* Apparently Michele Lingre is not a child psychologist, educator, media analyst or other type of "expert." Perhaps that is why she displayed such uncommon common sense in identifying what so many seem unable--or unwilling--to acknowledge: Television viewing has profound affects on children. (Let's not forget the same is true for teen-agers and adults, but because their brains are more fully developed, the magnitude of the effect is minuscule by comparison.)
In her Jan. 9 commentary, "Turning Off TV Gives Child a New View of Life," Lingre points to the core issue: Television watching as an activity should be the focus of the discussion.
Our societal debate regrettably has been refocused such that we now consider only the effects of content , specifically sex and violence--and of late simply violence.
To be sure, these have substantial effects on viewers young and old. But in light of numerous brain wave studies proving TV's mind-numbing impact, no one should be surprised that a generation of kids raised on six-plus hours of television daily have record-low test scores, short attention spans, impaired learning abilities and lack of initiative.
Television acts on the mind in ways similar to many drugs. In the '60s and '70s, anti-drug campaigns asked, "Why do you think they call it dope?" Maybe we should ask ourselves "Why do you think they call it the boob tube?"
PHILIP J. MEDLIN