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Debate: TV viewing is harmful to children

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This House believes that TV viewing is harmful to children.

Background and context

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Health concerns: Does watching TV negatively affect children's health?

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Pro

  • Depression is a well-known psychological problem of modern society that is partly caused by TV watching: The popularity of TV watching is among the reasons of this phenomenon. Violence, aggression, crimes and wars are broadcast through the daily news as well as in movies, showing dark pictures that encourage psychological tension, pessimism and negative emotions.
  • Obesity risks. TV watching is a passive hobby that raises obesity (and diabetes) risks. In addition to that, children who are used to watching TV on daily basis are usually more prone to procrastinating in front of it when older, thus increasing the health risks even further.




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Con

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Education: Do children benefit from watching TV?

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Pro

  • Educational TV shows. There are various educational TV shows for children that were proven to teach children basic literacy skills or helped them think creatively. These include Sesame Street, Blue's Clues, Reading Rainbow, and many more. Moreover, they were also popular among children.
  • News. By watching news children can learn about geography, politics, advances in science - everything simply and shortly explained. Additionally, children learn about real-life situations that happen on everyday basis which will benefit them in the future.




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Con

  • Children prefer passive TV-watching. Children generally enjoy cartoons, films and other passive TV programmes that do not encourage them to learn or think creatively.
  • Television is mostly directed to films and shows that have commercial purposes but little cultural value: Television has become a temple of mass production, shallow values and stereotypes that have a great influence on modern society. This negative effect spreads with the growing popularity of TV, especially among young people and children. It defiantly changes our society for the worse, trivialising culture and making us all conform to a bland, "Hollywood" model of entertainment in which regional traditions and diversity are lost.




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Value: Does TV have little substantive cultural value?

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Yes

  • Television is mostly directed to films and shows that have commercial purposes but little cultural value: Television has become a temple of mass production, shallow values and stereotypes that have a great influence on modern society. This negative effect spreads with the growing popularity of TV, especially among young people and children. It defiantly changes our society for the worse, trivialising culture and making us all conform to a bland, "Hollywood" model of entertainment in which regional traditions and diversity are lost.
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No

  • Many scientific and cultural programs are shown on television, which give new educational opportunities for our society: In addition TV is a very important factor in our information society. It enables the spread of information and opinion on important political and social issues, thus encouraging individuals to participate more actively in the life of society. Call-in shows and other programs help to establish closer links between politicians and electors. TV represents different interests and gives more opportunities for self-expression, thus forming a more open society. Interactive digital channels promise even more such opportunities in the future, perhaps creating electronic town-halls to assist democratic decision-making, and allowing niche channels to address particular cultural traditions or interests.
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Advertisements: Do TV ads have a negative influence on children?

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Pro

  • Adds leave very poor effects on children. Not only 1 or 2 adds but most of adds include cheap material which seriously effect children.


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Con

  • Children are vulnerable to persuasive advertisements and are unable to understand that are being manipulated into liking the product.
  • Advertising to children will encourage them to put pressure on their parents to purchase the product even though they may not be able to afford it


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Influence: Does TV substantially influence children's behavior, and in a bad way?

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Pro

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Con

  • The influence of family, friends, religion and school is decisive in forming the moral values of young people: If parents and teachers are not willing or capable of performing their proper role, then teenagers can be negatively influenced not only by TV, but also by friends, their social environment and other factors.





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