The Impact Of Television

Since the beginning, there have been mixed reactions to television and it was E.B. White who wrote "I believe that television is going to be the test of the modern world, and in this new opportunity to see beyond the range of our own vision, we shall discover either a new and unbearable disturbance of the general peace or a saving radiance in the sky. We shall stand or fall by television, of that I am sure." (Murray 7) White was correct, it would either be beneficial or detrimental to society. Ever since the first television station was licensed in 1941, our lives have been effected by the presence of television. However, this effect is not for the negative since it is used from simple means of entertainment to a widely used, invaluable, source of information. It is also an excellent aid in preparing children for school and assisting in educating children after they have begun school.

Every day millions of people turn to their televisions as a form of escape from the pressures and stress of day to day life. The television, to them, serves the purpose of entertaining them for a half hour or an hour at a time. This is the purpose of sitcoms, such as the popular NBC produced shows Friends and Fraiser, each appealing to different audiences, but both comedy bases for purposes of entertaining. Humor is not the only approach used in television entertainment. Shows, such as NYPD Blue, use thick plot lines and heavy drama to draw the viewer in. Entertaining society through this media has become a multibillion dollar industry. Top movies like Jurassic Park, which grossed 390 million dollars, bring millions of people to movie theater, which are basically large televisions, for the soul purpose of entertainment. Movies are not restricted only to theaters since they are available on video cassette and even broadcasted into millions of homes each day. The privilege of television as entertainment should be used, but not abused. For instance, watching six hours of television every night, stopping only to eat and sleep does not promote and active lifestyle, however, on the other end of the spectrum, never watching any television does not expose a person to a vast array of entertainment and information.

Television is able to show different roles in society and therefore people are able to better understand others experiences and responsibilities. Along with this idea, people should know and understand current events of the world to help them better understand the effects of these events on society. Television has become the fastest media, reporting on today\'s event, as opposed to yesterday\'s events written about in a news paper. Since there is not an area in this country, or an area in the world that does not receive a television signal, this, along with the fact only 2% of the population does not have a television, ensure that this is an extremely assessable media. Society has taken advantage of this by broadcasting the days news and information, regardless of which part of the world it took place in, over television signal so that 98% of the society can view it and become informed. This is not to say that television is the best source for news and information, but it is the most current. Documentary show are very informative on one particular chosen subject. These shows help society better understand the world around them. For instance, a documentary show about the wars in the middle east can explain why there is a war and more importantly, the effects on the residents in this area. When a documentary is shown two stories are told; the verbal information presented and the progression of pictures. An emotion can be portrayed very effectively by means of pictures. The viewer now is not only told that the children in the middle east are left without food and shelter, he/she is able to see the children suffering. This aspect of television makes it an invaluable asset to today\'s society, and especially beneficial to children.


Studies estimate that before the age of 18, children have watched fifteen to twenty thousand hours of television. What kind of impact does this have on a child\'s ability to learn? In a survey