Your parents might have been too late
By the time your parents were telling you that TV will rot your brain, it may have already been too late (whoops). In 2001, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a policy statement outlining the seemingly endless dangers of media exposure to infants and toddlers. Among the potentially long-term risks backed by 46 scientific studies are delayed language development and slow cognitive processing.
As if cognitive destruction isn’t scary enough, a recent study revealed that excessive TV can actually increase the gray matter of a child’s brain. This sounds pretty awesome until you find out it comes with a decrease in IQ. Womp womp. On the flip side, a separate study revealed that reading has the opposite effect, so go ahead and pat yourself on the back for making it this far into an internet article.
TV: your first addiction
Dr. Steven Sussman, Professor of Preventative Medicine and Psychology at USC, adds that TV is especially dangerous for kids since it can easily become their (see: your) “first addiction.” So if you’ve ever jokingly called TV your drug of choice, you’re making less of a joke than you might think.
Among Dr. Sussman’s research is a comprehensive review of behavioral addictions, with TV making the top of the list. Just like that sweet angel dust, watching TV can release a flood of endorphins, seducing you into blissful submission, and leaving you hungry for more the moment you stop. Like any good addiction, your brain forgets how to operate without the drug -- you’ll always need just one more hit of Kimmy Schmidt before you go to bed.