21 November 2013
Digital Changes to my life
When looking at the changes in my life I remember many changes. But, one of the
changes that I notice the most is the television. I remember first seeing the TV as a box-like
structure that sat in the living room just waiting to be watched. But over the years the television
has gone from a giant box to a slender monitor that displays HD. Besides the obvious changes
the TV has also changed society as a whole. Some of the changes are good and others are bad.
The changes range from people claiming that TV brainwashes people to commit acts of violence
to how it is it is neither good nor bad. As the mystery unfolds on what impact the television has
on our lives I will compare this research with examples from own life.
According to my research, the television is a fascinating medium that often blurs people’s
perceptions of what is real and what is not real (Mitu 2). In other words, the things that we see on
television nowadays are so realistic that people do not know what to believe. When it comes to
seeing something on television to me it seems pretty obvious that some of the messages are false.
Unlike the average person the television rarely tricks me into believing a bogus lie. The video
that can be accessed through this link contains relevant information to how TV affects people
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=4D_FbuNTE_c. The video states
that television is controlled by hundreds of companies with some of them having billions of
dollars as part of their budget. The advertiser uses television to promote what they want while
trumping the producers (“How Television Affects Your Brain Chemistry.flv”). This is how the
advertiser broadcasts their message to the masses. While watching TV the brain will slip into
alpha level where the brain will absorb the suggestions that are advertised and the viewer enters a
hypnotic –like state (“How Television Affects Your Brain Chemistry.flv”).
We have all slipped into this state whether we admit it or not. I remember watching tons
of commercials on TV. The commercial that I remember the most is about the Aluma Wallet. I
was so intrigued by the commercial that I believed that I had to have one. Once I got one and a
few months later I needed another new wallet. The reasoning was due to the fact that the
advertisers claim that the Aluma Wallets are indestructible, which is only partially true, but it
turns out they are not indestructible on the inside. The truth is that not everything is as it seems
despite what the advertisers say. Yet when it comes to whether or not people have good or bad
social skills depends on how interactive the program is.
Television can be seen a two-edged sword when it comes to the development of social
skills in people. According to Charlton and O’Bey, if children watch programs that encourage
social interaction then they will have good social skills, but as often is the case with TV
programs most children rarely watch shows that encourage interaction and henceforth do not
develop social skills from watching TV (2). This brings me back to my memories of my
childhood to where I would watch a lot of TV or play a lot of video games as soon as I got done
my homework. I have always had a tough time interacting with people at first, but after a while I
would eventually warm up to people. In other words, I believe that TV has no affect on social
interactions due to the fact that some people, like me, might have a hard time interacting due to a
learning disability or it is part of their personality. However, TV can be used as an excuse not to
socialize with others. Yet some people believe that living as a loner who is glued in front of the
TV can lead to violence and etc.
The following video shows how the drama and tension of television affects the mindset
of people http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=PR7is9xDkPk. The
video states that watching the news in television is like looking into the face of terror (The effect
of TV news on peoples perspective-Cultivation Theory). Unfortunately what the narrator is
saying in the video is true. Yet I find it ironic that his saying reflects a truth mentioned in the
Bible. In the Bible it says that when the end is near there will be war and rumors of war which
pretty much lines up with all the chaos that we see today. In other words, the world is slowly
dying like all the technology we see and will continue to do so. Yet, as human beings it is within
our nature that we would develop a fear of anything, especially with how the TV portrays stuff
(The effect of TV news on peoples perspective-Cultivation Theory).
Yet it is only natural for human beings to develop fears based on what we see on TV.
Whenever I do have time to watch TV it is mainly the news. Yet the stuff that I see is just
frustrating. The news always talks about the same stuff like how the leaders that we elected into
office are filthy backstabbers who only care about themselves. Yet how does the TV affect the
family and ideas about cultural norms?
The following link Bernard Salt speaks on the cultural impact of television
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=SjvE3jyAATo. Television is a
medium that has the power to influence the popular opinion of a nation and/or culture. With the
television being in almost every room of the average family’s home it is impossible for our
culture not to be influenced by television (Bernard Salt speaking on the cultural impact of the
television). Yet the only impact the television has had on me was developing a dislike towards
politicians unless the politician is a true American and not some backstabber.
Yet a lot has changed our culture since when the television first appeared. Some of these
are good and some these are bad. In the 50s and 60s divorce was almost uncommon but by the
70s divorce started to skyrocket due to it being advertised as an acceptable lifestyle (Pitta 128).
