CHILDREN & TELEVISION
By Paul Kuronya
The effects of television on the human organism have been documented since the late 1950’s, yet very little has been done about it. Television as an art/ information etc. medium is completely unrelated to the world in which children live, offering dead images that require no involvement or interaction, creating a lulling of their awareness while allowing half conscious images to penetrate deep into the child’s unconscious soul life. These unconscious images can resurface much later and manifest as behavioural and learning difficulties, poor attentiveness, nervousness, lack of discipline and a lack of motivation.
The technical process involved to bring television into the lounge room quite literally tears us (inwardly) apart. Television emits 25 separate images per second that bombard children with information their senses are unable to digest. These images from the outer world create frustration for the child’s inner world, resulting in uneasiness, nervousness and at times aggressive, antisocial behaviour. These images on our screen are made up of concentrated light spots that shatter the child’s soul as they attempt to process the information their senses have received. While watching television we are also condemned to keep still; this in its self is not a natural state for children. This stillness affects the whole being, even our eyes. When our eyes function normally they search for harmony and a sense of completion that is then offered to our whole organism. We then unite with what we are seeing and respond to it accordingly. Our eyes are constantly adjusting to changes in light, colour, movement and focal distance,. However with television, we view from a fixed distance and with the constantly changing images, our eyes become paralysed into a frozen stare and our soul has no connection with the images presented.
The vegetative state adapted while watching television also interferes with the child’s sense of movement. Our sense of movement determines how we go through life and helps direct our decision making process. We become aware of our movement not from the outside but from an inner experience that gives the possibility for a healthy soul and later in life, moral freedom. When a child runs, jumps or plays with a ball, their sense of movement is fully involved (this hidden from their consciousness). What we do see is their sense of movement shining outward and creating a sense of freedom in the child. Later in life, what we perceive as a healthy, free soul comes from our sense of movement radiating the muscles natural movements of expansion and contraction into our soul (this is one of the reasons why eurythmy is such an important part of our curriculum). Television works against this by destroying the child’s ability to experience and work with the outer world, creating a barrier between the child and the world in which they live. During this vegetative state children become addicted to pictures that deny them an inner experience, thus television introduces children to the same effect as that provided by narcotics.
The child’s natural development can be severely harmed through exposure to television. Their senses of touch, life, movement and balance (this relates to the concept of twelve senses, not five) are the child’s foundations for future development. If early sense development is harmed through watching television, other senses will also suffer. Children today are losing their natural sense of warmth, becoming old before their time and developing an attitude of coldness to the world in which they live. Once this happens, the child’s undeveloped ego cannot grow, their originality and creativity will atrophy, leaving them vulnerable to negative impulses. The developing child needs to feel supported as they grow, to be able to develop healthy sense perceptions and nurture a sense of sympathy for the outer world through which the young ego can develop, thus preparing a strong foundation for life. Television, although fun and entertaining, creates a lower realm of fantasy for the child that they take deep into their soul and reproduce/imitate in their play. This imitation is an outer sign of what is resonating deep in the child’s developing organs.