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Today, television is one of the greatest creations of mankind as well as one of the most significant mass media in this world. Every family has at least one television at home. Watching it has become the essential part in our daily life. This is mainly because it is not just an entertainment device but a powerful tool to connect with outside world and the happenings around us. The amount of time people is spending in front of television is awful; on average, individuals spend three hours a day to sit in front of television (Ruskin, 2002). Indeed, television can teach us about the new things but at the same time, it can be misused by mankind also. As a result, this essay is going to explore both the beneficial and harmful effects of television towards the society in this modern time.
Different types of television programs
Having said this, the main purposes of television are to provide information to users, entertainment, and advertisement (eCheat.com, 2007). There are many types of television programs today; one of them is news and weather forecasts. Basically, news should perform in the following four main functions to the community i.e. latest, educational, opinion making, and entertainment functions (Media Awareness Network, 2010). Its primary purpose is to provide reliable information and connect the worldwide happenings to its readers.
Other type of television program is the live broadcasts. Audience can access to the events such as festival celebration, opening ceremony, and winning awards on the spot without any delay in transmission. Furthermore, some entertainment programs such as dramas, sports, and cartoons are to entertain the viewers. Those funny parts in cartoons might give viewers some kind of relaxation and laugh. Occasionally, certain parts in drama can also teach us to become more alert in the cautious situation.
Moreover, there are also a lot of school education programs that broadcast in television nowadays. In fact, television can be a good source of education as long as children find the right programs. They can choose the showing courses that interest them and at the same time, improve on their learning loops. In addition, through the documentary channel one can broaden their knowledge in terms of understand the results in processing and figuring out on other's living behaviours and cultures in a deeper way.
On another hand, advertisement is also a form of television program that communicate a specific product or service to end users (Nawathe, Gawande & Dethe, 2007). It promotes and introduces us the new innovations and products. Therefore, it is a tool for moving the economy forward.
The power of television
Television has plenty of channels with different topics. These programs keep us informed of all current affairs in the world. Events through television are going to be more vivid than those through magazines and newspapers (Oppapers.com 2010). Moreover, it allows us to express message with picture, sound, and movements, which can give the business, product, or service an instant accessibility (Allbusiness.com, 2010). Even if we avoid watching them, we are constantly influenced by them (Potter 2010). Therefore, television became a very important and influential part of culture in our daily life.
Besides that, television can reach much wider audience coverage than local newspapers and radio stations (Allbusiness.com, 2010). Television has shrunk the distance of the world that one can watch what is happening several thousand miles away from us. It is also a good source of entertainment which is very cheap within the access of every one. So in totality it is information from all over the world, and it is fun and enjoyment with convenience (Ziemkowska, 2007). For example, we watch the news from the whole world, the news on hand is realistic and keeps us aware of both locally and internationally happenings around us.
Additionally, television has huge source of information and be able to enrich our knowledge in many ways. Some television programs such as cooking and learning courses introduce us the new knowledge and new method of doing things. Hence, one can become skilful at doing jobs, making cakes, and cooking through practical courses taught on television (Oppapers.com, 2010). In referring to this point, one can learn new stuffs, and probably can become rich, beautiful, and popular through television (Hubpages.com, 2010).
Moreover, television is also a source of recreation (Oppapers.com, 2010). For example, the funny programs could bring us minutes of relaxation after a hard day's work. Numerous people consider television as a good escape from all difficulties of everyday life. In addition, one can have a weather forecast and plan several things accordingly before hand.
Of course, there are also some good advertisements on television. Social advertising is a very good example of positive ads. For example, the soap companies such as Dettol and Lifebuoy provoke children to stay clean at all times. Moreover, brushing twice a day was a marketing strategy for more usage of that product but they do encourage children on keeping their teeth clean and healthy (Nawathe, Gawande & Dethe, 2007).
The limitations of television viewing
Apart from its advantages, however, television could bring a lot of cons to viewers too. Television is seemed to be a bad influence in today world (eCheat.com 2007). People who were sat in front of a television early in life grow up to be socially crippled, thus unable to handle the real life social situations; and sometimes even violent (Potter, 2010). Many scientists have been studying the effects of television for decades; they generally focus on whether watching violence on it correlates with being violent in real life (Ruskin 2002).
This is where watching too many stupid movies and shows, some may think that it is normal that they commit a crime and would not be punished. In the films, the murderers can escape away and never be caught. For example, many bank robbers live happy lives after robbing much money. Besides that, many heroes are still surviving, even if they were shot by a gun. Television thus creates the very fake image of the world to society, especially the children and teenagers. This may make people want to become criminals (Hubpages.com, 2010).
In particular, the purpose of advertisement is to influence on the consumer's buying pattern (Nawathe, Gawande & Dethe, 2007). Indeed, advertisement is probably one of the most influential items in television program (eCheat.com, 2007). If the ad is good enough to attract the group, they will probably go and buy the product in hopes of reaching the same perfection (Wow Essays, 2004). Taking sport ad for an example, Nike is accused of implying their shoes will provide a consumer athletic ability. As a result, children are going to want the same pair in order to become as their idol (Wow Essays, 2004).
According to that issue, fast food industry is another great example of bad advertisement influence in people consuming habits (eCheat.com, 2007). Nawathe, Gawande & Dethe (2007) pointed out that those advertisements with soft drinks, burgers, pizzas, and other fast foods can have negative impacts on the children's health. Fast food chains often target at children and teenagers. To make the situation even worst, these products yet advertised during the children's programs.
This is where it shaped into the next issue, due to sitting long hours in front of television and computer every day, they are probably not exercising, thus fast food habits may lead to obesity. Furthermore, children aged anywhere between 3-17 years is now suffered from diabetes. Please be aware that watching too much of television can harm our eyes and nerves also. Moving forward, several advertisements today show smokers, sexuality, and strange images for the teens. Because of these ads, teens may be encouraged to do inappropriate stuff during their teenage life (Hubpages.com 2010). This has made a cause for great public concern too (Hubpages.com, 2010).
In short, parents should provide proper guidance on age-appropriate use of all media, especially the television and the Internet. Personally, I think that in this fractured media environment today, the rise of television and Internet usage is most pressure on today's people, especially the teenagers and children. They are attracted to those commercial sites because young people are more adaptive and more open to new invent technologies than adults. However, marketing to young people raises a series of ethical issues. Government should come out multiple sets of regulations in order to control against the marketing activities targeted at them. Besides that, government should also implement appropriate food laws in order to control over the unhealthy food advertisements on television. On another hand, which is more relevant, such positive social advertisements should indulge because the impact to society is enormous. Taken as a whole, it is vital that all of us must aware of what the shows and commercial ads that trying to sell us. We should keep our eyes open and beware of the danger and fake information they feed us at all times.