Television 2 Essay, Research Paper
Nowadays, the television is like a family member in most of the American families. The children are misguided by the television because of the sex and violence shown on it. Eventhough the television is a resource that can be use to educate and entertain people of all ages, television is a major drawback and misuse of technology.
Television can be used to entertain people’s minds, and in the USA, the major use of television is entertainment. Programs like comedy programs and drama shows make viewer’s mind dumber. For example, most of the people in America come home after a long workday and sit in front of the television for the rest of their free time. It’s even shown in the television shows like Sienfield and Simpson. So, instead of spending the valuable time with the family, people watch television. And this decreases the communication between the family members. The family members are unaware of each other’s interests and feelings. Some times not knowing or not paying proper attention can prove to be very harmful. For example, not paying proper attention to a kid can turn that kid into a troublemaker. There are all kinds of sports channels, movie channels, and so on, which relaxes the viewer, and, thus, instead of going out and breathing fresh air, people sit in front of television set spoiling their mind unknowingly. Playing sports is good for health, but instead of playing sports, people watch the sports on television sitting on their favorite couch or chair spoiling their mind and body.
According to some people television is helpful for some things like getting everyday news, but there are other alternatives for those kind of things. Someone might argue that we could know and see through our eyes what’s going on in other parts of the world. It would be impossible to gather information from other parts of the world so quickly without television. We can see live coverage of things without us being at the place physically which in my opinion is amazing. So, television has many uses. But reading a newspaper can be more helpful than watching television. By reading a newspaper not only you know what’s happening around the world, but also it improves your reading ability, improves your vocabulary and, thus, makes you a better speaker.
When a young child with a maturing brain sits in front of the television several hours a day, it can instigate loss of creativity, impatience, and violence further along down the road. The ability to be creative is an important factor in the development of a young child’s mind. By sitting down and watching TV for a couple hours, the child is entertained, but the child is also not thinking during that specific time period. Information is spoon-fed to them, so when it comes time to read a book in school, some can have a hard time grasping ideas. They are so used to having images flash before them to provide understanding. With the TV in front of them, supplying amusement, they may never stop to think that putting a puzzle together, or reading a book could also be fun. They could actually become dependent on this one source of fantasy, and never bother to create their own. As the child grows older, it is less likely to put effort into playing with other kids, or taking up a hobby.
While losing creativity, the child can also gain impatience. By having all the stories and facts plastered clear in front of them, they can easily loose interest sitting in a classroom all day. Even during their favorite TV show, there is a brief change of pace in the story line when a commercial comes on, which is about every seven minutes. Their attention spans are being molded by this continues interruption, causing them to loose focus easily. The teachers today are using many more multimedia devices to capture the students’ attention. Being so used to seeing information provided by the TV, they are more responsive to learning with it in school, and are more likely to remember it.
Along with losing creativity and gaining impatience, the child is more apt to behave violently. They can slowly learn as it is played repeatedly, that they can get what they want by responding with violence. When they see a character shot, or beat someone up so they can steal their something like a care or money, they may catch on to the idea. They come to expect it in the real world, and when they do not see it, the world becomes bland. The children then may create the violence that their mind craves. A child may also see a villain on TV, and try to test out his tactics to see if they really do work. In New York, a 16-year-old boy broke into a cellar. When the police caught him and asked him why he was wearing gloves he replied that he had learned to do so to not leave fingerprints and that he discovered this on television. In Alabama, a nine-year-old boy received a bad report card from his teacher. He suggested sending the teacher poisoned candy as revenge as he had seen on television the night before. In California, a seven-year-old boy sprinkled ground-up glass into the lamb stew the family was to eat for dinner. When asked why he did it he replied that he wanted to see if the results would be the same in real life as they were on television (Howe 72). These are certainly startling examples of how television can affect the child. It must be pointed out that all of these situations were directly caused by children watching violent television.
Not only does television violence affect the child’s youth, but it can also affect his or her adulthood. Some psychologists and psychiatrists feel that continued exposure to such violence might unnaturally speed up the impact of the adult world on the child. This can force the child into a kind of premature maturity. As the child matures into an adult, he can become bewildered, have a greater distrust towards others, a superficial approach to adult problems, and even an unwillingness to become an adult (Carter 14). Television violence can destroy a young child’s mind. The effects of this violence can be long lasting, if not never-ending. For some, television at its worst, is an assault on a child’s mind, an insidious influence tat upsets moral balance and makes a child prone to aggressive behavior as it warps his or her perception of the real world. Other see television as an unhealthy intrusion into a child’s learning process, substituting easy pictures for the discipline of reading and concentrating and transforming the young viewer into a hypnotized non-thinker (Langone 48). As you can see, television violence can disrupt a child’s learning and thinking ability which will cause life long problems. If a child cannot do well in school, his or her whole future is at stake. Why do children like the violence that they see on television? “Since media violence is much more vicious than that which children normally experience, real-life aggression appears bland by comparison” (Dorr 127). The violence on television is able to be more exciting and enthralling than the violence that is normally viewed on the streets. Instead of just seeing a police officer handing a ticket to a speeding violator, he can beat the offender bloody on television. However, children don’t always realize this is not the way things are handled in real life.
The child needs to create violence to keep himself satisfied when the child doesn’t see the violence in real life. Also the children find the violent characters on television fun to imitate. “Children do imitate the behavior of models such as those portrayed in television, movies, etc. They do so because the ideas that are shown to them on television are more attractive to the viewer than those the viewer can think up himself” (Brown 98). Another reason why television violence causes violence in children is apparent in the big cities. “Aggressive behavior was more acceptable in the city, where a child’s popularity rating with classmates was not hampered by his or her aggression” (Huesmann 166). The government also did research in this area. They conducted an experiment where children were left alone in a room with a monitor playing a videotape of other children at play. Soon, things got out of hand and progressive mayhem began to take place. Children who had just seen commercial violence accepted much higher levels of aggression than other children. A Sergon General’s report found some “preliminary indications of a casual relationship between television viewing and aggressive behavior in children’” (Langone 50). In another piece of research children who watch a lot of violent television were compared to children who don’t. The results were that the children who watched more violent television were more likely to agree that “it’s okay to hit someone if you’re mad at them for a good reason.” The other group learned that problems can be solved passively, through discussion and authority (Cheyney 46).
The most important aspect of violence in television is preventing it. There are many ways in which it can be prevented, but not often are many carried out. These solutions are easy to implement, but are often overlooked because of commercial purposes. Perhaps the most important way to prevent children from watching television violence is to stop it where it starts. The parents should step in and turn the set off when a violent program comes on. The parents are the child’s role models from which he learns. If he can learn at an early age that violence on television is bad, then he can turn the set off for himself when he is older. Education should start at home. Fixing the problems of children and television violence isn’t easy. There are many factors that have to be considered and people to be convinced. This problem will, no doubt, never go away and continue to get worse as the years go by. However, there are measures that can be taken to prevent the children from ever being exposed to such things. After all, what’s the world going to be like when the people who are now children are running the world?
Carter, Douglass. T.V. Violence and the Child. New York: Russel Sage Foundation, 1977.
Cheyney, Glenn Alan. Television in American Society. New York: Franklin Watts Co., 1983.
Door, Palmer. Children and the Faces of Television. New York: Academic Press, 1980.
Howe, Michael J. A. Television and Children. London: New University Education, 1977.
Husemann, L. Rowell. Social Channels Tune TVs effects. Science News 14 Sept. 1985: 166.
Langone, John. Violence. Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1984.