Television is influencing a significant effect on society and culture. It is a crucial part of our society. However, its popularity grew leaps and bounds due to various reasons. But the important thing is its satisfaction of instant gratification. Television is omnipresent. For some, it represents the only window open to the world. According to others, it constitutes a severe threat to our culture. The advantages and disadvantages of this little magic box are many. In this article, we’ll highlight the pros and cons of television.
Let’s first look at the positive aspects of the issue.
Influence of Television
Television brings a revolutionary change in the world. It has set itself an essential instrument for culture and knowledge. We can say that TV saves us from detouring to the cinema. We don’t need to be constantly on the move to see a new film. It is the famous “cinema in slippers.” Seeing Rambo at home is, for some, the height of comfort.
Moreover, we can add that the small screen offers us a fun hobby, entertainment, or relaxation after a long day of stress. The viewer has to put in less effort than reading a book, for example. Follow “Les Miserable” on the small screen less tired brains than to “tap” the 1500 pages of Victor Hugo every night after work.
Besides, the TV channels have a significant advertising medium that can raise the economy and create jobs. A society like the CLT has done a lot for the reputation and economy of the Grand Duchy.
Finally, and this is the most critical argument, television informs us of what is happening in the world, and also, it educates us. Indeed, what could be more instructive than good television news on “n-TV” or an educational program like Telekolleg?
The Negative Aspects of Television
First, it must be said that it is a passive medium. The viewer is subject to stupidity and progressive stupefaction. Devoid of any critical spirit, it quickly becomes the object of televisual manipulation. He no longer thinks he “swallows” everything presented to him.
Overall, all of the studies cited by the author reveal a poor influence of television on cognition, language, sociability, or health-related to physical inactivity. Prolonged exposure to TV screens would increase the risk of school failure, tobacco use, alcohol, the occurrence of eating disorders, and obesity. The TV has detrimental effects on body image representation and encourages risky sexual behavior. For example, the study reveals an hour a day of television in elementary school, it’s 43% of “opportunity” to leave school without qualifications.
A study shows that one hour of violent programs in kindergarten would boost the probability of the appearance of anti-social behavior in elementary school (cheating, indiscipline, etc.).
In addition, let’s not forget that we are dealing with individual media. Everyone is fascinated by the cathode ray tube and forgets what surrounds it. This may cause a deterioration of family life besides the disputes caused by disagreement over the evening program.
Also, doctors say that watching TV too often harms health. The viewer’s eyes suffer. Eating potato chips, chocolate, and other high-calorie products motionlessly may increase weight. Some can no longer live without TV. Hence, it’s a real drug on which they are addicted. During a power failure, these people are literally “in need”.
Last but not least, many critics criticize television channels for broadcasting too many Violent scenes. Frantic and intense scenes are the major cause of behavioral changes and aggressiveness among youngsters. For sociologists, this film brutality is a major cause of youth violence today. Violent crime is unimportant. Murder becomes a habit. Statistics have shown that an average 16-year-old American has watched 40,000 television murders since birth.
Relationship between Television and Culture
Relations between television and mass culture can be considered through four periods in the history of television:
- The first, which runs in 1960, is the founding period. It was the establishment and the invention of a television according to a cultural model.
- The second, which goes from the sixties to the eighties. In this period, television has established itself as the dominant medium;
- In the 1980s, broadcasting is structured into two sectors, private and public. It may lead to a transformation of the entire media landscape.
- The last period, since 2000, is characterized by the explosion of the audiovisual offer. Moreover, it also reports the expansion of the Internet, the initiation of Digital Terrestrial Television.
We have just seen that television, as it is today, presents far more dangers than advantages. It should reduce the amount of violence and increase the number of cultural programs. In the meantime, people, especially youth, should watch TV while avoiding excess, with a critical mind, and not too often. It is crucial to look up the programs, to make a prior choice, and to stick to this choice.
In conclusion, we can say that TV is good, but you also have to know how to turn it off. It’s like alcohol for us: “Consume with moderation.”
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