Impact of Television

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When it comes to getting information about situations like what happened at Virginia Tech, most of us rely heavily on the television. Those images you watch can affect you a lot more deeply than you think.

For more than half a century, Americans have used the TV as their primary source for local and national news. Over the past two days, that's exactly what's gone across the country as the details at Virginia Tech unfold.

Plenty of folks were still watching news stations around town today. The images and the stories are sometimes just too gripping to look away. But a MCG psychologist says watching too much TV in situations like this can create fear, anxiety and can break up your false sense of invincibility. Sometimes you end up asking yourself, can it happen here?

All of that is a result of just watching TV in your living room or office.

“Exposure is an issue here. The more distressing it becomes. The images are pretty frightening. The stories are harrowing experiences that are being told,” said Dr. Alex Mabe, a psychologist at MCG.

Doctor Mabe says just from watching TV, you shouldn't experience any long-term traumatic effects. He says most people should be able to get through the stress of this situation fairly easily unless you were directly affected by it.

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