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Impact Of Television Essay, Research Paper

Television has changed the way America spends its recreational time. Whether it is in the form of video games or trashy talk shows, television has an impact on society. A few issues that reflect the way television impacts us are: Why Americans are interested in trashy daytime talk shows?, Why children s grades have dropped as a result of watching too much television?, and what s allowed to be shown on t.v. All of these issues were stated in the articles I read, and I think they are very important and often overlooked.

Daytime talk has come a long way from The Ed Sullivan Variety Show . During those times, guests on the show weren t even allowed to say the word high as referring to marijuana. Now, we have talk shows with titles like You Slept With my Lover and I Want Revenge, Who s my Child s Real Father, and my personal favorite, Men who are Really Women Confess to Their Lovers. If you take some time to look at these titles and think about what they are saying, you might wonder why in the world anybody would care to watch such appalling things. But the reason does not remain much of a mystery.

Studies have shown that the reason Americans watch these shows, and actually be interested in them, is because if we watch them, we believe them. To see someone else with such awful problems suddenly make us feel like we are much better off than those people are, and that our problems aren t bad at all. Often it s a wonder why anyone would come onto a show and exploit him or herself like that, to be honest I don t have an answer.

Children of today have been noted as watching too much television and playing too many video games. This is becoming a problem for many of them because their grades. Ron Kaufman did a study on how much t.v. children actually do watch and he reported that in 1999, most children watch about 6 + hours a day. In return, their grades and reading skills are dropping. Is this the child s fault? I don t believe so. I think it s the parent s fault. If the parents would monitor what their kids are doing and how much t.v. they are watching, this wouldn t be a problem. Yes, most adults do work but they should find a way to monitor this. If the child is at home without care than that should mean he s responsible enough to get his work done. If he can t, then there is no excuse for the child to be left at home alone without care.

Marie Winn, author of The Plug-In Drug notes:

The conclusion between televisions effects on children’s reading abilities and the decline in their writing skills is clear: there is no question in the minds of educators that a student who cannot read with the true comprehension will never learn to write well. Writing after all is book talk and you only learn book talk by reading.

This quote sums up the way I feel about the issue. Writing is book talk and we can only learn this by reading.

Another issue to think about is how the guidelines for what s allowed to be shown on t.v. has changed from older shows like the Brady Bunch to current shows like Roseanne . Think about what would have happened if Marsha Brady was caught having sex or smoking marijuana. Viewers would have been outraged and the show would have probably been cut. Now it wouldn t even phase today s viewer. The reason may be because we do deal with these things in everyday life but back then, we didn t.

One t.v. show that is talked about I watch is the Simpsons . A lot is talked about it. One thing I read in the articles was about a man who wouldn t let his children watch the Simpsons . One day he caught them and decided to watch it with them to see what exactly it was about. He found that the show was extremely religious and all of the characters attended church together on Sunday. He then changed his opinion.

In conclusion, television has changed throughout time and has influenced people in different ways. There are some problems that come from these influences for instance, children s reading skills and grades, but there are ways to not let this happen. We can learn a lot from t.v. but we must make sure that t.v. doesn t get in the way of things that are more important.


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