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TV watching can harm relationships 
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., Jan 23, 2007 (UPI via COMTEX) -- A Purdue University professor in West Lafayette, Ind., says chronic television watching can be harmful to the development of a relationship.

"Some forms of technology, such as cell phones or e-mail, can help relationships survive long distances or busy schedules," said Glenn Sparks, professor of communication at the university and mass media effects expert. "But other uses, such as chronic television watching, can affect how people communicate in relationships or even keep people from making friends.

"There may be programs we like to watch together, and this is good, but there is a concern that a television that is always on interferes with how we communicate," Sparks said.

The professor said a reduced amount of talking, listening and eye contact takes place in rooms with TVs on. Sparks suggested that friends and couples make plans to do other activities besides watch TV, such as taking a walk, planning a vacation or playing a game.

"Making a change can mean more than just turning the television off," he said.

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