Influence of Television
I hear the door slam abruptly and a thud from something hitting the ground. Its about 3:15, so my sister should be home. I bring her backpack into the living room as I see her fixated on the television. I tell her to put it away and she says ok, whatever. She gets to her room and not two seconds later does her TV click on in her room. I ask her if she wants to play catch, No thats alright. She always loved to play catch, what about some basketball I ask her, No, maybe some other time, she says as her eyes are glued to the box. Is television so addictive that it makes everything else look unattractive? It is very well maybe Marie Winn agrees; she names television the plug-in drug. Although not as lethal as drugs and alcohol, television can have many effects too, and not necessarily good ones. According to authors in this section television has made reality seem second best, children more violent, and has made reality a world of advertisement.
First, television has made reality seem second best. The real world is filled with many emotions including anxiety, depression, and stress. Who wants to deal with any of these problems? Youve had a hard day at work, so why not flick on the television and not worry about anything? As Marie Winn describes, the television experience allows the participant to blot out the real world and enter into a pleasurable and passive mental state. For some people life without a television is less than complete. Winn says television will lead to the addiction of it because it becomes part of your life, and soon the real world is too boring to live in all the time. Winn observes a heavy viewer and they find the television irresistible, when its on they cant ignore it, and cant turn it off. Winn also says that with television pleasures available and other experiences seem less attractive. The viewer eventually gets so addicted that they put off all other activities and feel that they can live in a less careless style. On the same note Rita Dove agrees with Winn by saying, Its not that we confuse television with reality. But that we prefer it to reality-the manageable struggle resolved in twenty-six minutes.(Dove p408) People like to see the climax, stress and problem solved in a short period of time.Dove says that television an easier tale to tell, her daughter can recite a television program better that how her day at school was. The world is ugly and television is always invigorating, thats all people want to see.
Secondly, television has made children more violent. Television not only makes children more violent, but it also makes children more fearful to the world around them. Cyndy Scheibe describes how parents are concerned about violence on television. A big problem is that not only does adult crime dramas include violence, but so do cartoons and slapstick comedies. Scheibe explains some other effects of violence on television are that children may become less sensitive to the pain and suffering of others in reality and television. She also states that children may behave in aggressive and harmful ways to others. Scheibe says the reason for this is, The impact of TV violence on aggression seems to be partly due to imitation of the aggressive actions that children see (particularly if they are done by the good guys) and partly due to the message that aggression works to get what you want and its okay to use aggression it you are justified in doing so. (Scheibe p1) Agreeing with Scheibe, Talia Trigilio also says violence in television makes kids more aggressive. Cartoons carry a lot of violent content, 46% of violence is found in cartoons. Trigilio said, I was shocked to stumble across the statistic that there were more violent acts in an hour of Saturday morning television than during prime time. (Trigilio p4) A Common show like the Power Rangers is interpreting violence is fantasy but sometimes your viewers cant tell the difference. Some children experience numerous recurring nightmares. Trigilio explains that seeing so much violence promotes the false idea that violence is common-thus increases fear of crime everywhere. Since technology is so advanced in television, and parents cant be around their children twenty-four hours a day, children can find any kind of violence or content not suitable for them on television cable. Without parents or guidance, they take this violence as real as somebody getting punched or kicked and as anticipated as real world experiences.
Finally, television has turned reality into a world of advertisement. Television is advertisements key source. Talio Trigilio says the main idea of television advertising is to make people want what they dont have. Networks dont want people have a mind of their own; they want people to believe they have to look a certain way. They prey on peoples insecurities. As Trigilio says, Materialism is the constant emphasis of all TV commercials. Specific advertisements run only during certain times in order to target particular audiences. (Trigilio p3) Television broadcasters dont care who they influence o hurt, they need to make a profit-thus why we see a world created by advertising. On the same token, Jerry Mander wants the elimination of television for the very reason of advertising. According to Manders views, television is a virtual reality that networks and advertisers need to increase profits, and try to promote a lifestyle for other people. Why go search for answers to personal problems? Advertisers want to provide the answers for you on the television. If you have heartburn: buy Tums, are you hungry? Drive your new PT Cruiser to McDonalds or Pizza Hut and try the new menu. Mander states, While watching television, the programs are together with the conscious attitude of promoting a consumer society. (Mander p2) Television gives you no control of the images they put up, so every time you change they channel your really watching the same thing. Television watching is a passive activity, and is filled with other peoples thoughts and images.
In short, all authors will agree that television is a very wicked and powerful tool. By watching television it can influence you to thinking reality is not good enough just so they can boost their ratings in their shows. Children have become more violent and more fearful of crime and the world itself, advertisement on television is getting worse by the day, with more twenty-second commercials that dont allow you to think. It is really a form of sleep teaching because you are not active, therefore calling it programming.