The Influence of Television in the Society
Since the inception of television in the early 20th century, significant changes have occurred in the society. The question on whether TVs are a positive or a negative influence in society has divided opinions ever since the television was developed. The Modern society is a fragile organism that is susceptible to the influences of the press and the media. The TV is one the primary mediums of the media and communication. Consequently, the television is Centre Stage on the talk of societal changes. As such, this paper will explore the impact of the television on society.
Before embarking in the main points of the paper, it is important to identify questions that might be used to understand the said topic. What are positive and adverse effects of the TV on society? Such effects can be psychological, physical or mental. Also, the paper can answer the question of how to control negative effects if they arise or how to improve the positive influences.
Television in the 21st century is significantly different from the first televisions of the 1940s. While televisions then were as informative and influential as they are today, they lacked the technological advancements in the world today to make them powerful instruments(Christakis 1). Televisions act as mediums of information, religion, music, education, art and new technology. Televisions provide impetus, inspirations and social/mutual enrichment and offer viewers the opportunity to engage in societal and personal matters. The TV has allowed people to witness numerous and significant historical events like the first moon landing that would otherwise have been the luxury of a select few. Televisions have increased cases of social surrogacy where individuals can avoid social isolation that relating to TV characters. Also, the television is a powerful educational tool. Research has revealed that TVs assist adolescents and children understand complex aspects of society and create better relationships with peers(Christakis 1). In addition education through TV has been discovered to be better than through books for the current generation.
While the TV is an important part of society today, it has several adverse effects. How people use their time has changed over the years due to televisions. Surveys in the USA have revealed that average Americans use approximately 4 hours each day to watch TV. To understand it better that is two months continuously annually. In addition, the TV has been credited for disrupted social norms like family times. Interests shared as a family as disrupted by the presence of the TV. Consequently, family ties have been broken by cases of divorce increasing in the USA every year. Initially, TV airtime was limited to 4 hours every day. However, nowadays viewers can access numerous channels that run 24 hours, thus creating stagnation in people’s lives (Robert Kubey & Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi 34). The “CSI syndrome” has engulfed the USA where juries expect substantial and baffling evidence in courts due to the influence of fictional TV shows like CSI. TVs are attributed to the increased cases of obesity in America. An investigate research revealed that children who had limited access to televisions have a better metabolic rate than children who spend hours watching TV. Sedentary activities like watching TV increase the risk of diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Other researchers have found a relationship between the TV and increased violence and crime. Individual especially the youth tend to imitate violence and criminal activities they see on TV (Robert Kubey & Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi 35).
As much as we might want to condemn the TV, it is part of the contemporary society. As such, collective efforts need to be put in place to control the negative influences of television. Considering individuals spent over nine years in their lives watching TV, it can be used a positive impact on society.
Christakis, Dimitri. “Seattle Times.” 22 February 2007. “Smarter kids through television: debunking myths old and new”. 5 December 2015 <http://www.seattletimes.com>.
Robert Kubey & Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. ” “Television Addiction Is No Mere Metaphor”.” Scientific American (2002): 33-37.