Television: Bad or Good?
It is a matter of fact that television plays crucial role in contemporary society and it is impossible to image life without it. Nevertheless, the effect of television is wrapped up in lots of controversy. Some researchers claim that television is national drug as people loose sense of reality and reject things they liked before. Of course, television provides social impact and this impact is, actually, two-fold. On the one hand, television provides false images of reality and destroys reality through omission, whereas, on the other hand, it provides positive social impact offering opportunities to get acquainted with unknown cultures, to learn something new about geography and history, etc. (Social Impact of Television, 2006)
Why Television Is Good?
If to support position that television is good, it is necessary to underline that television is a source of unexhausted information. Printed media provides certain degree of separation from reality, though television set a visual frame for perceiving interesting information. It means that television graphically highlights main events by means of sound, color, time sequences and feelings.
For example, reading about poverty rate in Africa isn’t the same thing as actually seeing all the miseries on the blue screen. It is apparent that television is superficial to printed media as the reports are more vividly perceived. Good pictures are worth million words. Television is used nowadays to make people informed about election campaigns providing information needed to make informed choices. Moreover, television is able to give viewers a glimpse of reality despite looking through the gloss. Television makes people “eyewitness” to happenings ranging from hostile invasion to breeding new species. (Social Impact of Television, 2006)
Secondly, television is a source of relaxation and escape from routine, because it allows immediate escape from everyday problems, depressions and anxieties. People become relaxed by watching, for example, beauty and grace of the arts or experiencing excitement of an athletic competition. Furthermore, television gives the opportunity to be lost in fantasy world. Therefore, people’s spirits are uplifted and they are provided even with hopes for better future and faith.
Finally, television is a source of new ideas. It is apparent that television puts viewers in the centre of “the marketplace of ideas”. People are allowed to evaluate ideas, to compare them with others and then to decide for themselves whether to reject or to accept them. While watching TV, children are involved in learning and they develop better listening skills. (Social Impact of Television, 2006)
Why Television Is Bad?
If to take position that television is negative, it is necessary to underline that television is national drug. Of course, television is not pharmaceutical drug and it doesn’t have chemical affect on human bodies. Television is a drug that causes dramatic changes in human behavior, leads to addiction and, what is more important, it hurts human health – several hours of watching TV may result in worsening vision. Television is creating more and more ignorant society as people, for example, prefer sitting glued to their sets and ignore visiting relatives, friends. As a result, they remain unaware of many problems, opportunities and possibilities. In other words, people remain unaware of what the modern world is, what changes are happening in society, and what they are living for. (Gordon, 2001)
Then, television is passive medium and the number of people who take active care of health, visiting gyms and other physical activity is decreasing. The only physical activity is to change the channels, to turn on or to turn off TV-set. The number of channels is limited and viewers are limited to channels which provider allows them to watch. For example, TV- advertising makes people buy things not leaving their homes. Passivity is more relaxing and more preferable for modern people as others do hard work and make decisions for you. Television creates ignorant, but well-informed society. (Gordon, 2001)
Finally, television creates addiction and, instead of developing time to family, relatives, shopping, physical activities, people are hurrying home to see their favorite series. Therefore, watching TEV has similar addiction affect as smoking, drinking, and using drugs. Ronald Bailey in his article about ills of television says that “people know all the crummy side-effects and continue to do it anyway…most smokers are aware that their habit can cause cancer and emphysema. Most TV watchers know that their habit is mind-numbing and wasteful”. (Bailey, 2004)
The number of hours which people spend before their TV-sets is increasing. The result: increased violent rates (as the number of thrillers and action films has increased dramatically), increased teen sexual activity, and increased pregnancy rates. IQ rates have fallen. Television allows the audience to enjoy themselves not leaving the house, but people are engaged in passive learning the world. Despite certain benefits, television remains opium for masses as it reinforces ideals in politics, economics, music, art, etc. Moreover, television is claimed to breed ignorance and to feed radiation. The positive moment is that television remains unexhausted source of information, source of relaxation and important source of new ideas. The audience is allowed to see unknown cultures, countries, animals, to listen to current news, to remain aware of current political trends, etc.
Gordon, Jake. (2001). Television Is the Drug of Nation. Retrieved September 8, 2008, from http://www.jakeg.co.uk/essays/television.htm
Bailey, Ronald. (2004, December 29) We All Know That TV Is Bad For Us. Or Do We? Retrieved September 8, 2008, from http://www.reason.com/news/show/34949.html
Social Impact of Television. (2006). Retrieved November, 8, 2006 from http://www.cybercollege.com/frtv/frtv034.htm