Television Influence Essay Research Paper Today many

Television Influence Essay, Research Paper

Today many people think that television is the cause of violence in today`s

youth. Many have pondered that television disturbs traditions as well as

interferes with the minds of adolecened children who can not yet comprehend the

truth of fiction and reality. Thus television has become a widely talked about

controversy, mainly because of the fatal incidents that have been occurring

during the past couple of years. Questions are being raised and people want

answers. What kind of effects does the television have on human beings? In today`s

society the public is interested in the detailed information about the content

of television. Persons who work in the media are often concerned with what the

television portrays and why it portrays the way it does. Even though they know

that their shows are representative to their viewers tastes and not that of the

real world. Although this information is not acknowledged as fiction or

non-fiction it is still portrayed and processed information by the viewer. One

must be able to realize, How this information is different from everyday life?

By mocking a family, situation, or community, distortions and biases occur on

the television when these subjects are compared to real life. Still unsure of

these problems the majority of humans watch even when they don`t understand why?

Television is a medium of novelty, with each new season bringing new shows with

dreamier characters and more enticing situations. These shows are successful

because they challenge one`s wisdom if he or she were in the same situation.

This is the reason why people are starting to question and be afraid of the

pushed boundaries of television. With the dramatic increase of violence in today`s

world the programmers are filling ones mind of not wisdom, but the dark escape

of violence which makes up the viewers mind for them. The definition of physical

violence is stated as these two presented: Any overt depiction of a credible

threat of physical force or the actual use of such force intended to physically

harm an animated being or group of beings. (National Television Violence Study,

1996) The overt expression of physical force against self or other, compelling

action against one`s will on pain of being hurt or killed, or actually hurting

or killing. (Gerbner, 1972) These definitions concur in encompassing credible

threats, behavior, and consequences, and the former includes accidents and acts

of God and nature. (Comstock, 65) The viewers who are exposed to this violence

are children, young children, who do not know better. Children start watching

television at a steady habit around the age of 2 (Anderson & Levin, 1976),

although there is some evidence that children are aware of some things about

television, and like it, as early as 6 months of age (Hollenbeck & Slaby,

1979). The longer children grow up with TV the more accustom they become to the

violence and false realities of a fiction world not like their own. The most

obvious areas of deceiving behavior from television characters are violence,

sexual behaviors and health portrayals. In health related issues parents are

skeptical because there is a soft line for all of the true facts. With the same

aspect parents do not want their young children to learn about sex related

issues too early. When a child reaches adolescence he or she has already spent

more time watching television than going to school, and had been exposed to all

of television`s deceiving messages (Signorielli, 1987). Violence is not the only

distortion on television these days; it is just the most extensively studied.

Analyses of the messages on television have revealed other interesting facts

about portrayals of sex and gender, of occupations, and of the age distribution

of characters. All of these categories are distorted in some way or

another compared to demographic information in the United States. Keep in mind

that these findings all concern the program and not the advertising content of

television (Condry, 68). A common drug to almost all teenagers and to television

is alcohol. It is mentioned in about 80% of all prime-time programs, and places

where alcohol is consumed, not to mention it is frequently the centerpiece of

action. On television, characters rarely decline a drink or express disapproval

of drinking. When disapproval is expressed, it is usually mild, ineffective, and

comes from women (Condry, 77). Television`s discourses are ideological in that

they provide subject positions to which audience members are said to

be recruited. Thus, the individual ⌠learns to recognize itself in a

series of subject positions…which are the positions from which discourse is

intelligible to itself and others (Academic Press, 103). The viewer is not

compelled to take a position even though there are different ones offered by the

program. In either case it would seem that the logical effect remains within the

discourse and does not translate directly to the viewer. The simple answer to

the objection is that the reader will not be able to make sense of what he or

she sees other than identifying with. Now that you know some of the ways that

television programs can cloud your mind, try and be more observant when you or

your little one is sitting in front of the television. You are watching more

than ⌠just some thing on TV. Television today is getting more

violent and graphic, and that is not the worst of it. Programmers are playing

with a young child`s mind with my mind, and even with yours. People

just don`t realize it, or they choose to ignore it, until something drastic



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