THE PLUG-IN DRUG by Marie Winn


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Television, already blamed for everything from aggression to zero population growth, takes it on the chin again. Winn argues that just watching TV--regardless of the program's content--is especially harmful to preschool children learning to speak (and needing verbal exchanges), and cumulatively injurious to schoolchildren, stifling imaginative play and undermining reading skills. She likens the habit to drug addiction and acknowledges that parents get hooked into using it as pacifier and babysitter. Is the zombie-like state (along with meditation) a right-hemisphere activity, and could regular passivity deny the left hemisphere the logical stimulation it needs? Could constant watching cause the brain to atrophy? Has family life already been altered by it? When raising such possibilities (many familiar from popular magazines), Winn is quick to cite some source that supports her contention, although she knows the ""research"" is neither controlled nor comprehensive and her interview sample is skewed. Nevertheless, her charges are by no means captious, and her middlebrow approach may find that audience that's turned off the tube and tuned in to different channels.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1976
Publisher: Grossman/Viking