As much as I would love to take credit for the piece here, I cannot. I opened my email this morning and found the following thoughtful colloquy on the effects of watching television by my brother, Zachary Hutchins. He’s a writer and educator, helping his wife to raise three small boys while living in the wild west.
Prophets and apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have long warned that watching television can have a detrimental impact on our lives. In 1989, Elder M. Russell Ballard warned about the deleterious effects of watching inappropriate material on television, while also acknowledging that “Philo T. Farnsworth, back in 1927, must surely have been inspired of the Lord to develop this remarkable medium of communication” (Seriously–go check out the link; it’s the most extensive General Conference talk ever given on the subject, and the picture is priceless). So saying that “TV is bad for you” is less than revelatory.
Researchers at the University of Maryland have just released a new study that is a little more nuanced.