Saturday, February 21, 2009

Why TV is good for kids

So, who's had a heart attack at me writing that title? It's actually a book, I thought i'd get it to see if it would change my mind, and started it with an open mind, really I did. Let's just say that I haven't been convinced I should race out to Harvey Norman.

The holes in the arguments are the type you could fall into and never return. For example, they seem to feel that Madonna only manages to not have a TV because she has masses of money and therefore an army of employees to help with her children. Yep, they're trotting out the tired old martyred cry of 'But the only time I get to myself is when they're watching TV!' I mean, all those poor people who raised children more than 50 years ago, it must have been terrible! The kids running around feral, constantly nagging you to entertain them, never a moment to sit down and have a cuppa........hey, wait a minute, revelation here-maybe kids could entertain themselves back then, and still could if they didn't learn to fall back on television the instant they're bored?

Or by stating that TV is a passive activity, but so is reading and a number of other things. Obviously they've never seen (or ignored) any of the number of studies that show that your body runs at the lowest pace while watching TV. While reading you actually burn more kilojoules than by watching TV. I think sleeping is the only activity that comes in under TV, but not by much.

Or by saying that BMI is totally unreliable because it can't be applied to all people in the population, using George Gregan and his 'overweight' BMI as example. When anyone who has a clue about BMI ranking knows it can't be and isn't applied to super-fit body-builder types or some ethnic groups. But if they admitted that they wouldn't be able to write off BMI as an indicator and therefore also write off the increase of overweight and obese children would they?

And my favourite, deliberately interpreting the well-documented correlational link between TV watching and attention disorders as a direct cause-effect link. As in, watch x amount of hours of TV per week and you WILL get ADD. Well, it's easier to refute something that is obviously wrong, isn't it? Morons.

And that's only one chapter. I don't think i'll bother with the rest (except the education chapter, that should be fun), as books that choose their POV then selectively search out information that supports it while leaving glaring omissions frustrate my husband-yes, I argue out loud with books ;P Pity, I agree with a lot of it, like TV is not too bad if used properly (I use the guns analogy, it's not the thing it's how you use it), but the rest is just too crap.

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