Over the years television has been a major source of entertainment for people of all ages. Many children end up watching television well before they've began school and even infants and toddlers watch up to 2 hours of TV a day1. It is known that television can be a major source of education in the lives of young children, however, with so much negative content featured on many of today's television programs, the increasing amount of time spent in front of the TV could be doing more harm than good to modern day children and teens. .
Violence depicted on television can have a major impact on the minds of our youth. On average, American children witness around 200,000 acts of violence and 16,000 murders on TV by the age of 18; causing them to be less sensitive and this also increases their aggressiveness since television violence is often portrayed to be fun and acceptable1. Many TV characters use violence in order to solve problems which could lead a child to believe that this type of problem-solving is accepted in society. Also, cartoons, which appeal mainly to young children, may use large amounts of violence in order to keep children's interest. If children feel that this is entertaining, they may encourage violence among their peers since it's fun to watch. The popular "Bobo Doll Experiment" conducted in 1961 proved that when children observe violence they are more likely to imitate what they've seen and that the more aggressive behavior continues years after they've observed the violent act(s). Watching this much violence on TV can have long-term effects on both the child and those around them. Violence on television also hinders children's sleep. Teens may be have the ability to recognize TV violence as being fictitious but younger children lack this ability and are easily influenced by the violence that they see. .
Smoking and substance abuse is also regularly shown on television, which adds to the preexisting issue of peer pressure in the lives of our teens.