers to obsessive behaviors around television that interfere with an individual’s daily life. Although not recognized as a diagnosable condition, excessive TV watching is a growing concern among experts and parents. 

The symptoms of TV addiction include watching TV longer than initially planned, experiencing emotional distress when TV viewing time is eliminated, using TV to deal with negative emotions, and struggling to maintain personal relationships. 

Several factors contribute to TV overuse. The causes of TV addiction include emotional relief from distress, an addictive personality, environmental deprivation in early childhood, and distraction from boredom.

The effects of TV addiction include reduced quality of sleep, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), negative body image, and an increased risk for physical illnesses.

Table of Contents

TV addiction is the compulsive viewing of television despite negative effects on emotional and social functioning. Television addicts often end up feeling worse after spending long hours watching TV, yet they feel powerless to stop the addictive behavior. 

Another defining feature of TV addiction is experiencing withdrawal-like symptoms when trying to cut down on excessive watching.

The causes of internet addiction can be multifaceted and include different factors. The causes of TV addiction are listed below. 

  • Biological factors: The biological reasons for TV addiction include increased dopamine levels in the brain and an addictive personality. TV viewing can affect the brain by increasing the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of pleasure and reward. These rewarding effects contribute to habitual TV consumption. People who have addictive personality traits such as poor impulse control, risk-taking behavior, anxiety, and depression are also more likely to become addicted to television.
  • Psychological factors: include emotional relief from distress and distraction from boredom. Some people tend to use television to ease negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, or loneliness. People can also easily turn to the medium to distract themselves from boredom and other worries.
  • Social factors: Individuals who experienced environmental deprivation or the lack of conditions that encourage intellectual and behavioral development at an early age may be more prone to television addiction. These unmet needs could make people over-identify with television characters and as a result, turn to television for fantasies of an ideal life. People who find it difficult to maintain personal connections may also use TV to fill the gap of real-life relationships.

 The effects of TV addiction are listed below. 

  • Positive effects: Watching television may help educate people, especially kids, through educational programs that can provide a solid foundation in different subject areas. Television watching can also be a way for families or friends to get together to watch sitcoms or TV shows together.
  • Negative effects: TV addiction has a plethora of negative effects, including poor quality of sleep and an increased risk for physical illnesses such as stroke and heart disease due to limited mobility. Too much time in front of the television can also cause women to develop a poor body image and has possible connections to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a 2013 study by Steve Sussman and Meghan B. Moran published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions .


The symptoms of TV addiction are indications that someone has developed problems with television watching. The most common signs and symptoms of TV addiction are listed below. 

  • Watching TV longer or more frequently than initially planned: TV addicts often consume television content far more than they intended. This often involves binge-watching or proceeding to watch several episodes of a show in one sitting despite only planning to watch a single episode.
  • Using TV to deal with negative emotions: Someone who is addicted to television may use the medium to relieve negative emotions or improve their mood. In the long run, however, people may use TV as an escape mechanism to avoid unpleasant life situations.
  • Struggling to maintain personal relationships: TV addicts may isolate themselves from family members or friends to allot more time for television watching. As a result, personal and social connections may suffer.
  • Experiencing emotional distress when TV viewing time is eliminated: Some people may experience withdrawal-like symptoms, including increased irritability, anxiety, and restlessness when deprived of TV time. Withdrawal symptoms may improve once access to television is regained.
  • Being unable to decrease viewing time despite multiple attempts: A TV addict may be aware of the huge amount of time that television viewing takes away from their day and may feel guilty about the lack of time for family or other activities that result from it. They may try to cut back on TV viewing but will repeatedly fail to do so.

Other possible TV addiction symptoms include:

  • Developing health problems due to lack of physical activity
  • Canceling plans with family or friends in favor of watching TV
  • Letting go of other non-TV hobbies once enjoyed

TV addiction can be overcome by practicing helpful strategies, including keeping track of the amount of time spent watching TV, finding alternative activities, and spending time with family or friends. These techniques help improve self-awareness and change behaviors that may have contributed to the condition. 

When it comes to gradually cutting down on TV viewing, one can create a personal inventory that will keep track of the amount of time spent watching each day. It is best to create a goal to limit TV usage to less than four hours a day. 

Finding new activities or hobbies to enjoy whether with family or friends is also an effective way to decrease TV watching. Social interactions also help repair relationships that were once damaged by excessive television consumption.

Risk factors for TV addiction increase the likelihood of individuals developing problematic or addictive patterns of television viewing. The risk factors for TV addiction are listed below. 

