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Should Television Be Switched On?

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Should Television Be Switched On? TV or not TV? -That's the question. We may not all be Hamlet, but we all struggle with our own existential issues and since television plays a major role in our existence it becomes an issue. The days are long past when we could consider TV to be an innocent, innocuous part of daily life or a casual baby-sitter. It is a powerful, persuasive teacher and a primary companion for children, many of whom spend more time in front of the television than in school. Considering that some members of the average family watch more than seven hours of television per day, it is not surprising that contemporary research indicates that human development and behaviour are affected by television to a degree far exceeding earlier judgments. Unfortunately, this medium, which has been used for much good, has increasingly been misused. The number of programmes and commercials that conflict with gospel standards are steadily rising, and few viewers demonstrate enough self-discipline to resist. Some of us don't even realize what hidden messages we're receiving-and little by little we subconsciously come to accept them as normal or appropriate. ...read more.


However in perspective, ninety eight percent of the time, commercials are glamorising the sedentary lifestyle with promotion of junk food and new technological advances that mean you can "stay in the comfort of your own home" and use the television or internet to do your weekly shopping. The effects of commercialism cannot be underestimated. Children are besieged by manipulative commercial messages day in and day out, on TV, and even at school. Companies hire psychologists to help them target children and manipulate them; we call this the "art of whine-making." Perhaps the mobile phone is the biggest example of discontent among teenagers as every seventeen days on average there is a new model on the shelves. The bombardment of commercial messages has created a sense of chronic dissatisfaction in children and, many psychologists think, has contributed to the increase in teenage depression. With the technological and social development in the world, television hasn't fallen behind and companies seem to have left no stone unturned; every taboo is consistently addressed in day to day viewing. Intense and disturbing imagery, including scenes of extreme violence but including other extreme taboos such as cannibalism, were once found only in films of extreme violence. More and more, these images are appearing on television and satellite broadcast. ...read more.


On TV, snacking is almost as common as breakfast, lunch, and dinner combined. During daytime weekend children's programs, snacking comprises forty five percent of all eating events, while regular meals constitute only twenty four percent. Fruits are chosen as snacks on television only four to five percent of the time. Clearly, TV does not promote good eating habits. Adding to this affluence and power are common themes of some of the most popular shows on current prime-time television. Some programs consistently glamorise materialism and glorify products. With high-fashion wardrobes, luxurious estates, and insatiable appetites for wealth, these TV characters portray the false idea that greed brings gratification and Life-styles portrayed on these programs often promote self-satisfaction rather than sacrifice, greed instead of charity, and conceit rather than humility. Perhaps the most harmful messages TV brings into our homes relate to intimate physical relations. In the past several years, there has been a marked increase in the frequency of flirtatious behaviour and sexual innuendos on TV. Storylines and settings that include revealing or enticing apparel and explicit camera angles are on the increase. Moreover, references to intimate physical relations on TV, whether verbally insinuated or contextually implied, occur most often between unmarried partners-five times more frequently than between married couples. References to such relations with prostitutes come in second. ...read more.

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