What is the most popular activity on the face of the Earth, no holds barred? Why, it’s TV of course! No other activity even comes close to the popularity of TV. We watch it, talk about it, pattern our behavior after it, laugh and cry because of it, and have it in nearly every household in America.
Ponder a few of the following facts about TV:
The average TV viewer will see an estimated 20,000 commercials every year. That’s about 55 commercials each day. All the while we watch TV our perceptions about self-image, a healthy lifestyle and human behavior are being slowly and systematically changed, and in some cases, distorted. American youth watch an average of 1,023 hours of TV yearly, while they only spend about 900 hours in school.
In year 2000, a National Assessment of Educational Progress report found that students who watch TV the most also suffer the most academically. According to a year 2000 National Institute on the Media and the Family report, a child can develop brand loyalty by age 2. This seems incredibly disturbing.
A 1999 Senate Judiciary Committee Staff Report found that by age 18, the average American has seen 200,000 acts of violence on TV, including 16,000 murders. Much of television advertising targets children because promoters know they are less discerning and more easily influenced than adults. And not surprising, children often insist that their parents purchase what they see advertised on TV.