Unfortunately people marry for all the wrong reasons. I remember that both of my parents
divorced a previous spouse before me and my younger sister came along. Also, my cousins’
parents are now divorced. Even my older sister had a divorce before she married someone else. I
myself do not support divorce because it destroys the moral of the family and divorce was only
meant as a failsafe.
Unfortunately, people today do not know the concept of unity, but instead focus all of
their affection on nothing but themselves. In the past women were not thought of as much. If a
woman tried to break the norm people would think that they were crazy. It wasn’t until the 70s
that women started to be recognized as equals with TV shows depicting women as independent
(Pitta 132-135). I for one am glad that women are independent. As a young man I find that being
able to be able to make my own choices a crucial part in a free country. I also believe that in
marriage men and women need to be on equal footing when making decisions, because marriage
is where both men and women can learn to work together as a team.
Now that all the facts are out of the way, what do other people think about the television?
I for one have a neutral position when it comes to the TV, but I will present my opinions with
both the positive and negative views on the TV. According to Anne-Marie Duff’s poll 70% of
people think that television is bad and 30% of people think that television is good. The majority
says it encourages violence, while others say that we are capable of making responsible choices
and that people are naturally violent without the help of the TV (1-26). I tend to agree with the
minority on this one. People are naturally wicked. It is a known fact and the Bible itself attests to
such claims. Yet what most people don’t realize is that they have a brain that they can use to
discern what is just and what is unjust instead of being sponges and believe everything they see.
Many people find that watching the television is a major distraction and a waste of time.
Other people don’t think that watching TV is a bad thing and sometimes think it is better to have
a TV due to the other unsavory aspects of life. A small percentage though believe that TV is best
when watched in moderation (Doyne 3-9). I myself tend to take a neutral position and say that
TV can be a waste of time and is good to watch in moderation especially when it seems that
there is nothing interesting on TV nowadays.
According to Keleman’s article TV is a bad thing. In his article he blames all of society’s
ills on the TV which includes violence, poor social, obesity, and etc. He claims that finding
alternative ways to spend time rather than letting children get poisoned by the big screen (2-11).
I would have to agree and disagree with Keleman. TV does invoke an addiction to violence but
without the TV people would just find alternative ways to quench their lusts. Yet finding better
things to do is a good way to learn new things, even though there a few good programs on TV.
Overall, the TV has changed society as a whole. It has changed us for both better and
worse. Human beings in general are easily attracted to all that fascinates the eye despite how
fake it is. But when I think about it the TV is just neutral in nature. It’s the people who make
what goes on the TV that can cause it to be good or bad. Yet, as time goes on people will find
something else to blame for their ills whether it’s the TV’s replacement or some other digital
device. Until then take everything that is on TV with a grain of salt.
Word Count: 1651
“Bernard Salt speaking on the cultural impact of television.” YouTube. YouTube, 6 May 2009.
Web. 14 Nov. 2013.
Charlton, Tony, and Susan O’Bey. “Links Between Television and Behavior: Student’s
Perceptions of TV’s impact in St. Helena, South Atlantic.” Support for Learning 12.3
(1997): 130-136. PSYCINFO. Web.13 Nov. 2013.
Doyne, Shannon. “What Role Does Television Play in Your Life and the Life of Your Family?.”
The New York Times. 19 Oct. 2011. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.
Duff, Anne-Marie. “Does television have a negative influence on society?.” Debate.org, n.d.
Web. 14 Nov. 2013. <http:www.debate.org/opinions/does-television-have-a-negative-
“How Television Affects Your Brain Chemistry.flv. YouTube. YouTube. 18 Nov. 2010. Web. 14
Keleman, Lawrence. “The Dangers of TV.” SimpleToRemember.com, n.d. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.
Mitu, Bianaca-Marina. “Television’s impact on Today’s People and Culture.” Economics,
Management and Financial Markets 6.2 (2011): 916-21. ABI/Inform Complete. Web. 13
Pitta, Patricia. “Family Myths and the TV Media: History, impact and new directions. Vol 2.
Washington DC: American Psychological Association, 1999. 125-45. American
Psychological Association. One Search. Web. 13 Nov. 2013.
“The effect of TV news on Peoples Perspective-Cultivation Theory.” YouTube. YouTube, 7
Aug. 2013. Web. 14 Nov. 2013.