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Remotely Controlled: How Television is Damaging Our Lives - and What We Can Do About it [Paperback]

Dr. Aric Sigman
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 6 Oct 2005 --  

Book Description

6 Oct 2005
The figures are frightening: Britons currently spend an average of four hours a day watching television - that's more than a 24-hour day per week. Television has become our national obsession: it is our main source of common experience; it affects the way we think and act and, according to psychologist and broadcaster Dr Aric Sigman, its hold over our lives is so significant that in some families, the television has greater influence over children than parents do. In this insightful and shockingly perceptive assessment of our nation's relationship with the small screen, Dr Aric Sigman reveals for the first time the alarming reality of what television is actually doing to us physically, emotionally, intellectually and socially. He provides evidence as to how television contributes to the rising global obesity rate by actually slowing our metabolic rate; stunts our children's brain development; and is responsible for over half of all rapes and murders in the industrialised world. Yet, "Remotely Controlled" is much more than an indictment of the dangers of watching television. Sigman aims to draw our awareness to the glaring imbalance in our lives, and show us how we can re-establish control away from the remote control. He explores how exposure to greenery can counter the harmful effects of the screen and how replacing TV time with family and friend time will lead to happier, fuller and above all healthier lives. This book is a compelling read which will cause us all to take a step back and reassess our viewing habits.

Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Vermilion (6 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091902606
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091902605
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.4 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 985,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Compelling." -- Independent on Sunday

"compelling. Sigman might inspire his own brand of TV dementia: sets thrown wildly from ... windows, Aerosmith-style, while whole neighbourhoods applaud." -- The Independent, on Sunday 5* review

'compelling' -- Independent on Sunday

Book Description

A startling exposé of our nation's growing addiction to television and why and how we should stop it --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strangely Liberating 11 Jan 2010
Definitely a must buy. This book has given me the courage to restrict my T.V. and internet viewing and its been one of the best decisions of my life. The author highlights papers from reputable medical journals about the harms television does to our lives in particular, our brains. Recommend ++++
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A devastating exposé of television's malignancy 17 Nov 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Every child's mind is trying to connect up with reality to get its innate needs met. This brilliant book shows what happens when television watching gets in the way of the natural developmental processes designed to ensure we develop well. It describes all the medical and psychological research that demonstrates how, by capturing children's attention mechanism, inhibiting their critical faculties and conditioning them with useless expectations, TV addiction is mindlessly destroying cultures all around the world. The effects are no less grim when adults watch more than an hour of TV a day – depression, anxiety disorders, obesity, attention disorders and the rise in crime and violence are all linked to the introduction of TV. It literally damages the brain, but, like all addicts, we are largely unaware of the true situation and probably will remain so until it is too late. And, as with the drugs industry, powerful vested interests, such as the BBC, try to hide the truth of what is happening in almost every home in the land. (This book is a revelation, too, about corruption in the media and the lack of respect TV producers have for viewers.)
If you care about mental health, turn off the TV and read this book. Then tell anyone you care about to read it, especially if they have children.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish everyone would read this book 21 Sep 2010
This book has been literally life changing for our family. We read it at book club and the people that actually bothered to read it all agreed how amazing the book was. However, there were certain people who had pre-judged the book and refused to read it. I guess they are not willing to change. Boy are they missing out.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I have a two and half year old Son and was drawn to read this book, as I have also two other children twenty years older who were raised when childrens' t.v. did not really exist.
Everyone, should read this book, it is both fascinating and compelling and I challenge anyone who reads it not to find it changes how they see that box that sits in the corner of all our sitting rooms, (and more to the point in our bedrooms and our childrens bedrooms!).The book is extremely easy to read and the facts and research referred to give information that is simply 'jaw-dropping'.
When I finished this book I stopped my son viewing any t.v. at all. He was two and a quarter and not speaking at all, for which we were concerned. Within two weeks he suddenly started talking. You might say this was a happy coincidence, but I urge you to read this book and judge for yourself. Incidentally I lent this book to my 25 year old daughter who has two sons. She rang me having finished it and said 'Mum I wish I had a £1000 to spare, I would buy as many copies of this book as I can and leave it everywhere for people to read'.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
This is an excellent book. The TV is damaging people and society in general. Children are especially at risk for it stunts their brain's development. BBC on-line dismisses the results of modern medical research regarding the harmful effect of the TV. However who would you rather believe the TV companies or scientific research? Dr Sigman writes clearly and well in this life changing book. Everyone should read this book. All I can say is give up the TV and Get a life.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening 12 April 2006
By New Mum
I have a seven month old son, and have not allowed him to be in the room when the television is turned on. At a few weeks old in particular I noticed how when the television was turned on, he would become mesmerised and begin ignoring everything else. But I would try to snatch opportunities to view whilst he was asleep. Since I started reading this book, my television viewing has been slashed, and now on completion, I have become more aware of the effects TV is having whilst watching - physiological as well as psychological. For example, in a drama I was watching yesterday, a person was standing at a cliff edge about to jump off and I noticed my own palms becoming sweaty.

