12 Little-Known Ways that Television Stifles Spiritual Awakening

You probably already know that watching television is the world’s most popular leisure activity.

In the 1970s it was uncommon for kids to watch TV before the age of four, now it’s uncommon for kids not to be watching TV when they’re four months old. In the developed world, 99% of houses have a television and 66% of homes have three or more sets.

TV has been proven to increase cravings for junk food, and increase the likelihood of becoming overweight, being bullied, underperforming at school, being inactive, and becoming prone to misbehaviour. Every hour you spend in front of a TV takes 22 minutes off your life; that means you’ll die five years earlier if you watch six hours of television a day.

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About David Arkyn

David has a deep interest in spiritual development, but has discovered there are many forces in the world working to keep people asleep. His recent interest has been researching the psychological tactics and techniques used to limit people's spiritual potential, writing about his discoveries here at The Conscious Reporter.


  1. I would add that the general tenor of movie and tv shows is either spiritually empty or outright spiritually dark. Lots of heart hardening violence, lots of sex, and if spiritual things are alluded to at all they are almost always, well, as close to demonic as I think you could go – dark witches, satanist, literal demons, vampires, random monsters. By this you wouldn’t get much of a glimmer there is any Light to spirituality. There are a surprisingly few exceptions.

    Now I could hold that spirituality is just seen as very real or valid by the consensus culture. But if that is so then why the dark forms of spirituality prominently featured? Yes much of it is watches as mere “entertainment”. But I don’t see how it can do anything but hurt the changes of drawing toward Light.

  2. I just Googled tv spiritual growth because we have a huge flat screen tv in our bedroom with no windows, only a skylight and it has negatively impacted my marriage, geels like we have been lockex up in a prison cell to be brainwashed. The tv is high above our bed the first thing you see upon waking demanding atttention. My husband has a ritual of switching the tv on when he come home & cannot fall asleep without it. We are Christian but i don’t see much evidence that our lives are different to any other. We don’t give as much time to prayer, spiritual growth, reading and intellectual conversations. For a long time, I couldn’t put my finger on what the problem is. Tv subtally infiltrates every area of our lives through our thinking. It really is an idiot box. Whoever I visit, has the tv on, has children parked in front like little zombies. This is what Anton LaVey of the church of Satan wrote about. This was his intention: There will be one in every home brainwashing the masses. It will become the family altar, the new religion. It is suicidal causing to drift through life without resistamce without gumption standing up for right & opposing wrong. When I suggest to my husband we can read our Bible, he gives me a glazed look and carries on watching tv! I wonder if it is the abomination standing in the sacred place described in the Holy Bible. Lounges are a place of prayer and seeking God have been transformed to a place of “relaxation” centred around… you guessed it! The tv. We are being trained to passively receive in stead of actively discerning & seeking out truth. My entire family young and old have become affected aka infected. God help us all.

    • Thank you for sharing so honestly actually Grace.

      Having grown up not entirely in front of the screen but already spending a significant time in front throughout my childhood, I’ve seen in myself that its grip on me was huge! It has been a terrible and long struggle to rip myself gradually free from the addiction to entertainment in front of a screen.

      But I see that for current/future generations, influenced and brought up in front of a screen even more, and that from infancy— that the place of addiction it has within them will be too much to break.

      There will not be enough strength, nor the wish, nor the know how, for someone to switch from receiving nourishment and fulfilment from emotional entertainment— to the way of living where we get our nourishment and satisfaction from real life around us. And this goes beyond just not having ‘a life’ any more. I’m talking about the loss of a psychological way of being. Like forever being locked in a daydream. Where people will no longer be interested or able to perceive life in awareness/mindfulness. Like you know when being in a clear state in nature…. and perceiving that beauty, which is Reality. And that moment of experiencing beauty is only a hint of a perception and magical life that exists and we could have. But the ways are closing for people to feel reality, and higher realities, and spend their life ‘asleep’ in front of a tv, deaf to God’s call.

    • Thank you for sharing Grace,

      I didn’t know Anton Lavey wrote about this but of course it isn’t surprising.

  3. Great article! I completely agree with everything said. It’s amazing how much we’re indoctrinated by tv watching. Most of us grew up around a TV, so it becomes a completely normal activity. In fact, if you DON’T watch tv, you are considered weird. It seems we’re at least moving away from cable tv, reducing mindless tv watching and commercials at least. I think it will take a while, but I believe the future will have much less television.

    • It’ll be replaced with other technology that’ll give even worse results. It’s amazing how many people don’t look when they cross the road these days because they fail to look up from their mobile phones. I saw a young couple on a date once who didn’t even speak to each other at the dinner table – just looked at their phones.

  4. I woke up a few days ago 7-7 Actually
    Learning a lot about this human experience

  5. Great article and great website. Very informative. This article should be required reading for every adult in America.

