Ill-effects of television on Yoga

The television, a relatively recent 20th century invention, is a powerful form of entertainment and escape from the travails of life.  By identifying with someone else’s life, we momentarily forget the ennui of our own life.   TV also provides excitement in the form of sports programs or crime  dramas (not to mention the absurd reality shows).   But watching TV also has some subtle negative consequences on the consciousness of the spiritual aspirant which are seldom mentioned.  In his poem Savitri (all of which was composed before 1950), Sri Aurobindo seems to have anticipated what the advent of television would bring to humanity.  He wrote in his poem…

On the dark background of a soulless world
She staged between a lurid light and shade
Her dramas of the sorrow of the depths
Written on the agonised nerves of living things:
Epics of horror and grim majesty,
Wry statues spat and stiffened in life’s mud,
A glut of hideous forms and hideous deeds
Paralysed pity in the hardened breast.
In booths of sin and night-repairs of vice
Styled infamies of the body’s concupiscence
And sordid imaginations etched in flesh,
Turned lust into a decorative art:
Abusing Nature’s gift her pervert skill
Immortalised the sown grain of living death,
In a mud goblet poured the bacchic wine,
To a satyr gave the thyrsus of a god.
Impure, sadistic, with grimacing mouths,
Grey foul inventions gruesome and macabre
Came televisioned from the gulfs of Night.

Sri Aurobindo, Savitri – I: The Descent into Night

The reasons for the ill-effects of TV on our consciousness are grounded in our perception process and our subconscious.  In the Upanishads, it is said that the “one part of the mind takes the form of the object it concentrates on” – referred to as determinate apprehension (See Epistemology of Perception) .   The images beamed forth from the television tend to be so enthralling that they hold the mind captive.   They swamp our brain and also invade our subconscious.   The images which invade the brain lead to loss of memory (the same phenomenon is observed temporarily after we exit a movie theatre) and once these images descend into our subconscious, they begin to rise up in sleep producing all kinds of horrific incoherent dreams.

Secondly, the sensory overload drowns out the action of the Purusha (executive power or spirit within) and consequently we experience listlessness, depression and lack of will-power coupled with a reflexive desire to emulate the behavior seen on TV.   Once the will has been weakened, we begin to unconsciously and thoughtlessly emulate the mannerisms of the actors and actresses that we observe on television.  We internalize their behaviour and delude ourselves in hoping that our life will fit the same narrative that we have observed on screen.

There is also a third ill-effect (which will certainly make a positivist incredulous) and this is related to the fact that every room, home, city, country sustains its own vital atmosphere.  Have you ever noticed the difference between the atmosphere in a place of worship, a library and a bar?.  This vital atmosphere becomes tainted or poisoned when gory scenes from the TV are beamed into the room.   It is difficult to concentrate or meditate in a room which has retains such an atmosphere.

Watch less TV!

For the spiritual aspirant, the short-term solution is really to live as much as possible without watching television.  In the long-term, the consciousness needs to be cleansed completely of all past images and this can only occur after various spiritual experiences.  As Sri Aurobindo states, (see here) “The descent of Peace (Sat), the descent of Force or Power(Chit), the descent of Light, the descent of Ananda, these are the four things that transform the nature.”   The result of constant spiritual practice is the cleansing of the Chitta.  As Patanjali states “tatha klesha karma nivritti” (Yoga Sutras 4.30) – the colorings (kleshas) in the mind (chitta) are purged once the inner being is awakened.

See Also: Article on People who live without TV

Related Posts

  1. All thoughts come from outside
  2. Triple movement of Integral Yoga (Witness, Consenter, Enjoyer)
  3. Subtle forms of the ego – (transcending suffocation)
  4. Ethical, logical and aesthetic mind
  5. Gita Chapter 18, Verse 60-61: The illusion of free-will
  6. Aspects of Karma-Yoga
  7. Self-control over speech
  8. How to cultivate the state of witness consciousness(Saksi-bhava)
  9. Types of meditation
  10. Illustrating Integral Psychology using the Gita

43 thoughts on “Ill-effects of television on Yoga

  1. Sandeep Post author

    Web browsing leads to some of the same problems

    From http://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article/707/excessive_internet_use_is_linked_to_depression

    “People who spend a lot of time browsing the net are more likely to show depressive symptoms, according to the first large-scale study of its kind in the West by University of Leeds psychologists…Lead author Dr Catriona Morrison, from the University of Leeds, said: “The internet now plays a huge part in modern life, but its benefits are accompanied by a darker side. ”

