Kill Your TV (arguments for discussion)
Kill Your TV
There are many eras in the history of human civilization and each of them has its own name. An era can be named after important events, personalities or inventions. The era in which we live today can have different names but if we would like to find the best name for it, we would probably call it “The Era of Television”.
Jim Morrison, a famous singer and poet once wrote in his poem – “Do you know we are ruled by T.V.”. Many of the researches made on the influence of the television support this opinion.
First, I have to describe the state in which people are while watching television. Watching TV is a passive event. Children and also adults remain completely immobile and quiet while viewing the box. All attention is given to the images. Both mind and body are passive (called an alpha state) allowing people to concentrate on the vast, and often fast, array of bright pictures. People are just sitting in front of that thing, receiving the pictures, images and information of different quality and in different quantity but usually these are made to help the people leave their real lives and to enter an imaginary world where everything seems to be perfect. The more and more people watch TV the more and more they become cut from reality and they can get lost in the space of television, which has no borders. Speaking about the perfection of television, many psychologists speak about “The Beautiful People Syndrome”. In a very simple way it means that TV influences the way we view others. Of course we know that television is not real. Everyone knows that. But despite of it, the world of television effect our daily lives, influences our opinion of people and impacts our fashion, speech and social interaction.
After watching hours and hours of television imagery, those "Beautiful People" will become burned into our minds and then everyone wants to be one of the beautiful television people. For example the handsome, pretty, skinny and witty characters on the show "Friends" or "Ally McBeal" are more famous than writers, poets, and politicians and more important than teachers, policemen or firemen. These characters live the lives we all should live, and they don't even have to work that hard.
Another example of this syndrome is that in most of the cases if a man is not handsome and wealthy, he is not ideal. Any woman who is not bone-thin with a large chest certainly is below the standard.
And what is the result of The Beautiful People Syndrome? A lot of unhappy citizens. Post-traumatic television depression can set in after you realize that your life is not as wonderful as it TV says it should be.
We all must agree that television is unbelievably great consumer of our spare time and what is more, watching television does not develop our skills in word recognition, decoding, vocabulary, spelling or high-level thinking. The question is: “What does?” The answer to it is very simple: “Reading.” Does it all mean that we should read more instead of watch TV? I do think so. But the fact is that today children rather spend their time watching TV than spend their time reading and writing. And statistics collected by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) support this and show that student achievement in both reading and writing has been declining in recent years.
In order to become a good reader and writer and, of course, to have vocabulary wider and to be able to think in higher levels, people need to practice reading and writing. Basically, the students who read the best are those that spend their non-school hours reading and writing. Households that value literacy and push the children to read will have kids that excel in this area.
The study sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation, shows that 88 percent of all U.S. households have two or more television sets; 60 percent have three or more sets; and 53 percent of all children have a TV set in their room. It seems that television more and more becomes the main friend of most of people of all ages. The reason is that people lose the ability to communicate and when they have no words left they just turn on the TV. And how to solve this problem? Maybe adults got used to this way of life but at least they should protect their own children. Only parents are the only answer to solving this problem. They must learn to establish controls in the house regarding media and support reading, drawing and quiet activities. In order to change the trend of diminishing reading and writing skills, parents may have to do radical things such as turning off the TV.
Rejecting the influence of TV imagery will set you on the path to enlightenment; and make real life so much more worthwhile.