Advantages and Disadvantages of Television in Our Lives
Since it invention in 1927, the television has found its way into our living rooms and has become part of our lives. Looking for a house without a television set is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Due to its popularity, electronic companies are finding new ways to make the televisions look more elegant and have more functions.
Nowadays, there are smart TVs that function as computers, run apps and have very high screen resolution. While this gadget keeps us glued to our couches in the living rooms, the long debate has been whether the television is really beneficial to us or not. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of using the television.
The first and most obvious advantage of TVs is that it is a source of entertainment. We flock to our living rooms in the evenings to get entertained by television programs. With a wide array of channels to choose from, the television ensures that everyone is catered for. There are channels for kids, teenagers, adults and the golden generation. There are reality shows, soap operas, movie flicks, cartoons, music, environmental programs, animal channels, documentaries, news etc.
Secondly, it offers career opportunities for people. Apart from people employed in the manufacturing, transportation and retail sectors of the television business, there are many professionals employed in the television channels, such as news anchors, cameramen, journalists and editors. Other industries not directly related to the television, but mostly reliant on it include sports, music and film.
Thirdly, it is a source and a medium of information. Thanks to the television, we are virtually aware of what happens in the world. News channels, such as CNN, BBC and Sky News are in the thick of things and keep us updated whenever something occurs. This is especially very important during times of disaster, where people need information promptly to stay away from danger. Our leaders use the television primarily to communicate to us, because it is a medium that has the highest chance of reaching people.
Television is also used for educational purposes. There are television channels created solely for education and nothing else. We learn about the history of the world, ancient civilizations and other historical facts through our TVs. There are programs that show us how to cook different delicacies from around the world.
There are programs also that are dedicated to create disease awareness and prevention. There are fashion programs to keep us stylish, home improvement shows to help keep our houses in order at a minimum cost and lifestyle programs to help us stay in shape and live healthy lives.
Television can be our companion whenever we are lonely. Psychologists claim that television can feel the shoes of our loved ones when they are not around to the point that we do not feel the effect of their absence. This is especially true when we watch our favorite shows.
This phenomenon is referred to as social surrogacy in the psychological circle. Furthermore, television can expand the mind, if used right. People who watch informational channels have more facts and concepts than people who do not watch television at all. We are in the information age, so any one who is more knowledgeable has a higher chance of success than those who do not have.
Television facilitates bonding and unity both at family and national levels. In this fast paced world of ours, watching TV is among the few things that all family members do together. Sitting together with all members of the family and friends creates some bonding time. At the national level, the whole nation usually cheers for the sportsmen and women who represent our nation in global competitions.
As we watch them win gold and our national flag is hoisted in the sky we collectively feel proud. When there is a disaster outbreak in our nation or anywhere in the world and there is mobilization through the television to help the affected in whichever way we can, there is a feeling of unity among people from all walks of life to help fight the disaster.
Television can facilitate creativity. People learn new ways of solving problems. With easy DIY tips people can create many things from recyclable material that they otherwise would have thrown away, saving them a lot of money in the process. It can also motivate them to pursue their dreams through motivational videos and inspiration speeches from successful individuals in various fields. Television is also used by religious groups to spread spiritual messages and assist those who are in need of spiritual nourishment.
Working hand in hand with these religious shows are programs designed by rehabilitation organizations and agencies to help people recover from various addictions. There are also financial programs to help people manage their finances well, come out of debt and to invest wisely.
Lastly, television has some health benefits. We all know the benefits of laughter towards the overall health of our bodies. So, by watching comedy or hilarious programs that keep us laughing and happy, we increase our chances of becoming healthy. It relieves us of stress that leads to depression, which is a causative agent of many diseases. Laughter is the best medicine and the television sure has lots of them.
On the flipside, television has its own setbacks. The first disadvantage is that there is too much vulgarity and illicit content on television. There is too much sex, nudity, violence, foul language and grotesque imagery that may have dire consequences on young children. Aggressive and violent behavior among children, young adults and adults can be traced back to too much television in childhood.
There are many instances of kids or teenagers using foul language, engaging in sexual intercourses or participating in violent showdowns to copy what they see in movies, music videos and wrestling matches. Teenagers can also be lured into drug use, owing to the over-circulation of music that promotes drug use and movies that make drug use seem like a “cool” or normal thing to do.
Too much TV is linked to serious health hazards. Sitting on the couch watching television all day does little to burn excess calorie intake in the body. As a result, many chronic viewers become obese. Obesity is related to many diseases including diabetes and heart related diseases. It also interferes with the sleep cycle of viewers. Sometimes they watch television late into the night, enjoying only few hours of productive sleep, before going on another binge of television watching. Poor sleeping practices are linked to sleep difficulties, depression, fatigues, headaches and other illnesses.
It also affects social interactions. People who watch too much TV are socially inept. They are withdrawn in social settings, lack the confidence to speak up and cannot hold or start a conversation with strangers. Nothing interests them much like the television.
If the situation is not corrected early, they may not be able to enjoy fulfilling relationships in adulthood. Furthermore, excess television is a waste of time. People spend a lot of time living in a fantasy world of actors, instead of following their dreams. They do not live a life of adventure and experimentation to discover their hobbies and learn new things.
While social surrogacy may distract people from feeling lonely, the problem is that viewers become too attached to characters on TV. When a popular character dies or something bad happens to them, the people attached to them are affected in the same way, as say when a family member or a friend succumbs to some misfortune. Furthermore, television is very influential. It can be used to manipulate viewers in whichever way it sees fit.
Children in America and china are not much different behavior wise because of television, despite the cultural differences and the distance. Television is attributed to unwarranted consumerism that has become synonymous with Americans. We work hard just to spend all our hard earned cash on things like clothes, phones and jewelry, instead of other meaningful stuff like investments and pension plans.
We are bombarded each day with hundreds of advertisements and eventually we become connected with the items advertised. We start using whatever we see on our TVs, wear clothes we see celebrities wearing, we adopt slangs and signs used by musicians and eventually our whole life is fabricated to be in line with the television. It is also guilty of propagating stereotypes for different races.
For instance, in movies Black Americans and Hispanics are portrayed to be naturally aggressive and into gangs, Black and Hispanic women are also shown to be angry always, while the marriage life among Whites is basically nonexistent with most of the marriages either in divorce or in rocks with no hope of ever being salvaged.
Couple the fact that people believe whatever they see with the influential nature of television, then we have a nation of people who are constantly wary of each other. It is no wonder that penitentiaries in America are filled with Blacks and Hispanics, while divorce rates among Whites is at an all-time high. All Muslims are basically terrorists thanks to the smearing campaign against all over the world. Programs, such as reality shows and movies can actually take away a bit of your intelligence and make you shallow. The brain is only improved by ideas and concepts and not by daily gossip shows.
Furthermore, it can ruin relationships. As stated earlier, people who watch too much television are social outcasts. While they may be lucky to get into relationships from time to time, maintaining long term relationships may be tricky for them.
This is because the communication part, which is very important is either very minimal or nonexistent. Lastly, education is very addictive. It is like any other type of addiction and coming out of it may be a problem. Symptoms associated with other addictions, such as depression and withdrawals are also prevalent in television addiction.
In conclusion, the television is an integral item in our lives. If the whole system were to be shut down, there is not telling how boring the world would be. Like most things, television only becomes harmful when it is over used.
There are various measures to safeguard our kids that if parents were keen enough, then their kids would be perfectly protected. Some of the measures include having parental guidance/advisory logos before a movie or song starts and installing safety settings on modern television sets to censor all the dirty material to make the experience child friendly.