    Reply
    1. Neil

      “On the dark background of a soulless world
      She staged between a lurid light and shade
      Her dramas of the sorrow of the depths
      Written on the agonised nerves of living things:
      Epics of horror and grim majesty,
      Wry statues spat and stiffened in life’s mud,
      A glut of hideous forms and hideous deeds
      Paralysed pity in the hardened breast.
      In booths of sin and night-repairs of vice
      Styled infamies of the body’s concupiscence
      And sordid imaginations etched in flesh,

      Turned lust into a decorative art:
      Abusing Nature’s gift her pervert skill
      Immortalised the sown grain of living death,
      In a mud goblet poured the bacchic wine,
      To a satyr gave the thyrsus of a god.
      Impure, sadistic, with grimacing mouths,
      Grey foul inventions gruesome and macabre
      Came televisioned from the gulfs of Night.”

      Savitri – I: The Descent into Night

      I believe “televisioned” carries an Inner symbolic sense here. For example as though transmitted or projected upon a screen from a lower astral divide. Interestingly, it also happens to (simultaneously) presage our disconnected or disembodied bodily sense. In other words, our spending countless hours as stony-eyed figures filling our heads with images upon images (e.g., chattering within our head upon the screens of calamitous images without empathic response) analogous to somnambulist bodies voyaging through a sea of images..in a perpetual mode of disembodiment as it, if you will, “comes televisioned from the gulfs of Night.”

      Also take for example, on the other “positive” end of it, and here no analogy to the “television set” permissible!

      Burning they swam in a vague lucent haze
      An everlasting refuge of dream-light,
      A nebula of the splendours of the gods
      Made from the musings of eternity.
      Almost unbelievable by human faith,
      Hardly they seemed the stuff of things that are.
      As though a magic television’s glass
      Outlined to some magnifying inner eye
      They shone like image thrown from a far scene
      Too high and glad for mortal lids to seize…

      Savitri – I: The Glory and Fall of Life

      Reply
  2. Pingback: Developing discernment on which actions are spiritual « Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother

  3. Pingback: Towards more conscious sleep and dreaming | Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother

  4. Sandeep Post author

    I don’t know how conclusive it is but here is another study identifying sleeping problems due to use of electronic media.

    From http://www.usatoday.com/yourlife/parenting-family/teen-ya/2010-11-01-sleeptexting01_st_N.htm

    “More than half of children who use electronic media before bedtime may have mood or learning problems during the day, a preliminary study of 40 young people suggests.

    The kids in the study, average age 14½, were all treated at the JFK Medical Center Sleep Laboratory in Edison, N.J. About 77% had trouble falling asleep; others had daytime sleepiness.

    And it’s no wonder: Turns out they sent an average 34 text messages or e-mails a night, according to the study, to be presented today at the meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians in Vancouver, British Columbia. Texts were sent anywhere from 10 minutes to four hours after bedtime.

    Kids texted an average of four people a night. Electronic media woke them up once a night, when they were texted or called by a friend.

    Young people who used the most bedtime media — from cellphones to video games — were more likely to have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, depression and learning problems during the day.

    Polos notes that the study has limitations: It can’t prove that late-night media use caused problems such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders. He adds that results may not represent all kids; everyone in the study came to the clinic with a problem.”

    Reply
    1. ipsa

      Warren Buffet never had a computer until recently. Bill Gates tried to convince him to get one but could not. Then his friend who is a banker and who also created online banking for Wells Fargo or some bank convinced him to get one just recently. So things can be done, and technology gadgets help when used properly.

      Reply
      1. ipsa

        Addiction to the new media is happening because we do not spend time in nature or in following our real passion in life, as well as due to the fragmentation of the family in daily activities. This is just my personal perception which may not be true.

    2. Sandeep Post author

      Study: Multitasking hinders youth social skills

      Tween girls who spend much of their waking hours switching frantically between YouTube, Facebook, television and text messaging are more likely to develop social problems, says a Stanford University study published in a scientific journal on Wednesday.

      Young girls who spend the most time multitasking between various digital devices, communicating online or watching video are the least likely to develop normal social tendencies, according to the survey of 3,461 American girls aged 8 to 12 who volunteered responses.

      The study only included girls who responded to a survey in Discovery Girls magazine, but results should apply to boys, too, Clifford Nass, a Stanford professor of communications who worked on the study, said in a phone interview. Boys’ emotional development is more difficult to analyze because male social development varies widely and over a longer time period, he said.