This book systematically goes through the evidence and Sigman draws clear conclusions. The tone is balanced and therefore avoids sounding patronising. And its also very easy reading.

This book really is life-changing. As a reviewer below suggested, 'turn off the TV and read this book. Then tell anyone you care about to read it, especially if they have children'!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truely Brilliant 12 Jan 2010
The book clearly explains why television is dangerous and how dangerous it actually is. Sigman is taking evidence from brain research, biology, archeology and neurology.

Essentially his argument is that
a) Television works very much like hypnosis and essentially produces a reduction of our frontal lobs responsible for critical thinking,
b) that it is particularly dangerous for children under three. Their brain is still forming and requires an environment that makes the children move, speak and think. Television is not doing any of this.
c) furthermore it produces a "pseudo social group" and false social reference patterns. This not only destroys a lot of local culture but causes bolemy with girls, men and women who have a false sense of their bodies. Females going splashing out on clothes, men just thinking of model type bodies.

These are the most important facts that I can remember after reading the book a couple of months ago. The book is clearly well written and a good read for anybody whose neurons have not yet been fried by television.

After reading the book I have dramatically reduced my television time and found this a very pleasant change of my live.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Remotely Controlled: How television is damaging our lives
An excellent lessons for all those who use the television as babysitters
or have got into the habit of slouching in front of the goggle box. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mr. Royce Lindsey-noble, Mrs Lindsey-noble
5.0 out of 5 stars A favourite subject....
I thought I was the weird one when I gave up television some years back, but, it appears there is a concerted effort to show the down sides of regular watching. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Inquisio
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye-opening
Very interesting and enlightening to how TV is being unconsciously absorbed and how TV, as a medium in itself, is so destructive to children's brain development. Read more
Published 18 months ago by ellie
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read
Everyone who has children must read this book. TV is becoming a member of the family in almost every home yet people have no awareness of what this 'harmless educator' is doing to... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Dee
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking
Mind control! Had to re-read it three times straight off, no wonder the world is full of Sheeple, mindless muppets!
Published 21 months ago by sally baker
5.0 out of 5 stars How watching tv damages you
This is a very interesting book about the damaging effects of watching television.

I am going to try to give up the tv based on the appalling statistic that on average... Read more
Published 22 months ago by K. Prygodzicz
5.0 out of 5 stars Book
This was recommended to me. Very interesting and very scary to read. Amazing facts and some interesting stuff it you have children or just want to change your TV habits! Read more
Published on 12 Aug 2012 by W. Gaskell
5.0 out of 5 stars The shocking truth
This book is a must read and reveals the shocking influence (for the worse) that television has on our lives. Read more
Published on 26 Jun 2012 by Rainbow Flyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I enjoyed the book! Tv is out of my family life now. We had to put it in the shed, as just switching it off didn't work. Read more
Published on 16 Jun 2010 by M. Markiz
4.0 out of 5 stars Shocking but Compelling
This book, by Dr Aric Sigman (an American psychologist, biologist, broadcaster and author who lives in Britain), is a shocking, yet compelling, look at the impact of Television on... Read more
Published on 8 May 2010 by M Jenkins
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