The Impact television has on society

Memba Ben By Memba Ben, 4th Sep 2016 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Columns & Opinions

The topic today is based on the effects that television has on society.

How large an influence does television has on society?

Television. The one constant in everyday life as far as technological devices are concerned along with the cell phone. It plays an important role from an entertainment perspective. It acts as a tool for spreading information and helps as a mold for our opinions, beliefs, and ideologies just as the hand of an artist molds a sculpture from clay (I hope the analogy makes sense to you). It affects our minds and because of that, it plays an important role in jump starting and shaping social change. It is almost impossible to imagine life in modern times without television as it is important for giving and spreading information all around the world. But does television does have a negative effect on society or is it a positive influence in the development of society?

Television has been playing a positive role in the development of our societies just as much as camaraderie between communities and the desire that people have to implement positive change. In truth, the idea that television has detrimental effects on people could be considered a ploy to avoid placing the burden of responsibility on people themselves. For instance there is no direct link between television and behavioral problems. Such behavior is usually determined by other correlates such as the social environment people are exposed to, family, the pressure people are burdened with by peers, and other social, personal, and financial factors.

The blame in this situation should also be placed at the feet of social conformity. The influence of family, friends, religion, and school is influential in the formation of moral values in young children. If the parents and guardians are not capable or willing to perform their social roles, then the children will look to television to provide that guardianship that the mentor should be offering and as a result, depending on their interpretation skills, will be negatively influenced.

Another reason why television can be vouched for as being a force for good is that television can be very informative. Some people will never get the opportunity to travel the world, let alone the entire country. Because of that, they will never get the opportunity to learn new things and learn more about other cultures and customs around the world and different societies. Television allows for the spread of information and opinions on many important things such as social and political issues and as a result will encourage people to be more involved in society. Many scientific and cultural programs are shown on television which also give people and society as a whole more educational opportunities. Staying on the information tip, television helps expose the reality of life to people much more than people think. People should be informed about the world that they live in and the problems it has in order for people to form solutions to solving those problems.

A popular argument that seems to have grown traction amongst people who think that television has a negative impact on society is that people spend too much time on television, stopping them from being more active and living more fulfilling lives. This should not be blamed on television because people are conscious and as a result can reason and as a result can choose the way to spend their free time in whatever way they want. Television is not to be blamed for the habits that people develop and follow because people control their own actions.

But for all the good that television offers, it would be naïve to discard the theory that television can indeed play a negative influence on society. For starters, half of local adverts are based on alcohol which can lead to overexposure of a product. And one thing about overexposure is that once the product is firmly implanted into your brain (the purpose of the advert) the customer will eventually be tempted to see why the product is advertised so much, piquing the customers curiosity to the point where he/she will eventually buy the product. This is also done by subliminal advertising which promotes a consumer society by urging people to buy things they don’t need.

An issue with Television is that much exposure can lead to detachment from friends and family, and when a person realizes that the escapism that television offers is turning into an addiction because they cannot cope with the stresses found in daily life, this can lead to a person becoming isolated and alone, which will lead to the eventuality of depression. Television also does this by constantly showing viewers images of violence, aggression, sexual exploitation, crime, and themes that encourage tension, pessimism, and negative emotions, leading to that before mentioned depression. People that form such habits do not realise that television is no substitution for actual interaction with actual people.

So as long as people do not have their entire schedules planned around television, it should not have a negative effect on people. A person must also keep a healthy lifestyle. Like all things in life, the key is balance.

In the end, all views have both their merits and flaws but the aim of the article was to further understand each ideology so that we can potentially see the view of the other side and also see the grey between the black and white.

Hope you enjoyed and thank you for reading…

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