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Television is a telecommunication medium that plays a key role not only in political and social life, acting as an important medium of passing information and shaping people’s way of thinking, but most notable in daily life of people as an important entertainment media. In this way, television affects peoples’ mind and contributes in influencing social changes. It is said that this may turn out to be disastrous as the programs, aired on the televisions, are more of violence and immorality in the quest to attract more viewers and maintain the existing ones; they end up sacrificing programs of high quality to benefit commercially, which end up taking away the largest part of our leisure time (Huston, 1992). With the technological advancement and the integration of different economies, it is hard to imagine about current life without television, particularly not forgetting the critical significance of relaying information around these economies.
The question of whether television has influence on the society or not is rather a difficult question, this paper will try to explore different arguments in the aim of answering it. The largest fraction of TV audience is made up of teenagers. This cluster of the society is particularly susceptible to the violent behavior and a number of stereotypes, encouraged by the TV, since teenagers’ mentality is in the formation process. From the foregoing statement, it is evident that the impact of television on the morality of teenagers can lead to a negative effect in the society in future; therefore, the parents and the state should try their best to limit the exposure of teenagers to the television.
Of late, there is large commercialization of television. Advertisers aim at convincing the audience that they have a solution to all problems or their ability to fulfill audiences’ desire through the purchase of a product. The design is in such a way that the viewer will accept the product blindly. In this case, it is obvious that the television affects the human mind negatively, by restraining the ability of making a conscious choice and encourages a consumer society (Gauntlett, 1999).
Popularly, there is channeling of television shows and films with commercial aims but minute cultural value. Television has become a sanctuary of mass production, trivial values and typecasts with significant influence on the modern society. This unenthusiastic effect expands with the increasing popularity of TV, particularly among children and young people. It obviously brings worse changes in the society, unconcerned about culture and crafting all of people to conform to a bland, “Hollywood” is an entertainment model, in which culture, traditions and diversity are misplaced (Hodge, 1986).
Most people in the modern society spend most of their precious time glued to the screens of their TV sets. According to Huston (1992), an American child (average) watches the television 26 hours every week. It is, therefore, evident that the television reduces the real life quality by narrowing the outlook of people, reducing the variety of leisure time activities, impacting on the relation of the family by tumbling conversation, and even adding more negative impact on the health due to the reduction in exercise (Silverstone, 1994).
There is popularity of depression (psychological problem) in the modern society. Aggression, violence, wars and crimes are broadcasts through the movies and daily news, showing gloomy pictures that promotes psychological tension, cynicism and negative emotions.
It is hard to establish a clear link between the antisocial behavior and mass media, which is highly determined by the social environment, peer pressure family or other factors. Most of the antisocial people hardly even watch TV, while there is a possibility that others will claim it is responsible for their actions to simply avoid taking responsibility for themselves. Psychologist argues that the television does not have straightforward, undeviating stimulus response effect on its audiences. This statement can be reinforced by taking Japan as an example, where movies on televisions are popular for extreme violence, but the rate of crime is extremely low - far below in comparison to many societies, where watching television is relatively rare (Wasko, 2010).
In forming the moral values of the teenagers, it is obvious that friends, family, school and religion are decisive. If the teacher and parents fail to discharge their proper role, then, it is obvious that teenagers will negatively be affected not only by the televisions but also by their environment, friends and other factors ( Gauntlett, 1999).
Most cultural and scientific programs, aired on the television, provide new educational prospect for our society. In our information society, TV serves a very crucial role. It facilitates the spread of opinion and information on very critical social and political issues, thus, acting as an inducement to individuals to engage in businesses that affect the life of society. Several shows, e.g. “Call-in” and other programs, assist in the establishment of closer ties between the electors and the politicians. There is a promise of an open society in the future through interactive digital channels, possibly leading to the creation of electronic town-halls to enable participatory decision-making, and permitting niche channels to deal with specific interests or cultural traditions (Woodrow, 1992).
Television is a medium that can be used for good or bad, it is a modern telecommunication medium, where the best have the propensity to stay similar to the printed word. In a nutshell from the foregoing argument, it is evident that television has influence on the society, be it negative or positive. Different groups of people, e.g. most teachers and parents, would argue that it has a negative influence due to the children failure to read books, hanging out with friends, playing or interacting with other members of the society! However, watching rubbish on television is a choice since there is a lot of entertaining and educative programs to be viewed. It is, therefore, not conclusive to say that television has a negative influence on the society.