      Read more @
      http://edition.cnn.com/2012/01/25/tech/social-media/multitasking-kids/index.html?hpt=hp_bn9

      Reply
  5. Pingback: Rising above ennui or boredom | Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother

  6. Sandeep Post author

    ‘TV brings eating disorders to Fiji’
    Thursday, May 20, 1999

    Fiji, a nation that has traditionally cherished the fuller figure, has been struck by an outbreak of eating disorders since the arrival of television in 1995, a study has shown.

    Researchers from Harvard say the western images and values transmitted via the medium has led to an increase in disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.

    Anne Becker, an anthropologist at Harvard Medical School, has studied Fijian eating habits since 1988. She compared the arrival of television with the arrival of British explorers in the last century.

    “What I hope is that this isn’t like the 19th century, when the British came to Fiji and brought the measles with them. It was a tremendous plague,” she said.

    “One could speculate that in the 20th century, television is another pathogen exporting Western images and values,” she said.

    Read the full article at
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/347637.stm

    Reply
  7. Sandeep Post author

    Fast forward into trouble : television in Bhutan

    Four years ago, Bhutan, the fabled Himalayan Shangri-la, became the last nation on earth to introduce television. Suddenly a culture, barely changed in centuries, was bombarded by 46 cable channels. And all too soon came Bhutan’s first crime wave – murder, fraud, drug offences. Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy report from a country crash-landing in the 21st century.

    … Since the April 2002 crime wave, the national newspaper, Kuensel, has called for the censoring of television (some have even suggested that foreign broadcasters, such as Star TV, be banned altogether). An editorial warns: “We are seeing for the first time broken families, school dropouts and other negative youth crimes. We are beginning to see crime associated with drug users all over the world – shoplifting, burglary and violence.”

    Read more at
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2003/jun/14/weekend7.weekend2

    Has TV changed Bhutan? from the BBC:

    Rinzi Dorji, the head of the Sigma cable company, told BBC World Service’s TV Invasion programme that the programmes most likely to be required to be taken off air would include pornography and the staged US wrestling series WWE. …The students are becoming more and more violent when they are at school,” he explained. …”[Young people] want and need what they see on television – the fashion, the clothes, the whole changing lifestyle, going to bars, drinking,” Kinley Dorji said.

    “A lot of these ideas have come from television. And they want more now.”

    He argued that many of the criminals came from low-income families, and that much of the crime involved the theft of tape recorders, TV sets and clothes.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3812275.stm

    And here is a PBS Frontline documentary which explores the impact of television on a remote Buddhist kingdom in the Himalayas. @ http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/bhutan/

    Reply
  8. Sandeep Post author

    In this conversation, Pranab Bhattacharya, a disciple of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, is asked about his television usage:

    Someone asked Dada: ‘The World Cup cricket games are on, Dada. They are being shown on television. Do you watch television?’

    “No,” Dada replied.

    ‘Even those matches where India is playing?’

    “No,” Dada said again.

    ‘But if India were to win the World Cup, wouldn’t you be happy?’

    “Look, from the age of seven I’ve been involved with exercise and sports. Today I am 76. During my whole life I’ve been continuing my work with sports and exercise. And even today I do regular exercises. For me sports and exercise are valuable in so far as they are useful in our ideal of physical transformation and integral yoga. I cannot see the difference between spectators in a match and the brokers in a stock exchange getting all jumpy and excited. In truth, all these different activities in man’s life, literature, sculpture, handicraft, engineering, if they do not help in the Integral Yoga then all these are meaningless and futile labour.”

    (Pranab Bhattacharya, By the Way, page 121)

    Reply
  9. Sandeep Post author

    On a related note, Social networking’s good and bad impacts on kids from a presentation at the 119th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Assocation.

    “While nobody can deny that Facebook has altered the landscape of social interaction, particularly among young people, we are just now starting to see solid psychological research demonstrating both the positives and the negatives,” said Larry D. Rosen, PhD, professor of psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

    In a plenary talk entitled, “Poke Me: How Social Networks Can Both Help and Harm Our Kids,” Rosen discussed potential adverse effects, including:

    * Teens who use Facebook more often show more narcissistic tendencies while young adults who have a strong Facebook presence show more signs of other psychological disorders, including antisocial behaviors, mania and aggressive tendencies.
    * Daily overuse of media and technology has a negative effect on the health of all children, preteens and teenagers by making them more prone to anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders, as well as by making them more susceptible to future health problems.
    * Facebook can be distracting and can negatively impact learning. Studies found that middle school, high school and college students who checked Facebook at least once during a 15-minute study period achieved lower grades.

