James Perkins's Reviews > Remotely Controlled: How Television is Damaging Our Lives

Remotely Controlled by Aric Sigman
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Feb 05, 12

Read in June, 2010

Television has long borne the nickname "idiot box", and here's the scientific evidence that shows the truth of that moniker. Dr Sigman cites study after study that demonstrates how damaging television is to the developing brains of children, not just from the inanity of what it shows them, but also actually stunting its physical growth in key areas needed for intellectual ability and emotional control: quite literally making them stupid. Then for teenagers and adults, it reduces attention span, prevents learning, encourages antisocial behaviour with poor role models and a mistaken belief that real life consists of constant stimulation, instant gratification, and quick solutions to complex problems. It contributes to the modern-day high rates of clinical depression and a breakdown in social activity and communication. And this is before you take into account the effects it has on the physiology, including disturbed sleep, slowed metabolism, and lowered libido, to name just a few. You might think you are too smart for all that and immune to its effects; I did, because I don't watch much TV, but the scientific evidence provided in this book prompted me to think again. You should, too.

It is abundantly clear that prolonged television viewing - the world's number one leisure-time activity - is a serious public health issue, and urgently needs to be addressed. An insightful, well-researched, and readable book, it is a must for everyone with a TV in the house, and most especially for those bringing up children.

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