Vitamin Difficult

Fun Facts about TV
(Read the whole story by getting your own copy of Call of the Active Mind.)

“For young children television is an antisocial experience, while reading is a social experience”

“Television deprives the child of his most important learning tool”

“Television encourages deceptive thinking”

“Television has a negative effect on children’s vital knowledge”

“Television stifles the imagination”

“Television desensitizes a child’s sense of sympathy for suffering”

“Research conducted during the next two decades removed any doubt about the impact of early brain stimulation on a child’s later cognitive development. …they were able to demonstrate that environmental factors can alter neuron pathways during early childhood and long after” … By watching TV, children lose the “single most important predictor of later intelligence, school success and social competence”

“People are comfortable with the idea that TV is bad for you because of bad content. But they remain in denial that the real harm is in the medium itself, and has little to do with the content.”

“Reading or talking to another person activates the brain’s regions that prepare it to logically process information and critically evaluate it. The mind is already in gear as it encounters arguments and concepts in a book or conversation. … Television puts the brain into a physiologically passive condition, which means you do not critically process information from television as reliably as when reading the same information. Your brain is not prepared to process anything competently. It is forced into a passive state.” Viewers cannot sense this change in themselves.

“Entertainment used to be, and should be, the result of active, self-driven, creative effort on the part of the entertained person to entertain himself (as opposed to passively “being entertained”). In other words, people would have to relearn how to entertain themselves in ways that require initiative, active thought and effort, as it was for all human history up to the mid-twentieth century.”

Before TV changed us, difficult challenges were a precious nourishment. Difficulty is still the best vitamin for the brain. But today people treat it like punishment, and most often choose passive screen entertainment. Instead of energy to meet challenges, we have numbness and inertia….People took the high road and the hard road whenever the choice presented itself, because meeting challenges made us more fully human, and benefited everyone. Today people take the low road and the easy road, because it gels with passivity and laziness. The simple and the effortless used to be insulting and degrading. Today they are embraced.

“We were the leopards, the lions, those who take our place will be jackals, hyenas.”
Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, Il Gattopardo

From my book Call of the Active Mind
©copyright Robert Rose-Coutré 2016

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