Is watching TV bad for children (3)? Вредно ли детям смотреть телевизор?
Television benefits children by broadening their world in allowing them to see and hear places and people that they would not otherwise see and hear, as a way to educate children in subject matter their parents do not understand through viewing educational programs, and providing parents with a cheap form of babysitting, which provides parents with added income that can be used on household expenses. This is not to say that television has no negative impact on children—it does—especially when there is no supervision of the content of what children watch. But the overwhelming impact is positive.
Firstly, television benefits children by broadening their world in allowing them to see and hear places and people that they would not otherwise see and hear. This is especially the case for children growing up in rural areas where the number of people they know through direct contact is small and one-dimensional, i.e., the people all look and think much the same way. Additionally, children in rural areas may not often have the opportunity to travel very far from where they were born. Consequently, television provides the wherewithal for children to launch themselves into a much wider world-even if it is in the realm of the mind and not the realm of the body. The sum total of this influence is to provide children with a base of knowledge that transcends their they can learn from their local area and increases the chance that individuals so exposed can be more appreciative of the differences that comprise our multicultural world.
Secondly, television benefits children by educating children in subject matter their parents do not understand through viewing educational programs. Television, through satellite and cable hookups, now is capable of providing countless educational programs in subject matter as varied as Cantonese to Apache; from using solar energy to wine making in a tub; from making your own bar-b-q to advanced algebra. Never before has so much knowledge been offered by so many expert teachers without one ever having to leave one"s home.
Television benefits children by providing parents with a cheap form of babysitting, which provides parents with added income that can be used on household expenses. Well, we all here of the "irresponsible" babysitter-television. However, if monitored carefully, this "irresponsible" babysitter can provide far more information than a bored teenaged babysitter taking nips from parents" booze bottles and clipping her nails, while telling the kids to shut up as she makes her way to and from the refrigerator, making a serious dent in the family"s food supply.
None of this argues that exposing children to television does not have a down side—it certainly can. For example, television can have serious sexual content and much violence, which could not be good for innocent young minds. But if properly monitored with a working filter, this can be dealt with.