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Too Much TV Is Really Bad for Your Brain

Diane Luke
Senior Editor, TipsHire

Watching too much TV negatively affects your brain

Hundreds of millions of people are watching TV right now, when you’re reading this article. If at first it was thought to be a way to inform people about daily events and to entertain viewers with comedy shows, nowadays the TV is much more. From popular reality shows and talents shows, to blockbuster movies, from news journals and talk-shows to live sport events, there is all about keeping you addicted to the TV for the networks to make money from commercials, and for the manufacturers to make sales from selling their advertised products. Nothing wrong, in fact, since everyone is targeting the financial profit, but when drilling deeper into the problem you’ll find out that watching too much TV negatively affects your brain.

How exactly is TV affecting your brain?

The brain emits brain waves. The brain waves are electrical pulses which are measured by amplitude and frequency.

Amplitude represents the power of the electrical pulses and it is measured in micro volts, while the frequency is measured in hertz and defines the speed of electrical undulations.

In terms of frequency, there are the following categories:

  • Beta waves which have the highest frequency (14-30 Hz)appears in brain during thought processes, analysis and decision-making, mostly awake state, when the mind is concentrated on a task or certain activity.
  • Alpha waves with a frequency of 7.6-13.9Hzdominate cortical activity when the person is in a state of relaxation.
  • Theta waves of 5.6-7.6 Hz in frequencyappear during sleep or meditative state.
  • Delta waves of 4-5,6Hzoccur in the brain during the deep sleep.

Several studies have proven that watching television is influencing the brain activity, and when the TV is on, alpha and delta waves become dominant and the longer you’re watching TV your brain waves are getting lower in frequency.

Watching too much TV could cause various neurological abnormalities.

The left hemisphere, the one responsible for analytical processes, is reducing its activity when watching TV. This fact shows that watching too much TV can lead to serious negative consequences on the development of the prefrontal cortex.

How is watching too much TV affecting the adults?

Too much TV is altering adults perception on the real world.

The brain of an adult who watches too much TV is affected on the frontal lobe which controls concentration, judgment, inhibition, creativity, planning, and emotional expression.

The emotional center of the brain is also affected by watching too much TV, leading to emotional disturbances and brain responses to what the TV is showing as you’d actually live the presented events.

Watching too much TV is also reducing your motivation and increasing laziness. Many adults are accepting to sit in the front of the TV’s screen for hours, instead of doing other activities, even though these activities might be more important or more educative.

It is rather preferred to watch a TV show, than to read a book or to socialize.

Additionally, the TV creates addiction on different levels:

  • favorite show or TV – series addiction – you are scheduling your regular activities depending on the schedule of your favorite TV shows.
  • you want to hear the – you aren’t able to enjoy the silence and the relaxation time, having the feeling that the TV is the only way to relax.
  • can’t sleep without TV – not hearing the TV before sleep causes you an anxious state of mind, therefore you aren’t able to sleep.

Are children more affected by watching too much TV?

Children minds are weaker in comparison with the adults’ ones. A child’s brain is in the process of development and anything can alter a proper development. When it comes to watching too much TV, a child’s mind is becoming addicted to the state of passivity delivered by the TV.

The left hemisphere of the brain whose activity is inhibited when watching TV, will not develop normally, which will make children to be deficient in terms of logical and analytical thinking, in speech, in writing, and reading, but also in emotional relations with the others.

However, the most serious negative effects of watching too much TV are related to the prefrontal cortex disorders. The prefrontal cortex functions are those which distinguishes man from animal.

This area is a critical center in the brain with purposes in the development processes of consciousness and higher mental processes.

Affecting or even stopping the prefrontal cortex development will lead to a weaker motivation, favoring the instinctive behaviors, like aggressiveness and sexual impulses.

Children get used to watching too much TV and will not have the motivation to try understanding surrounding environment, or what is happening in the world around them.

The TV experience is not a real one in space and time, or in distances and duration, but a virtual one and children lose the possibility of learning by touching and physical manipulation of objects, which is one of the conditions of increasing knowledge, therefore structuring neural connections.

These being said, children are more affected by watching too much TV.

Watching too much TV negatively affects your brain

It is scientifically proven that the brain’s specific frequencies are altered by watching too much TV, in terms of increasing the passivity and reducing the thought processes and the analytical capabilities.

Too much TV will eventually produce addiction, and your daily schedule will be planned depending on your favorite TV shows.

On the other hand, the children are more affected by watching too much TV because their brains are in continuous development, and the TV is not the perfect way to help them in that process due to the fact that the TV is increasing the passivity state and is lowering the analytical capabilities. Moreover, watching too much TV is affecting the left hemisphere which will not develop normally, making children to be deficient in terms of logical and analytical thinking, in speech, in writing, and reading, but also in emotional relations with the others.

In conclusion, watching too much TV negatively affects your brain, therefore you should limit the time spent in front of the TV.

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