The Negative Effects of Television

The Negative Effects of Television
n the argumentative essay ?T.V. Addiction? by Marie Winn, Winn relates watching television to having an addiction with drugs and alcohol. The television experience allows us to escape from the real world and enter into a pleasurable and peaceful mental state. When it comes to television, Marie asks the following question: Is there a kind of television viewing that falls into the more serious category of destruction addiction? To my perspective, I think there is. If you think about it, why do so many people watch so many hours of television and instead of doing what they?re supposed to be doing, they put everything else on hold and just focus on television? I think this is because they want and or need an escape from their problems or just need to clear their minds. In my opinion, I agree with Marie Winn 100%, and I think she does have a valid point. Television is a major addition in society and people are so blind-sighted by it that they don?t even realize that they?re being hypnotized into a trance. Television is brainwashing the minds of everyone, and there is no stop to it. It?s mainly up to the person who is watching the television to decide to turn it off, without having any regrets about it.
According to Jerry Mander?s book, For Arguments for the Elimination of Television, Mander describes how many excessive television watchers described the experience of sitting in front of the television (Chapter 8). Listed below are some of the descriptions:
? ? I feel hypnotized when I watch television.?
? ?Television sucks my energy.?
? ?I feel like it?s brainwashing me.?
? ? I feel like a vegetable when I?m stuck there at the television.?
? ?Television spaces me out.?
? ?Television is an addiction and I?m an addict.?
? ?My kids look like zombies when they?re watching.?
? ?TV is destroying my mind.?
? ?Television is turning my mind into mush.?
? ?I feel mesmerized by it.?
? ?If a television is on, I just can?t keep my eyes off it.?

Anyone who has spent a significant amount of time watching television would be able to relate with some, if not all of these statements. Based on these responses, Mander proved the following: The people who described themselves as being ?spaced out? said that television helped them forget about their busy lives. Some people found television relaxing because it helped them forget about the world. Others who used the terms ?brainwashed? or ?addicted,? felt that television provided them with good information and entertainment. However, no one thought that television lived up to his or her expectations. In chapter 16 of For Arguments for the Elimination of Television, the chapter shows how people form poor judgments when watching television. Some of these judgments are as follows:
? Death is more important than life.
? War is more interesting than peace.
? Raw materials are more interesting than natural environment materials.
? Hierarchy is more interesting than democracy.
? Lust is more interesting than satisfaction.
? Quantity is more interesting than quality.

Television offers neither rest nor stimulation. In the book Mander quoted: ?Television inhibits your ability to think, but it does not lead to freedom of the mind, relaxation or renewal. It leads to a more exhausted mind. That?s as far as television goes with the human mind.? The worst part about television is that the mind is never empty. The mind is always filled with someone else?s obsessive thoughts and images. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, American children and adults spend 22-28 hours per week viewing television, more than any other activity except sleeping. By the age of 70 they will have spent 7-10 years of their lives watching television. Television programs, commercials, news reports, and talk shows are all designed toward blind acceptance by the viewer. Mainly because if you see it with your own eyes, then it must be true and real. To society, flashing images on a video screen is considered reality inside a box. What?s the matter with our modern technologically based society anyway? Why isn?t it more satisfying? Why do so many of us now feel that television makes us into something less than we should be? Do we really use television?or does it use us? While watching television, the viewer is not seeing the world as it is. Television is known as a way of influencing people either positively or negatively. Most of the time, when people watch television, it is usually for entertainment and educational purposes. However, when it comes to violence on television, that?s when things really become negative. In fact, the reason why society is mostly violent is because of the media. According to statistics, a child?s risk of getting involved in violent acts increases when they are exposed to violence on television. Children tend to mimic what they see or even hear on television. Children tend to mimic their role model or a famous person that they idolize. Also, if a child has parents who neglect him/her chances are most likely that violent behavior would most likely increase with that child because that child wasn?t taught how to act in society and wasn?t taught how they should present themselves amongst others. Boys have more of a tendency to be affected by bad television than girls do. Violence in the media is a very popular topic in society. In fact, it?s so popular that a lot of people especially children have easy access to it. Both boys and girls who tend to watch a lot of violence on television have a huge risk of aggressive behavior when they become adults, such as spouse abuse and criminal offenses. The way people act as children is how they most likely are going to be when they get older, because people act based on the environment that they were raised in. People watch an average of 3-4 hours of television everyday, and everyday people are being influenced in ways that shape their behavior. Since most television programs today consist of violence, studies show that this has negatively affected some children and teenagers. Some of those negative effects are as follows: becoming immune to the horror of violence, accepting violence as a way to solve problems, imitating the violence they see on television, and become like the negative characters that they see on television. Frequently watching violence on television can cause people to become more aggressive. In certain cases, watching just one violent program can increase toughness especially if violence seems to be very realistic or repeated often. Violent television causes children to behave more aggressively with their peers because television tends to provide programs with offensive language and violent actions. There are many ways that parents could protect their kids from being exposed to frequent violence. Some of these ways are as follows: parents should pay more attention to the programs that their children watch, set limits on the amount of time children watch television, refuse to let their children see shows that are violent, change or block the channel if something inappropriate comes up, etc. Television is a form of media that has great power to influence yet brainwash society into doing stupid things, such as violence. Practically everyday people fall in a trance because watching violence on television influences violence to either start or continue. Statistics show that television is considered to be the form of media that influences shaping ideas of sex roles the most. Television, is shown to have a tremendous impact on the lives of children. Studies show that children who are in preschool spend approximately 30 hours a week watching television. Statistics also show that children spend more time watching television than they spend on anything else except sleeping. Research has shown by the time children are sixteen years old, they spent more time watching television than going to school. Television in the home is the greatest source of visual violence for children. Children are exposed to 20,000 advertisements a year. The average child watches 8,000 televised murders and 100,000 acts of violence before finishing elementary school. By the time children graduate from high school, those numbers more than doubles. Furthermore, television is shown to influence attitudes about race and gender. Pro-social and anti-social behaviors are influenced by television. Even though violence is apart of our lives, I think society can limit the amount of violent programs that they watch. If people limit watching violence on television maybe the world wouldn?t be as involved with violence as it is now. Based on this data, I have concluded that Marie Winn is correct about television being a serious addiction.

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