After just 30 seconds of watching television the brain begins to produce alpha waves which indicates torpid (almost comatose) rates of activity. When you watch TV, brain activity switches from the left to the right hemisphere. In fact, experiments conducted by researcher Herbert Krugman showed that while viewers are watching television, the right hemisphere is twice as active as the left, a neurological anomaly. The crossover from left to right releases a surge of the body's natural opiates: endorphins, which include beta-endorphins and enkephalins. Endorphins are structurally identical to opium and its derivatives (morphine, codeine, heroin, etc.). Activities that release endorphins (also called opioid peptides) are usually habit-forming (we rarely call them addictive). These include cracking knuckles, strenuous exercise, and orgasm.
External opiates act on the same receptor sites (opioid receptors) as endorphins, so there is little difference between the two.In addition to its devastating neurological effects, television can be harmful to your sense of self-worth, your perception of your environment , and your physical health. Recent surveys have shown that 75% of American women think they are overweight, likely the result of watching chronically thin actresses and models four hours a day.
Television has also spawned a "culture of fear" in the U.S. and beyond, with its focus on the limbic brain-friendly sensationalism of violent programming. Studies have shown that people of all generations greatly overestimate the threat of violence in real life. This is no shock because their brains cannot discern reality from fiction while watching TV. Television is bad for your body as well. Obesity, sleep deprivation, and stunted sensory development are all common among television addicts.
The nearest analogy to the addictive power of television and the transformation of values that is wrought in the life of the heavy user is probably heroin.~ Terence McKenna