    Rosen said new research has also found positive influences linked to social networking, including:

    * Young adults who spend more time on Facebook are better at showing “virtual empathy” to their online friends.
    * Online social networking can help introverted adolescents learn how to socialize behind the safety of various screens, ranging from a two-inch smartphone to a 17-inch laptop.
    * Social networking can provide tools for teaching in compelling ways that engage young students.

    Read more: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-08/apa-sng072711.php

    Reply
  10. sandesh

    What if your job requires sitting in front of the computer from morning to evening.!
    Does this process retard a person’s growth?

    Reply
    1. Neil

      Yes. So we are all F***. (lol). However, keep in mind “once upon a time” there was the art of the Belles lettres. I think probably around or shortly after WWII something began to die, cybernetics, the practicality of time (originally conceived in terms of assembly-line efficiency) began to come into its own.. and now in our “advanced era” we rather alarmingly and nonchalantly take communication either online or betwixt and between human mouths as means to extract the facts; the information; the raw data rather than the aesthetics and flow and joie d’vivre of being; its divine essence, if you will, its dance and flow and densification or energization of consciousness or Sat-chit-Ananda.

      The once upon time poetics of prose and reflective muse from a deeper source has now for the last several generations of humanity has gone the way of the dinosaur. Needless to say it would have Romantic poets and Aurobindo included rolling over in their graves. However,there are still seeds or pockets of light here and there where a deeper yearning for engagement and reflection beyond the static entrancement of the “screen” is still sought.

      I strongly believe, though, this tendency towards lack of sought human-hearted and empathic engagement leads also to many a fictitious diagnoses, e.g., ADD and ADHD. In other words, attention deficit and hyperactive disorders are in part triggered by these mind-sifting interactive non-interactive activities, where the loveliness and effulgent richness of the mellifluous and rhythmic cadence and fiber of voice becomes lost… Our bodies become out of whack if we make love to the screen too long. The simple creature pleasures of rich intellectual and intuitive engagement leading to the wider vistas of reflection, dare we say, an integrated and poetic muse, needs desperately to be
      re-kindled by a wider population of humanity!

      Reply
      1. Sandeep Post author

        The once upon time poetics of prose and reflective muse from a deeper source has now for the last several generations of humanity has gone the way of the dinosaur.

        Thats quite true. It recalls to mind a recent article in the New York Times, which points out how reading has morphed from intensive (concentrated) to extensive (more books but diffused reading). The following passage is from Secrets of a Mind-Gamer by Joshua Foer:

        “In his essay “First Steps Toward a History of Reading,” Robert Darnton describes a switch from “intensive” to “extensive” reading that occurred as printed books began to proliferate. Until relatively recently, people read “intensively,” Darnton says. “They had only a few books — the Bible, an almanac, a devotional work or two — and they read them over and over again, usually aloud and in groups, so that a narrow range of traditional literature became deeply impressed on their consciousness.” Today we read books “extensively,” often without sustained focus, and with rare exceptions we read each book only once. We value quantity of reading over quality of reading. We have no choice, if we want to keep up with the broader culture. I always find looking up at my shelves, at the books that have drained so many of my waking hours, to be a dispiriting experience. There are books up there that I can’t even remember whether I’ve read or not.”

    2. Sandeep Post author

      I have found a few things that can at least alleviate the “retardation”
      1) take frequent breaks so as to break the deleterious habit of continuous browsing. (use an alarm or auto-logoff)
      2) think offline of what you plan to do on the computer before you start typing away.

      If you meditate and are able to maintain mental silence for half an hour everyday, you begin to build up a reserve of mental strength which stops you from getting sucked up in this attention-draining vortex. Long term, that’s the best solution.

      Reply
      1. Neil

        “If you meditate and are able to maintain mental silence for half an hour everyday, you begin to build up a reserve of mental strength which stops you from getting sucked up in this attention-draining vortex. Long term, that’s the best solution.”

        I absolutely agree, particularly if one lives in a crowded urbanized area to do so at the first light of dawn before everything gets going generates psychic cushioning and deepening silence…

  11. Tusar N. Mohapatra

    [We’re already living in Blogopolis, so let’s enjoy it– with all its rivalries, fights, cafes, alliances, trends, feuds, rumors, and so forth. We may already be living in the primordial soup of the new philosophy. At present, I would agree that this is not where the best philosophical work is taking place, but once again, that claim misses the point. The main point is that living in Blogopolis can stimulate your best work no matter where you live, and the further point is that many of the new publishing venues for the “best” work have been directly generated or heavily enhanced by the blogosphere.] [Sartwell on SR/OOO – Object-Oriented Philosophy
    by doctorzamalek on Sep 5, 2011 9:41 AM]

    Reply
  12. Sandeep Post author

    For the Onion’s satirical take on this topic, see the article : “Area Man Constantly Mentioning He Doesn’t Own A Television”

    CHAPEL HILL, NC–Area resident Jonathan Green does not own a television, a fact he repeatedly points out to friends, family, and coworkers–as well as to his mailman, neighborhood convenience-store clerks, and the man who cleans the hallways in his apartment building.

