The impact of the computer and television on the human’s physical and psychical health condition
One of the present priorities should be the youth’s condition and the measures that need to be taken in order to solve the teenagers’ problems. A nation cannot concern itself with its future without educating the youth, who actually represent the future. Mass-media have a great influence on the modern teenager because young people from present live in an era of technology where TV and computer have become indispensable in each house.
For many children they represent only ways of entertainment used for games, music, movies or surfing on the Internet. But more often they are used as ways to escape from the daily life when they experience problems or states as anxiety, depression, lack of hope, guilt and not few are the children that choose to spend their spare time in front of a computer, sometimes even forgetting to eat, instead doing activities adequate for their age.
“The one that lights your body is your eye. When your eye is clean, then your body is illuminated; but when your eye is not clean, then your entire body is darkened. So, make sure that the light inside you is not darkness.”
From all the communication means, television has the biggest impact on our lives. Television gives hope and help to those that have suffered misfortunes. TV-shows that present natural disasters stimulate us to offer or help. But, mostly, TV ousts the barriers between countries, being an open window towards the entire world. The psychologists say that 90% percent of the information a person receives about reality are perceived visually. We can also say that images have a major role in personality shaping.
All we see has a direct impact on human psychology (consciously or unconsciously, direct or indirect). Television, internet, computer and cinemas have the greatest visual influence of all. While watching TV, the human being forms a psychology of a passive consumer. He is receptive (willingly or not), by a subtle message to the idea of the freedom of choice, even if this choice is almost nonexistent. The person that comes back home, tired from school, work, etc. becomes a passive receptor in front of the television set, taking over, without even knowing it, the message he has just heard. The state of mind in which the person becomes easily influenced is similar to a state of hypnosis that profoundly changes the personality at a subconscious level.
The consequences upon the cortical activity and the affective life are major: the audio-video technology has multiple negative effects upon the development and function of the human brain. In front of the screen, the cortical activity is completely different than the regular one. Regarding small children, the influence can be definitive concerning the brain’s response to the challenges of the real world; the way in which the information is processed changes. While watching TV, the activity of the left hemisphere dramatically reduces, the connection between the hemispheres is almost nonexistent, the development of and function of the prefrontal cortex is affected. Unwanted pursues of excessive TV-watching emerge also from the lack of physical activities, sports, games and other creative actions done outside.
The use of just one hand for the remote control/mouse correlates with the decrease of creativity, of dexterity, and it is well known, that these elements and the progress and maintenance of intellectual capacities are strictly related. Television and computers, indubitable, represent a huge progress of mankind: informing, training, educating. Still, we must join those that draw attention upon unwanted consequences of this kind of entertainment. The child’s health deteriorations can be severe on the long run, some of them having a major importance on their adult life, and even upon future generations. The smaller the child, the bigger the repercussions of excessive TV-watching are.
The computer has lately become an irrefutable presence in the people’s life. It belongs to the field of evidence that nowadays in absolutely every field, from the practical to the theoretical ones, the computer has become indispensable only for one reason: its efficiency. It is true that a lot of activities could be done without the computer, but they would be less time-efficient. The rapidity with which the events from take place make people turn to the computer in order to help them adapt to the changes, no matter how reluctant towards it they might be.
The computer programs appeal to a very wide variety of users, with ages beginning with 2-3 years. Therefore, children can be initiated into the world of computers from very young ages, the main purpose of the programs they use being educational. But the possibilities that the computer offer to the parents are unlimited. The new strategies of promoting the use of computer among children send the message: “The computer, the children’s friend “, or “The computer saves you from the children’s noise and foolishness“. These messages aren’t untrue because the computer offers the possibility of accessing not only educational programs for children, but also attractive games and other recreation programs. Frequently, the given alternative is much more convenient both for parents as for children.
Computer games are generally based on stories specific for a certain children age so that the things seen by a child when he reads a story come to life on the computer screen in a form that outruns his expectations. Furthermore, a chance to control the lives of his heroes is given to the child. This is how the risks of using the computer begin to show up. Recent studies show that people who spend a lot of time in front of the computer end up by having a lot of different problems.
The limitation of the computer’s use is not always possible because for many it is a work instrument. In this category are included especially the grown-ups, but for children and teenagers the computer represents a way of recreation and in most of the cases it seizes their whole spare time. Indeed, the benefits brought by the computer in the daily life cannot be disputed, but more and more people, especially children and teenagers, tend to use the computer beyond these benefits: efficiency and adaptability. The risk of using the computer in excess appears, which has serious consequences on the user’s physical and physical health condition. The problems begin to show up with the inadequate use of computer.
Using the computer for more than 3-4 hours a day may cause problems such as temporary myopia, headaches, clouded sight, irritated or dry eyes, increased light sensitivity, double vision or severe back, neck or wrist aches. On the other hand, mentally, the subject may become addicted. Addiction to Internet/computer is described as a pathological form in DSM IV-TR, along with pathological gambling addictions as a failure to control certain impulses. Some authors describe this form of addiction as "Just a minute" after the answer subjects give when asked to leave the Internet or shut down the PC (Wieland, 2005). But labeling excessive computer use as addictive generates controversy. This is because, unlike most addictions, using the PC is generally encouraged. It is also presumed that most of the times addictive behavior possesses a threat to social order, fact that doesn't apply to computers, despite the negative feedback (Charlton, 2002).
We ask ourselves, however: does the PC determine all of these negative effects or are they marks of one's personality traits, which forces him to take refuge in PC-based activities, due to pre-existent personality defects? What determines some people to spend all their time on a PC while others are open to outdoor activities or other such alternatives? Based on this premise, psychologist Claudia-Cornelia Ghibus has conducted certain research activities trying to determine if, in fact, the computer can be considered a compensation of certain negative personality traits.
After the research, certain hypothesis regarding and sustaining the existence of differences between the level of nervousness, inhibition, excitability and emotional liabilities depending on the grade of PC-usage have been confirmed. Thus, people corresponding to excessive computer usage show above average values of these scales, teen-agers with moderate computer usage prove moderation and people with limited PC-usage-below average values of these scales. We can say that excessive computer use has an evident impact on the subject's state of nervousness in a negative and deteriorating way. The main states accused by subjects come in aid of the theory: irritability, severe head-aches, sight deterioration, dizziness, fatigue, physical and mental deterioration. Furthermore, people who use the PC excessively are highly irritable, show a low tolerance to frustration and are under permanent state of inner tension dominated by lack of patience and rest. The computer acts as an agent by which they release all of these inner states, but in the same time makes them ever more potent due to the negative effect on health. Such people are shier, show physical discomfort, doubt, vulnerability and irritation.
Regarding the personality complexes, psychologists noticed certain important differences concerning the depth of complexes between those that frequently use the computer and those that occasionally use it, in the sense that those that use it a lot have bigger complexes, compared to the others. The computer becomes a way to compensate for personality complexes. It becomes an interface between the individual and others, or between the individual and other activities that could activate his complexes and make him feel inadequate. The computer takes the role of a vent through which the individual manifests his frustrations either by playing games, or by spending a significant amount of time doing unproductive activities.
Unfortunately, today it is one of the most commonly used ways to spend free time for teenagers. The psychologists’ role is to guide the parents, children and teenagers as well as possible to alternative ways of leisure, and thus making them conscious of their needs and feelings, to get in touch with them, to be able to face their inner and outer conflicts in an adequate manner, by confronting them. The activities we have just presented, related to computers, can only lead to the blocking of inner resources and deterioration of the healthy communicating capacities.