Not ones have we heard people lament about being hooked to their television. While some attempt to eradicate the habit, the efforts can sometimes be unsuccessful due to the addictive nature of too much television viewing, which a lot of people do not realize. In Winn’s opinion, watching too much television is a real addiction because it causes an imbalance in the viewer’s life, distorts time, and it barely satisfies, regardless of the time a viewer spends watching.
In the author’s opinion, too much television viewing is an addiction because it leads to an imbalanced life among heavy viewers. Imbalanced life, in this context, implies that the viewer spends too much time on the television and less time on other tasks that are beneficial to one’s growth and development. Winn argues that such individuals are often living in a holding pattern, passing up the activities that lead to a sense of accomplishment (Lawrence 300). For example, reading books, holding meaningful conversations with others, and gardening can be fulfilling, as individuals get to learn new skills or even solve problems facing their lives. Nonetheless, many people choose to spend most of their time viewing the television, a habit that adds no value to one’s growth. Winn proceeds to argue that the unbalanced life of a heavy television viewer is synonymous with that of a drug addict (Lawrence 300). Like drug addicts, heavy television viewers are likely to choose television over beneficial activities. The fact that individuals forego essential activities to watch television leads Winn to conclude that the habit is indeed an addiction.
Furthermore, the author asserts that unregulated television viewing is an addiction because it distorts time. Most notably, Winn observes that when people develop the habit of watching too much television, they tend to view other experiences vaguely and curiously unreal (Lawrence 300). For example, it is likely for heavy television viewers to imprecisely understand the importance of seizing opportunities as they present themselves because they lack a sense of time. To a greater extent, heavy television viewers do not comprehend the criticality of life opportunities. Instead, Winn avers that many people tend to regard television viewing as the only reality (Lawrence 300). As such, the loss of sense of time about the most critical issues in a person’s life leads Winn to argue that heavy television viewing is a true addiction.
Besides creating an imbalance in a person’s life and distorting time, Winn also argues that too much television viewing is an addiction because people are never sated. Most notably, Winn observes that the habit does not provide the right nourishment that satisfaction requires (Lawrence 300). Arguably, any activity that an individual indulges in for fun may somewhat offer a sense of achievement. However, this is never the case with heavy television viewing- people continue watching for hours without being satisfied. For this reason, Winn believes that as long as television viewing does not provide a sense of satisfaction, it qualifies as an addiction.
In summary, Winn argues that too much television viewing is indeed an addiction. The author states that the addiction is exhibited by the fact that heavy viewers often experience an unbalanced life, the habit distorts time, and it never satisfies. It is clear from Winn’s argument that television is an addiction, just like drugs are an addiction to their users.
Lawrence, Kubie. Neurotic distortion and the creative process. University of Kansas Press, 1958.