The lead article in this week’s On Target is by Arnie and Beata Luks on television as the opiate of the masses, and that is certainly true. In fact, I found this article which indicates that the metaphor is perhaps even more appropriate than the dynamic duo thought:
“People over-50 who watch more than three-and-a-half hours of television a day are more at risk of memory loss, research suggests. A study of more than 3,600 older adults revealed watching too many soaps, documentaries or reality shows reduces their ability to recall words by up to ten per cent. Overindulging in your favourite shows could trigger a 'cognitive stress' that leads to memory loss, the researchers claim. It may also take away from activities that keep older people sharp, such as reading or playing educational games online. The research was carried by University College London and led by Dr Daisy Fancourt, senior research associate in the department of behavioural science and health. 'There has been interest for over a decade in the effect of television viewing behaviours on cognition, but much of this literature has concentrated on children,' Dr Fancourt said. 'Much less attention has been paid to the effects of television viewing at the other end of the lifespan, despite it being hypothesised for over 25 years that watching excessive television could contribute to the development of dementia.'