    “I, personally, would rather spend my time doing something useful than watch television,” Green told a random woman Monday at the Suds ‘N’ Duds Laundromat, noticing the establishment’s wall-mounted TV. “I don’t even own one.”

    For more, see http://www.theonion.com/articles/area-man-constantly-mentioning-he-doesnt-own-a-tel,429/

    Reply
  13. Sandeep Post author

    Lauren Zalaznick: The conscience of television.
    A TED talk which studies the historical changes that have occurred in American TV ratings

    Reply
  14. Pingback: Should women dress modestly? | Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother

  15. Sandeep Post author

    A contrarian Waldorf school in Silicon Valley (of all places!) eschews use of computers and high-tech devices in the classroom until eight grade (i.e.age 13).

    The chief technology officer of eBay sends his children to a nine-classroom school here. So do employees of Silicon Valley giants like Google, Apple, Yahoo and Hewlett-Packard.

    But the school’s chief teaching tools are anything but high-tech: pens and paper, knitting needles and, occasionally, mud. Not a computer to be found. No screens at all. They are not allowed in the classroom, and the school even frowns on their use at home.

    […]

    This is the Waldorf School of the Peninsula, one of around 160 Waldorf schools in the country that subscribe to a teaching philosophy focused on physical activity and learning through creative, hands-on tasks. Those who endorse this approach say computers inhibit creative thinking, movement, human interaction and attention spans.

    Read more at the New York Times : A Silicon Valley School That Doesn’t Compute

    Reply
  16. Pingback: Surmounting the unpleasant images and negative thoughts which occur during meditation | Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother

  17. mike

    Really as far as l’m concerned it all depends on the state of consciousness we’re in . So, l think we might be intellectualising a bit to much here. Walking around a big city can have the same deleterious effect as sitting in front of a tv IMO – or just sitting in a busy restaurant. We are assailed constantly by adverse forces but if we take the right attitude [l know how difficult it is] it can be seen as a test or a kind of spiritual training.
    A lot depends on what we watch too. There is a lot of grubby. mundane garbage on tv, but you could say that about literature too. Why would we go near that anyway?? We have to be selective, and the internet can be far worse than tv, l’d say – much more of a distraction and much more of an assault on the senses.
    Apparently, 3D tv is going to be worse in the sense that it can enter the subconscious more directly – according to what l heard on the tv recently.
    l was watching the christmas version of Dr who recently and surprisingly there is a very Spiritual ending to it. l don’t know if anyone saw that, but there were actually some very symbolic things happening [like the main character taking a World of Souls into Herself – does that remind you of anyone] that seemed to point directly to Yoga and there was even a tower that looked like the Matrimandir. Perhaps it’s just my viewpoint, though.

    ““Look, from the age of seven I’ve been involved with exercise and sports. Today I am 76. During my whole life I’ve been continuing my work with sports and exercise. And even today I do regular exercises. For me sports and exercise are valuable in so far as they are useful in our ideal of physical transformation and integral yoga. I cannot see the difference between spectators in a match and the brokers in a stock exchange getting all jumpy and excited. In truth, all these different activities in man’s life, literature, sculpture, handicraft, engineering, if they do not help in the Integral Yoga then all these are meaningless and futile labour.”

    l totally agree with Pranab on that – especially the last sentence. The obsession with sport in ordinary life seems disgusting to me, when there isn’t a Spiritual Aspiration behind it.

    Reply
  18. Sandeep Post author

    Mike: Really as far as l’m concerned it all depends on the state of consciousness we’re in . So, l think we might be intellectualising a bit to much here.

    True. The purpose of this post was to present ONLY the negative side🙂

    Mike: A lot depends on what we watch too. There is a lot of grubby. mundane garbage on tv, but you could say that about literature too. Why would we go near that anyway?? We have to be selective, and the internet can be far worse than tv, l’d say – much more of a distraction and much more of an assault on the senses.

    Yes again, but electronic media is worse than books because your eyes literally get hooked to the screen. It is an addictive and insidious medium which destroys willpower.

