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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Doubtful news alert: TV watching linked with criminal activity

Researchers last week succeeded in fueling the fire for more freshman composition papers when they revealed that excessive TV watching may lead to an increase in the potential for criminal behavior.

“The study, published in the journal ‘Pediatrics,’ identified that children and adolescents who spend an excessive amount of time watching television are more likely to express antisocial behaviors, as well as involve themselves in criminal activity when they are adults,” according to Medical News Today.

In other fake studies that I’m just now making up, excessive reality television increases the likelihood of sorority girls saying “We should totally have our own TV show” when they mistake drinking for being interesting. People who watch AMC’s “The Walking Dead” are 100 times more likely to post annoying Facebook statuses about upcoming episodes than people who don’t watch the show. And anyone in a sorority who watches “The Walking Dead” will never be my friend, if or when she reads this article.

For anyone familiar with B.F. Skinner or Albert Bandura (remember the experiment with the angry kids and the Bobo doll?), these kinds of studies are nothing new. Though, as the medium continues to reinvent itself, I supposed we can expect to see these theories tested time and time again.

However, for our researchers, I will award my own seal of credibility if they can identify which television shows inspired the actions of our state’s unofficial mascot of criminal activity: Twitter’s “Florida Man.”

For example, earlier this week, a man stabbed his roommate with a box cutter for buying “too little drugs.” Try as I might, I do not remember that episode of “Friends.”

As bizarre as the love hexagon becomes on “How I Met Your Mother,” there has yet to be an episode in which the main character Ted Mosby lights a woman’s car on fire and is found later by police having sex with her on the beach.

What the study fails to mention is that the definition of “criminal behavior” is extremely broad.

In Florida, it’s a crime to wear socks and sandals.

It could be as innate as peeing on the side of a building, or as bizarre as being issued a citation for riding a dying sperm whale.

If the study wants to associate itself with the criminal behavior of our fellow Florida residents, they should start making stranger television. Aside from “The Walking Dead,” I would probably watch that.

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