  • Susceptibility to boredom: Someone who is easily bored may have difficulties expressing what they want to do and may have trouble naming their feelings. Susceptibility to boredom is linked to a wide array of issues, including impulsive behaviors, substance abuse, and TV addiction.
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: People with ADHD have above normal levels of impulsive behaviors. They also have problems regulating dopamine. As a result, individuals with ADHD may use addictive behaviors as a way to self-medicate dopamine deficiency and avoid unpleasant feelings that may result from the condition.
  • Addictive tendencies: People who have addictive personality traits often fail to resist urges or impulses. These people have difficulty controlling emotions or behaviors, making them more susceptible to TV addiction.

How do you treat TV addiction?

TV addiction is treated by building better willpower and not giving in to short-term urges to achieve long-term goals. These involve exercising self-control that encourages lasting behavior change. 

In the case of TV addiction, a person can try enforcing time limits on TV viewing and committing to only watch a few TV shows in a day. Individual therapy approaches such as motivational interviewing (MI) may also help in treating TV addiction. MI is a counseling approach that involves helping people increase intrinsic motivation to elicit positive behavior change. 

A TV addict may benefit from motivational interviewing by learning how to overcome the lack of motivation and fear of change that often comes with any addiction. Group therapy is another treatment option that may help a person with TV addiction stay in touch with reality and decrease fantasy-based thinking toward television.

obese man watching television

Watching TV is addictive because it triggers the release of a brain chemical called dopamine, which provides the body with a natural reward of pleasure that makes a person continually engage in the activity. 

Television is an electronic device that transmits still or moving images together with sound and reproduces them on screens. As a telecommunication medium, television has many functions in our daily life. 

TV serves several purposes and can be used for watching the news, entertainment shows, sports events, documentaries, displaying presentations at work or university, playing music, and taking part in quiz shows in educational programs. 

Watching TV also has advantages, including having access to a variety of important information, being updated on current events, learning new skills, a way to enjoy and pass the time, and family bonding. 

In some cases, however, television viewing can have detrimental effects on a person’s overall health. The disadvantages of excessive TV watching include decreased productivity, increased antisocial behavior, sleep difficulties, obesity, family conflicts, overstimulation of the brain that can lead to a shorter attention span, and the risk for addiction.

TV can also be addictive for other reasons such as its use as a stress management tool, the character involvement that a person forms with characters on a program, and intense cravings for dopamine.

TV addiction counseling is necessary when looking to develop non-TV hobbies and replace television with more productive alternatives to feel good. 

Counseling can also help a TV addict break free of the addiction by helping the affected individual understand the underlying causes of their problem and assisting them in developing coping strategies to deal with difficult situations in a more positive way. 

This helps an addicted person view a challenging situation in a new light and avoid repeated engagement in addictive behaviors around a television.

The symptoms of TV addiction withdrawal include increased irritability, anxiety, restlessness, high levels of stress, hopelessness, depression, and intense feelings of longing to watch TV. Withdrawal symptoms are often observed when a TV addict is prevented from viewing television. 

The drug-like high experienced in excessive television use can trigger these urges to continue the behavior once a person tries to cut down on the habit.

Binge-watching TV becomes an addiction when a person finds that they need to continually increase time spent in front of the screen to achieve the same positive effects as when they first engaged in problematic viewing behaviors.

Another telltale sign of a full-blown addiction to television is when an individual struggles to control how much time is spent on viewing television to the point of suffering from physical and mental health problems. These negative repercussions are also seen in other forms of addiction such as substance and alcohol abuse, according to a 2012 study on behavioral addiction versus substance addiction published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine .

The effects of television on the brain include cognitive decline, shorter attention span, a decrease in verbal memory, and reduced gray matter in the brain. The negative impacts of TV watching on a person’s brain result from viewing television for prolonged periods.

Watching TV can cause cognitive decline due to the lack of interaction a person has with the rapid changes in images and sounds that the brain processes from the passive activity. Excessive TV viewing is also linked to reduced gray matter in the brain in middle-aged people, according to a 2022 study by Dougherty et al., published in Brain Imaging and Behavior . 

Gray matter is heavily involved in several brain functions, including information processing, hearing, vision, muscle control, and decision-making. Too much time in front of the screen is especially detrimental to a child’s developing brain and can result in overstimulation and a significant reduction in verbal IQ.