    Reply
  19. mike

    Yes, sandeep your right about it being insidious. We are in a very passive, suggestible state, while watching tv. lt very close to the hypnotic state, l’d say. And who knows how far they’ve gone with subliminal messaging these days. But, like in hypnosis, there are those who are highly suggestible and those who aren’t. Children of course, are very impressionable and should be monitored closely.
    TV reminds me of NLP [neuro-linguistic programming] which is very popular these days amoung the beurocrats. They send all sorts off on NLP training courses – police, teachers, civil servants. They tend to use visual techniques, which might be similar to watching tv images – but even more intrusive from what l understand. Police come back from these courses more aggressive than ever. NLP can be used in a postive way, but certain groups like Common Purpose are using it in a very negative, controlling way. Researchers have even said that teachers are using it with students in the form of’ creative visualisation’, and apparently, it’s affected these kids in such a way that there have been a spate of suicides [they all seem to favour hanging themselves for some reason].
    Anyway, not to stray to far from the point, l think TV and NLP might have some strong links.

    Reply
  20. Sandeep Post author

    TV viewing is associated with poor physical, social, and psychological health in preschoolers

    In March of this year (March 27th to be exact), the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) released the first ever Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for the Early Years (aged 0-4 years).
    […]
    We searched 5 online databases for studies that looked at the relationship between sedentary behaviour and health in the early years (i.e. 0-4.99 years).
    […]

    Current evidence supports the idea that increased television viewing is associated with unfavourable measures of adiposity, psychosocial health and cognitive development. Further, no evidence exists to suggest television viewing is beneficial for improved psychosocial or cognitive development. In several instance, a dose-response relationship existed between increased time spent watching television and decreased psychosocial or cognitive development.

    Read more@

    http://blogs.plos.org/obesitypanacea/2012/08/01/systematic-review-tv-viewing-associated-with-poor-physical-social-and-psychological-health-in-preschoolers/

    Reply
  21. Pingback: How do movies affect yoga practice? | Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo & The Mother

  22. Sandeep Post author

    This is true of all people, not just Americans. Television and food are additive and induce inertia

    Study: Americans Enjoy Watching TV, Eating

    According to a new study published Monday by the Pew Research Center, Americans enjoy watching television and eating. “Our research indicates that residents of the United States take great pleasure in watching television, often for many hours at once, and enjoy eating food in large quantities, preferably several or more times per day,” lead author Dr. Richard Cowell said of the study, which follows an earlier report that concluded the nation greatly prefers sitting to standing. “Our findings also suggest Americans enjoy watching television and eating at the same time.”

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/study-americans-enjoy-watching-tv-eating,33630/

    Reply
  23. mike

    Strangely enough there was a big article in the Daily Mail [uk] today about this:

    TV is making children unhappy: Hours in front of the screen leads to low self-esteem and anxiety, experts claim
    Public Health England warned inactive lifestyles are also to blame for the negative impact on children’s wellbeing
    The report found higher levels of TV viewing are lead to a lower sense of self-worth and self-esteem and even depression in children
    Around half of seven-year-old children in the UK do not get enough exercise and girls are far less active than boys

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2403164/TV-making-children-unhappy-Hours-screen-leads-low-self-esteem-anxiety-experts-claim.html#ixzz2dDf22KFw
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      Hours in front of the screen leads to low self-esteem and anxiety

      I have noticed that too. There was a few years during which I did not watch TV at all. And for some reason, I began watching TV for a few days. I suddenly began feeling anxious for no reason.

      I think those images beamed by the television impact your vital being in some weird fashion and create Tamas and anxiety.

      Reply
  24. mike

    Yes, there’s no doubt that all sorts of ‘thought forms’ and subtle formations are coming from TV programs. lf we do watch TV it’s probably impotant to watch uplifting things or at least low-anxiety shows – l prefer comedies; laughter probably is the best medicine, l think.

    Here’s a good article from the exoteric veiwpoint:

    “Anxiety and Television

    People blame television unfairly for a lot of problems. They blame TV for violence, obesity, stupidity, and more. There is some evidence that television has negative qualities – indeed, TV can make people dumber depending on the programming they watch – but the degree of blame they are placing on television is unfair.

    But what about TV and anxiety? Television and anxiety have been linked together, but how? Why? We explore the answers to these questions in this article.
    Can Turning Off the TV Stop Anxiety?

    If you have anxiety, you need to do so much more than simply turn off the TV and expect your anxiety to go away. Find out how to start controlling your anxiety with my free 7 minute anxiety test.

    Start the test here.
    Television Probably Doesn’t Create a Disorder

    It’s highly, highly unlikely that TV can create an anxiety disorder. There are a few exceptions – some people do develop fears and phobias because of television – but in general you are likely to already have anxiety in some way and television simply makes it worse. Taking my anxiety test is always a good idea to make sure that you understand more about how to cure this anxiety.

