Friday, May 07, 2004

Too much TV makes me nervous

Salon today has a reaction to the study of a few weeks ago connecting TV watching to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The media were not content to announce merely that an activity enjoyed in 98 percent of American homes, according to the Census Bureau, has been associated with a neurobiological disorder. . . They took the concept an alarming step further.

Most of the article demonstrates the sort of confounding factors that lead to confusing correlation and causation.

Should I let Helena watch television? How much? What kind? What if I ruin her, create a monster?

One expert assures me it's OK to feel guilt: "Being a parent is the most profound moral responsibility anybody has. If you didn't feel guilty 90 percent of the time, you wouldn't be a moral person." But she doesn't say it's OK to watch TV.

If only someone would definitively say TV is bad for you. Then the government could intervene for the sake of the children, for everybody's well-being, and confiscate all our television sets. That would be much easier.

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