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Television viewing is a passive way of staying informed and entertained. Winn tries to identify the link between watching television and becoming addicted to it. According to Winn, addiction is the tendency to over indulge in some pleasurable activity. It becomes an addiction when it is difficult to control. The victim attempts to kick the habit with little success.
The elements of addiction include; addiction to a pleasurable habit. A victim pursues to quench this desire with an unusual intensity. This means that to the public the habit is permissible in controlled rates but become addictive when they take most of the time meant for other things.
Another element is shown whereby an addict blots out the real world and enters into a pleasurable and passive mental state. In this state, they feel that they are actually learning, participating, and gaining from the passive state.
Lack of an easy return ticket in terms of flexibility to switch into other activities at will shows another element of addiction. The victim cannot say switch off the television and start reading.
Winn uses these elements of addiction when she compares television watching to cookie eating, drug and alcohol consumption and reading.
Paragraph four shows that most television addicts are not aware that they are actually addicted. They think they are in control of their habits in the same way that drug addicts and alcohol addicts believe that they are in control. People do not realise the likelihood of addiction to the passiveness of watching television even though all other activities seem to take too much effort. They are still in denial.
By bringing out minor habits such as eating cookies, reading and other passive habits Winn creates a funnel like effect that draws all readers. Individuals are always lightly claiming to kick the habit without realising how difficult it is to kick the habit. People often overlook these minor habits and do not see that they are major problems when compared to addictions such as of alcohol and heroin.
The word addiction is used to denote a tendency to over indulge in some pleasurable activity. She leaves the reader with a question to gauge if these light habits such as watching television, eating cookies and other pleasurable habits can fall into the term addiction.
Television programmes that were educative and have in the past stirred me to worthwhile reflection include; family comedy “my wife and kids” by Warner bros, an old classic comedy named “Cross roads cafe” and the weekly real life programme “Desperate housewives”. These programmes keep me glued to the television but I cannot rate myself as an addict.
The deluded passive mentality makes one feel like a participant as if you are actually gaining something. In reality, the viewer never gains enough satisfaction. Passive reception of information from a media such a television kills the minds ability to generate new ideas. It makes the viewer to feel complete in the passive state. There is the tendency to be filled with a delusion that makes the viewer feel like a participant in the programmes.
In my opinion, Winn’s analysis is not flawed. However, it should identify types of addicts because some people are only glued for some minutes to a certain program while others will sit the whole day. Winn’s research should also offer more insights into both the short term and long-term effects of watching television.
The study should explain why some people are never addicted into television while others are easily glued no matter what programme is going on. There should be a detailed scientific explanation on the possible link between addiction and intelligence. These should explain all other factors involved with addiction.