In today’s production driven society, entertainment tends to be considered a low priority, but everyone needs a certain dose of it on a regular basis. Television is by far the most popular form of entertainment. To be considered entertainment, an activity must allow the person to become completely absorbed and focused on the task. It must take then away from their daily grind mentally and leave them feeling refreshed and rested mentally when they are finished. Studies on entertainment support the necessity of entertainment as a need that must be filled. This essay will support the thesis that a lack of entertainment is dangerous for a person’s well-being.
Evidence was found that people can develop a true biological addiction to media and that produces a feeling of relaxation. This relaxation continues for a short time after the entertainment, in this case television, was removed (Hotchkiss). The study group reported that after a period of television watching, they felt depleted, and less alert. They reported trouble concentrating. By contrast, those that engage in entertainment such as active sports or hobbies, people report feeling an improved mood and ability to concentrate (Hotchkiss). Yet, people will continue to watch television for hours, even though they find that it has a negative impact on their mood (Hotchkiss), just like any other addiction. The television has negative physical consequences, but people remain drawn to it. It was found that men have a greater need for entertainment than women do (Hotchkiss).
All living creatures need food, water, shelter, and air to breathe. These needs are basic to all species. However, the human has a need that goes beyond these basics of survival; they have a need for thought and logic (Arjuna). Human activities can be classified into several basic categories. They are activities in pursuit of gain, leisure, and in search of knowledge (Arjuna). Humans are usually engaged in the pursuit of one of these items. The need for leisure and pleasure is a biological need, just as essential as sleep (Arjuna). Leisure activities give the mind a break so it can rest and recover (Arjun). A person can become so involved in the pursuit of leisure activities that it feels rested and relaxed. In this sense, entertainment is as essential as sleep in stopping the thoughts and allowing the relaxation to regenerate and restore the brain (Hotchkiss).
The negative effects of stress on the body and mind is well documented in our society. One only needs to look around at the number of people with chronic disease, depression, and anxiety disorders to see that we have become a society that has forgotten the value of entertainment. One can find thousands of articles on the effects of stress and ways to distress. Stress leads to a buildup of cortisol in the body, which has many negative effects (Pope). Entertainment helps a person to relax, which lowers cortisol levels and its harmful effects.
This all leads to one conclusion. Entertainment is a need that many of us could use more of on a daily basis. Too much work and stress leads to a build-up of hormones and biochemicals that can have long-term consequences on the body and mind. Entertainment and leisure activities help to lower these stress induced hormones, leading to a body and mind that are refreshed and ready for another round of productivity. Evidence presented in this essay supports the thesis that entertainment is a basic human need that is just as important as food and water. It is easy to become so caught up on activity that we forget to allow ourselves the time to relax and recover. Research also found that vegetating in front of television might not be as entertaining and good for us as more physical or thoughtful activities. The bottom line is that scheduling in time for entertainment every day is an important element in maintaining health.