Volume 92, Issue 11
Monday, September 22, 1998
Cuddling the television
There are worse things to be than a TV baby.
Any baby book will tell you that interaction is key for infants to surpass certain developmental stages. While scientific research supports this fact, an assumption follows that a child in front of a TV does not qualify as interaction and is harmful to its mental and social development.
This claim is both unfounded and illogical. When working mothers became more of a reality and the home care of children was handed over to daycare and sitters, a generation of "TV babies" were born. These kids spent endless hours with The Smurfs, General Hospital, Hammy the Hamster and Press Your Luck. In hindsight, society is now deciding the less time spent in front of the television, the more adaptable the child will be. The question of whether television is a substitution for maternal love comes up as more of a technicolour problem than one in black and white.
It is a proven fact that without exposure to germs, immunity to disease cannot develop and the body is left susceptible to infection. The same analogy can be drawn for television exposure.
Television, within the limits of creative license, mirrors life. Whether it's the acceptance of Smurfette into the Smurf village, estimating the odds of hitting a "whammy" or understanding why a Port Charles' couple Luke and Laura can't be together, television teaches valuable, interactive life lessons. The viewer follows along the thought processes of the characters or contestants, inevitably learning problem solving skills that will aid them in social, emotional and business situations.
I have recently been unable to watch as much television as I usually do and I consider myself less of a person for it. For all other TV babies out there live long and prosper.
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