Television has done much for psychiatry by spreading information about it, as well as contributing to the need for it.-Alfred Hitchcock
It’s been called the “idiot box.” It’s been called “the greatest single invention of the 20th century.” Either way, to say that television is a huge part of daily American life is to state the overwhelmingly obvious. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, “American children and adolescents spend 22 to 28 hours per week viewing television, more than any other activity except sleeping. By the age of 70 they will have spent 7 to 10 years of their lives watching TV.” The effects of sleep on mind and body have been well documented. But what comes of all this “tube time?”
How does television affect the mind? In order to understand how television effects our health, we must first understand how it affects the mind. Several studies have shown that the longer one watches television, the easier it is for their mind to slip into “Alpha state.” Here, the brain’s waves are slow and steady. This hypnotic trace-like state is the brain’s most receptive mode. Images and suggestions have maximum impact in this mode. Why else would advertisers spend up to one billion dollars per year on television advertising? But what about what’s between the commercials?