    So can television create more anxiety? Of course it can. There are several ways that television seems to be able to cause anxiety, including:
    Stressful Programming – People tend to almost always watch stressful programming, and stress is stress. It’s not just horror movies – reality TV shows, dramas, thrillers, even documentaries can be stressful in many ways. When you have anxiety, you need as many positive emotions as you can. Very rarely do any of those types of shows cause positive emotions, and that can be a problem.
    Inactivity – Inactivity is also a serious issue, and unfortunately TV does seem to encourage inactivity. Studies have shown that a lack of exercise does seem to create more anxiety, presumably because your body needs to experience a certain amount of exercise in order to work effectively. If you’re not exercising, you’re creating anxiety, and people rarely exercise while watching television.
    Lack of Sleep – Television can also lead to a lack of sleep. Many people stay up later than they need to either watching television or “winding down” after television (television appears to make it harder to sleep), and a lack of sleep can lead to the development of further anxiety or an anxiety disorder.
    Avoidance of Responsibilities – Not all of the causes of anxiety are directly related to television. In some cases it may simply have to do with other things you need to do in life that you’re avoiding when you watch television. Achievement and interesting activities are actually an important part of reducing anxiety, and those that spend too much time watching TV are usually not being productive, thus increasing their stresses in other areas and not engaging in the right behaviors to lessen their anxiety.
    General Mental Excitement – Finally, experts believe that television excites the mind in a way that creates more anxiety. It’s not entirely clear if this is true, but it does seem possible, since television excites neurons in the brain and excited neurons do appear to create more anxiety. But it’s not clear how or why, and whether or not programming or other experiences in life at the time matter.

    There may be other potential causes of anxiety that are not mentioned here. It’s not quite clear. If the question is whether or not television can contribute to more anxiety, then the answer is yes, it can. Think of how much anxiety you experience from watching the news, or waiting for the next episode of your favorite TV show. Those aren’t even necessarily stressful, and yet they do play a role in the development of anxiety.

    But also blaming television for anxiety isn’t fair either. Not everyone that watches TV is going to get anxiety, and not every person with anxiety is going to get worse from watching TV. There may even be ways to reduce your anxiety with television, assuming you use it correctly.
    Fighting Anxiety With TV?

    Yes, despite its bad reputation, television can play a productive role in your anxiety as well. The key is smart decisions with regards to watch you, when you watch it, and more. In other words:
    No watching late at night before you’re trying to sleep.
    No watching when you have other things you need to do.
    No watching any shows that are stressful or promote stress – including reality TV shows. Even if you find them funny, they often involve a lot of shouting and yelling.

    Ideally, you need to choose funny or lighthearted programming that doesn’t deal with stressful or tension inducing topics. You should also consider using television as background stimulation. Rather than watch the TV, you can keep the TV on in the background while you’re doing other things so that there is some visual and auditory stimulation but without the focus and attention that you would otherwise give it.

    One of the problems with anxiety is that your mind essentially becomes your enemy. Mental distractions are the key to making sure that your mind has a chance to relax from the stresses of the day. Television can be that type of mental distraction, but only if you avoid issues that increase your anxiety. Try to choose shows that make you laugh or feel great about yourself, however, to avoid any of the potential negative consequences of television.
    “But I Watch TV and I’m Fine”

    Many people with anxiety point to the fact that when they’re watching TV they feel fine, so they do not see how it might contribute to anxiety.

    First, remember that some of the effects of television are secondary – like not getting exercise, completing tasks, or sleeping. You may feel great while you’re watching TV, but there are other issues that play that will eventually affect you.

    Second, when you’re trying to combat anxiety, the truth is that all anxiety can be bad anxiety even if you feel good when you experience it. It’s not true for everyone, but when your body is excited with stresses, it continues to struggle to control the anxiety that you do experience. Your mind and body need a break, and if the things you’re doing create more anxiety – even if you can handle it – you’re not getting that break.
    Television Can Harm or Help

    So in the end, television really goes both ways. It can be used to reduce your anxiety if you use it as a distraction and relaxation tool, but it can also increase your anxiety if you watch what most people watch and spend too much time directly in front of the TV when you should be exercising or engaging in other activities.

    If you love your TV too much and can’t give it up, you should at least start exercising, and make sure that you’re doing anything you can to control your anxiety today.”