The intense level of stimulation in the brain that TV can cause may lead to a shorter attention span and poor self-regulation skills. A 2015 study on the impact of television viewing on brain structures published in the journal Cerebral Cortex also states that the more television kids watch, the more negative effects it has on the development of their verbal proficiency. 

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Essay On Television – Advantages & Disadvantages of Television

Essay on Television: The Television is the important part of our life. It is a useful product that gives a lot of advantages by providing us news, information, helpful programs and talk shows on education, health, politics and on general interest.

Table of Contents

Essay On Television; Benefits, Importance & Role in Our Life

Television is an audio visual electronic machine through which radio signals are transmitted into air received by television. It was first invented in 1927. Philo Taylor Farnsworth invented this machine to transmit images remotely with a machine in a screen, it was named Television.

A number of modifications and changes have been brought in its size and shape to improve the quality of picture and voice. Television is an important source of entertainment, knowledge and information. It started appearing in the early 80s and has become an integral part of each house.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); class=”wp-block-heading”> Advantages of Television

It is a rich source of information and knowledge. Many informative, instructive and inspiring programs are released through television which broadens insight and vision of listeners. Specially educational programs are very helpful for students.

Related to different subjects and fields many tutorial channels are running on television which cater needs of various types of listeners. It is an effective medium of learning and teaching. Both formal and non formal education through television help students to groom young and adults.

Television presents different vocational training programs, technical skills, cultural programs and civic education which is very beneficial. Apart from it many historical channels, discovery channels and National Geographic channels based on science help impart knowledge in students.

Television is very entertaining machine used at homes. All family members gather at television and get entertained watching different comedy programs and movies. Those who watch television remain up-to-date. After every hour news is presented which make one know what is happening throughout the world.

All types of current issues like social, religious, political and economical update throughout the world reaches listeners at home. Television is a boon to humanity.

Disadvantages of Television

It is not only a boon to mankind but it bears many negative impacts too. Specially our young generation is heavily adopting the western culture and alien social etiquette which unfit them in their own society.

There are many movies and programs which make them socially weak, corrupt, arrogant and violent which is against the grain of humans. Many people have lost their normal eyesight watching TV in excess. The addiction of TV is entirely unbearable because students waste their precious time watching cartoons and different dramas and programs on TV.

Young generation has become introvert because addiction of TV makes them inactive and hardly go out and intermingle socially. Children watching TV round the clock become visually impaired. If we have look at past, people were very social but this invention has destroyed social relationships, man has become bound in homes, in their free time they switch on TV and kill their free time watching TV instead of being with others. Psychologically man is undergoing drastic changes which are entirely undesired and unwanted.

Television is best source of knowledge, it is very informative tool and cheapest medium of entertainment. It improves family relationships and strengthens family ties.

Some programs of TV are very motivational, which changes the life of an individual. There are many disadvantages of TV too, it presents violent content, causes health issues, makes people introverts and creates psychological and social imbalance.

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Addiction to TV is becoming more and more common worldwide. What are some of the problems associated with this and what solutions can you suggest?

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Include an introduction and conclusion

A conclusion is essential for IELTS writing task 2. It is more important than most people realise. You will be penalised for missing a conclusion in your IELTS essay.

The easiest paragraph to write in an essay is the conclusion paragraph. This is because the paragraph mostly contains information that has already been presented in the essay – it is just the repetition of some information written in the introduction paragraph and supporting paragraphs.

The conclusion paragraph only has 3 sentences:

  • Restatement of thesis
  • Prediction or recommendation

To summarize, a robotic teacher does not have the necessary disciple to properly give instructions to students and actually works to retard the ability of a student to comprehend new lessons. Therefore, it is clear that the idea of running a classroom completely by a machine cannot be supported. After thorough analysis on this subject, it is predicted that the adverse effects of the debate over technology-driven teaching will always be greater than the positive effects, and because of this, classroom teachers will never be substituted for technology.

Start your conclusion with a linking phrase. Here are some examples:

  • In conclusion
  • To conclude
  • To summarize
  • In a nutshell

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Some people think that, robots will replace teachers in the class room. Do you agree or disagree?

These days more fathers stay at home and take care of their children while mothers go out to work. what could be the reasons for this do you think it is a positive or a negative development, the key to solving the environmental problem is simple: the present generation is willing to accept a less comfortable life for the sake of the future generation. to what extent do you agree or disagree, many retired people choose to migrate to other county for retirement what is advantaged and disadvantages of it, computers are often argued to be the most important invention of the last hundred years. to what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience. you should spend about 40 minutes on this task..


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