  6. Great research and great information. Thanks David.

  7. Great article David!
    I particularly noticed this change in behavior you mentioned when watching the new disney film, that won an oscar too, “Frozen”. My daughter would get really angry afterwards and act like Elsa, one of the female characters that is really mean.
    I don’t think one should totally isolate oneself from the television, because you have to know what type of things affect the people around you. However you can watch it consciously and decide what will benefit you and what will not.

  8. Got rid of my TV 11 years ago and never looked back. I can relate to all the aspects you mentioned. Thanks for pointing out those Disney screenshots — creepy!

  9. Can we get you to repeat this on television please David.

  10. Agree on all counts. I don’t watch TV at all but I do catch myself caught in the new TV … the internet which can be just as damaging when misused.

    • Indeed, “TV” is in many ways synonymous with YouTube or any other internet-based video service. I haven’t owned a TV for at least eight years and am glad I don’t, but that doesn’t stop me from being at risk from the influence of those that create TV shows/ads. It’s all on the internet too.

      There are great points in the article about the psychological effects of passivity and viewing negative programs. We all face these issues every time we go online, so it’s important to be mindful of them.

  11. Great Article. I can see how easily I get trapped watching mindless rubbish on TV. It really is, as my friend calls it ‘the poor mans meditation’.

    Time to cut it out of my life once again thanks for the reminder, great article

  12. Thanks Dave very interesting, I also see the same things happening with computers, the internet and more so the smart phones, were people think there doing well not watching TV yet will spend countless hours on these other devices looking at rubbish

  13. The way TV is used is bad. But Tv is not bad. It’s an amazing invention and could be used for the benefit of society.

  14. What a well-written and well-presented article David, thank you very much for this.

    That Versace commercial is shocking. It’s incredible they can show something so blatantly, like they don’t even bother hiding what they’re doing, just presenting it as a cool and fashionable thing, and everyone will gobble it up.

    I regret it but I pretty much grew up in front of the screen. As a young child it wasn’t a big problem (and the kids’ shows weren’t as disturbing as they are now anyway), and we got to spend lots of time playing out in nature. It was in my teenage years that I must have watched 6 hours of tv per day. It was an addiction for sure, and sometimes I wonder if it ruined my brain. I have this feeling of just watching the events of life, that I can’t affect them, and it is very problematic to try to solve problems or look for solutions. It’s like a problem solving switch doesn’t even exist in my mind. I can look at a painting for instance and not understand what is going on in it or what its theme is unless someone tells me. It’s like the edge of my mind has been dulled down.

    I gave up tv completely years ago. I started to abhor the feeling of numbness and dizziness it gave me. I do watch interesting documentaries and things online though. My partner and I actually were going to watch something online a little while ago, but couldn’t make the computer work. I felt disappointed, but we decided to sit outside with a blanket and a cup of tea, and watch the stars together. It was wonderful, and we saw a shooting star (I rarely see them)! Definitely beats the late night shows….

  15. I got through 45 seconds of the most random episode ever and had to stop. Way too crazy–it’s just repulsive.

    When I taught elementary school I observed the emotional intelligence aspect that you mentioned. Children would mimic behaviors and language they saw regularly on their favorite TV shows, including aggressiveness and lack of care/ understanding for others. It’s actually shocking what passes for children’s entertainment now.

    Thanks for a great article, David.

  16. Another well written and researched article – thank you. This site is an incredible project, thanks to all involved.

    One thing I’ve noticed with TV show or movies is that they carry on in my thoughts the next day. If I watch a show at night then in the morning when trying to be aware while making breakfast etc I find the show/movie constantly “playing” in my mind. It definitely makes being mindful harder for me.

  17. Thank you very much David for looking into this. Actually, I have just recently started to dig deeper into the “Disney agenda” too, and there definitely is something very nasty going on, including subliminal sexual messages, emotional brainwashing and other horrible things, just like the mother in the link you posted found out. The reason that made me look into all this was actually similar as hers, as I also noticed that the behavior of my 8-year old niece always changes after she watches a good portion of Disney shows. She becomes very artificial, talking with a weird accent as if she was on a show, being rude and exaggerated in general.
    I talked to her a bit about that and also about some other movies which I consider weird, and she kind of listened and even asked what kind of movies are OK to watch then, but it was hard for me to say, as I don’t have such an overview of everything that’s there. I realized how hard it must be for them, to distinguish wrong from good today, when there is so much darkness in everything and they don’t have much experience. There are also some more indirect things in the movies or fairy-tales, for example so many monsters presented as normal characters today, various skulls and crazy looking entities or a gloomy atmosphere. The famous “Monster High” is just one example.

  18. David, Great article! Although many of us know the huge detriment to life that is ‘TV’ it’s wonderful to see it all put together here and thoroughly researched. Your sources are great. I particularly liked the new info I learned about the ‘reptilian brain’. Yeeeesshhh! Spookie. I’m glad to have been a TV free household now for 8 yrs +.

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