After work, if you had no other plans, you would probably go back to your home. At your place, you would probably calm your nerves by taking a shower, have some bites to feed your hunger and then sink onto the couch. What would you think that the next step in the routine will be? You may grab the TV remote control and spend hours surfing over hundreds of channels. This is an extremely common scenario in most homes. Television has become an essential part of our lives and given us entertainments for many years. It is undoubtedly one of the most powerful media which influences our everyday lives through the stories it provides.
While most of us watch television just for fun, these stories can have a lasting impact on the notion of what it means to be ourselves. However, viewers should be aware that all the television stories are not always accurate and true. We are living “in a time when 98% of all households own at least one television set – a set which is turned on at least seven hours a day …. ” (In this nation, because it is a melting pot of diverse cultures, one of the most problematic issues that the society might never be able to solve would be discrimination, especially racism.
For many, joking about the differences between a white man and a black man– I mean racism – that mostly spotting the difference between a white and a black man has been a major pastime. Just because some people have different skin colors than others, labeling other races as chink or the n-word reduces them into nothing more than another person marching along with featureless faces. This shouldn’t be happening anywhere in this world, but, unfortunately, some T. V programs take part in this very behavior. On such television show is the Chappell show, a show named after the man who stars in it.
He is an African-American but the show typically centers on racism as it is in daily life, presented as a comedy. For him, racism is a farce, and his skits show that it is very much alive today but in a more subtle way. For example, in one such skit, entitled “White Supremacy,” Chappelle plays an African-American Klan member. His character is clearly “black” but is blind and cannot see that he is, in fact, African-American. The character grew up believing that he is white and becomes a very prominent member of the Klan, constantly shouting racist slogans to the delight of other Klan members.
Most people understand that racism in TV is wrong, “not because aliens might be watching American television, but because people are, particularly impressionable children and teenagers. ” (Rosenzwieg, 162). Of course, the story was the comedy, and it wouldn’t ever happen in real life. Grown people are expected to have reason and to distinguish between right and the wrong through it. Adults, however, should recognize that there are children and teenagers who purely and directly absorb what they have experienced even the shows on TV.
Other content on television that can affect lives negatively are shows that have negative themes and images. While every person experiences TV programs and commercials that often show nothing but violence, alcohol or drug use and sexual content not suitable for children and teenagers, researchers at the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that “TV viewing may lead to more aggressive behavior, less physical activity, altered body image and increased use of drugs and alcohol”.
Television programs have gotten much more violent over the years. Shows like 24, the Sopranos, and many others depict murders and other violent acts. Children should not be watching such violence, but many of them are! Children, overall, spend about 28 hours per week in front of the TV, which over the year, is more time than the child spends in school. Statistically on average, children in United States watch about four hours of TV daily.
Movies on tape or DVD and playing video games only adds more total time the child spends in front of the TV. Many of these are violent as well. In addition, television viewing can negatively affect children in other ways as well because children who watch television are more likely to be overweight since they do not spend as much time running, jumping and getting the exercise they need. TV also encourages aggression because “praising those in power would be boring”.
Competitive shows like Survivor, Bull Run, and others encourage deceptive and aggressive behavior in order to win a prize. Children will grow up thinking they have to be this competitive. TV should not teach children to be argumentative and aggressive. More and more people would agree on that stories provided on television are not always real and sometimes cause bad effects for kids. Everybody needs to realize that mindless violence, sexual conduct, and discrimination on TV need to be stopped and to be reminded that TV is a tool for recreation.