    Reply
  25. mwb6119

    Nice input on televised programs:

    “TV makes you stupid! False! TV or radio can be harmful if you are unable to control what you watch or listen, or if you are unable to optimize the proportion of your time spent on broadcasts. Otherwise, TV is still hard to match in its ability to present to you a pre-selected and emphatically graphic video material for the purposes of education or getting informed. Video education based on the material from reputable channels may be the most efficient form of tutor-less education. Rather than getting drawn into Jerry Springer or Survivor, you can get a quick lecture on evolution, history of the Ottoman Empire or Islamic Revolution in Iran from the Discovery Channel, BBC World or CNN. Do you know that CNN has spent $12 million to produce their 24-part series “Cold War”? As I write these words, BBC World is running an excellent 26-part “People’s Century”. Huge production budgets have been converted here into a superb video-documentary that will give you the best rate of knowledge and inspiration per minute. The following rules can help you avoid potential damage of television to your creative work:
    choose the right channel and programming in advance. Your decision should be conscious rather than spontaneous. Do not let emotions or curiosity override your true needs for information and learning
    use a VCR to make sure you can watch the material at designed time. By no means should TV schedule affect your own schedule. Neither should TV schedule determine what you watch and learn. VCR will also help you fast forward over advertising and less relevant material
    choose the appropriate timing. Watching TV is by far less demanding to your brain than, for example, learning with SuperMemo. This is why you could choose the timing where your brain is less alert, e.g. after meals or before sleep (remember to avoid emotionally-charged content before sleep)
    to boost positive results, you could also add some priority to foreign language channels to add some foreign language learning. If English is your second language, you should actually give English channels a strong preference due to the fact that no creative mind can truly benefit of the Knowledge Age without a fluent command of English”

    http://www.supermemo.com/articles/genius.htm

    Reply
  26. mike

    Yes, mark, l agree that tv or any other media outlet can be very informative, but we need to be very discriminating.
    To tell you the truth, l hardly know what to believe anymore lol.
    ln the case of History, especially, it’s so full of lies and misinformation, that ultimately we have no idea what actually went on back then [history is written by the winners scenario].
    l remember M saying that when she read history in school, the actual facts she saw clairvoyantly were nothing like in the books.
    And when anything is reported by the mainstream you can bet it’s mostly a false account of what really happened. l have a slight interest in ancient egypt [mainly things about nefertiti – when M was Queen TIY], and just about every documentary l’ve seen has a different viewpoint on her – one minute they’ve found her mummy, the next they have’nt lol. Basically, mainstream archeologists don’t have a clue]. l saw one programme recently about nefertiti. They were trying to prove that the famous bust of her in the berlin museum is a fake. Full of speculation and still no real evidence. Still very much in the dark.
    As for reported news, lm pretty damn sure it’s edited well before it gets to us [the first reports will probably be closest to the truth, l think]. lf we want the real news, probably al jazeera or RT news channels are the best.
    The BBC are not to be trusted IMO. It’s a totally corrupt corporation, which came out through the j.savile expose. The place is riddled with paedophiles. There have been a few decent documentaries, but usually they’re a whitewash – but, this is where intuition and psychic discrimination are essential.

    “Do you know that CNN has spent $12 million to produce their 24-part series “Cold War”.

    l wonder how much of that we can believe.

    Reply
    1. mwb6119

      Mike: ““Do you know that CNN has spent $12 million to produce their 24-part series “Cold War”.

      l wonder how much of that we can believe.”

      Yes, I’m sure there is some hoopla in this article.

      BTW, I did not closely examine the above – nor did I check the source closely (not a researcher). After reading so much against tv viewing, it was pleasant to see supporting info.

      “To tell you the truth, l hardly know what to believe anymore lol.”

      Yes. Agreed. I’m learning as I progress. …In my case I have been off tv for four + years. I do watch video’s and occasionally programs. While growing up my parents were avid watchers. I picked up the habit then.

      I know of a world traveler who reads the world. I think in my local circles, most are repeating the local news, sitcom spins, etc.

      “There have been a few decent documentaries, but usually they’re a whitewash – but, this is where intuition and psychic discrimination are essential.”

      By all means! A person will only learn as the psychic becomes prominent. But until then, we remain in the fog. In my case this liberation has been a very slow-gradual process.

      Thanks Mike!

      Reply
  27. Loup Kibiloki

    Reblogged this on Électrodes and commented:
    « … sadistic, with grimacing mouths,
    Grey foul inventions gruesome and macabre
    Came televisioned from the gulfs of Night. »

    (Sri Aurobindo, Savitri, Book 2, Canto 7 – 1946-1951 )

    Reply

Join the discussion!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s