Television is a form of media that is not social in nature, as a screen is not the equivalent to an interaction with another person. Christakis and Garrison (2009) examined the amount of time preschool students at daycare viewed TV. Time spent watching TV minimized interactions with other students and teachers, taking away from valuable exposure to peers and social situations. Further, negative developmental effects, such as attention problems and antisocial behaviors, were associated with long amounts of viewing time (Christakis & Garrison, 2009).
Programs that involve on screen interactions were shown to be more beneficial than casual viewing. Richert, Robb, and Smith (2016) observed that children were more likely to learn or retain information on screen if they interacted with the program. Children that watch interactive shows with opportunities to connect and relate to on screen characters are more likely to retain material than passive viewers (Richert, Robb, & Smith, 2016). However, Anderson and Pempek (2005) found in similar programs only small amounts of material were remembered. These findings indicate that TV shows alone, even if interactive, cannot provide the same de...
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...has on how they interact with media in the future should be examined. Further, the application of information learned on screen to the real world should be looked at. How long children retain the information they learn would be important for future learning skills. Further examination into the socially interactive programs will help with the future direction of technology and how it can benefit or hinder children’s ability to learn from social relationships.
Although strategies such as parental interaction while viewing is beneficial and has shown results, TV should not replace learning from parents or others. While some media interactions can be beneficial, they will not offer the same experience as social learning. Understanding the social limitations of screen learning can help parents decide how to approach TV shows and ensure their child is benefitting socially.
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