If you were offered one million dollars to give up television for life, would you do it? Interestingly, 1 in every 4 Americans would not, reports the International Herald Tribune. According to a survey commissioned by TV Guide magazine in 2012, half of those surveyed said they would not give up TV for less than a million dollars. In contrast, 1 in 4 said he was willing to quit TV for life for as little as $25,000. Most people said they watched less TV than they did two years ago, but only 1 person in 8 felt guilty about watching too much television.
Soon after men learned to broadcast sound, inventors wondered if they could also transmit live pictures. To appreciate the challenge, now consider how television works today.
First, a TV camera focuses a scene onto a target device that “reads” the picture, similar to the way you read print. However, instead of scanning lines of letters on the page, it scans lines of spots (or pixels) in the picture. It converts what it sees into an electronic video signal that can be transmitted to another place. A receiver then converts the signal back into a live picture.
In recent times, television has become a veritable tool for influencing the minds of youths and advanced once as well. Looking at the attention span given to television on a daily basis, it is safe to say that on the average, television viewership is a virus, a deadly virus at that, which has substantially aided the epidemic of obesity in the United States and other developed countries. Nigeria could be said to have partially evaded this television epidemic majorly because of our N.E.P.A problem (LOL)
What are the negative effects of television? Some may argue that television and movie violence may not be taken literally by children and that all those horror movies are having no effect on them. “In that case,” commented a British newspaper, “why did a school authority in America’s mid-west have to tell thousands of children that there were no Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in the local storm drains? The tiny Turtle fans had been crawling into the drains to look for them, that’s why.”
The magazine U.S.News & World Report stated: “In 1991, the three [U.S.] networks displayed more than 10,000 sexual incidents during prime time; for every scene depicting sexual intercourse between married partners, the networks showed 14 scenes of sex outside marriage.” By showing over 9,000 incidents of illicit sex during prime time in one year, what would you say television is teaching? Barry S. Sapolsky, who coauthored the report “Sex in Primetime Television: 1979 Versus 1989,” states: “If an adolescent watches years of TV where people engage in flirtatious or explicit behavior, these thousands of images over the years will teach them that sex is pleasant—and without any consequences.
Some say that television has been the most influential medium of the 20th century. A writer commented: “While some people critique its content, no one debates television’s power.” But television is no better than the individuals who produce the programs. So along with its power to influence for good, it has power to influence for bad. While programs of shallow content, filled with violence and immorality, have given some people what they want to see, such programs failed to improve human relationships and too often worsened them.
Neil Postman, in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death, mentions another danger, saying: “The problem is not that television presents us with entertaining subject matter but that all subject matter is presented as entertaining…No matter what is depicted or from what point of view, the overarching presumption is that it is there for our amusement and pleasure”. In truth not all programs are entertaining, for many pose great dangers to the psyche or mental frame of the youths and older ones alike.
The resolution for today’s youths should be the dumping of the ugly habit of idly ‘surfing’ random T.V stations with little or no predisposition to a particular T.V program. Another idea is the imbibing of reading culture, in actual sense reading should not be centered on academics alone; rather, omnivorous reading should be adopted among youths. Furthermore, viewing of T.V stations should be limited to mostly educative and inspirational programs. Youths are now challenged to developing good communication skills with their neighbors as well as brain tasking.
What are the positive results of these policies? First, one reduces health danger of obesity and fatigue when he or she is proactive, also the intelligence quotient improves as the brain stores up useful information and is regularly tasked, in conclusion, this DIGITAL FRAME called ‘Television’ is a powerful tool given to us by the ingenuity of minds of the 20th century, we are behooved to use this gift as a force for good to ourselves and neighbors, through disciplined use.
Some of the info used are from the*watchtower library, *university of Benin Main library, BBC bulletins 1990
By Essay Palmer