Television is on of the most media platforms since years. We all love to sit in front of that and enjoy the time with loved once. We love to have all family around and popcorns with us, don’t we?
Psychologists and experts have sounded the alarm on the addictive nature of modern digital products. Such as smartphones and tablets, and social media platforms. But there is an older entertainment device that adults and children can easily become addicted to the television. A survey conducted by faculty members of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) found that television addiction was higher among unmarried, divorced and widowed people.
For their research paper says ‘Television addiction: implication for enhancing media literacy for healthy use of technology’. It publishes in the Indian Journal of Social Psychiatry, the authors surveyed 2,755 people in the age group of 18 to 65 years from neighbourhoods in east Bengaluru. They find 79 respondents are addicting to TV. Most are unmarried, divorced or widowed.
According to the authors, TV addiction is emerging as one of the methods people use to cope with various moods and psychosocial situations. Due to this there was a higher co-relation between psychological distress and television viewing habits.
Manoj Kumar Sharma, professor of clinical psychology, NIMHANS who heads the Service for Healthy Use of Technology (SHUT) clinic. He is one of the authors of the study. He says the television addiction can be define as one’s craving to view television to feel good and a loss of control in relation to the duration of watching it. According to Dr Sharma, while some of the respondents used it as a ‘mood elevator’. It excessive hours spent watching TV was associated with various consequences. It is in the form of neglecting other tasks and decreased communication with others.
Also, the survey also noted that television usage decreased as a person grew older and the years of marriage increased. It also noted that television use was more if there were a number of people in the house.
Based on the findings of the survey, Dr Sharma said that there was a need to enhance media literacy for healthy and enjoyable use of TV. Hence, the authors stressed the need to develop a programme for parents to help their children become media literate.