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The Effects of Television on Society

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It may be hard to admit, but television has become an intricate part of our everyday lives. People often find themselves sitting in front of the television screen for a longer period of time than ever before and this is due to the fact that television has evolved immensely over the past few years. Society is so addicted to television that it has become an issue. People are not aware of the dangers that television can inflict on the human mind and because of this people are becoming socially unproductive. Television shows have also evolved over the years as more and more TV shows resort to sex and violence to capture their audiences. These shows reflect negatively upon our younger viewers and it is becoming a problem. Despite all these negative aspects, there are however educational programs and television ads that benefit the viewers.

The definition of addiction is the condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or involved in something. Now the word addiction hasn't always been commonly associated with television, but over the past years it is becoming more common. The average person spends about 1000 hours watching television each year. That's equivalent to watching 24 hours of television a day for six weeks straight. Like a drug addict, a television addict thrives on a certain experience to get high. In this case the high is watching television. Winn states, "Something about that particular experience makes life without it less than complete" (505). A television addict doesn't believe he can live life without television. Television addicts devote every waking hour to watching TV and some even revolve their whole life around it. These addicts live off the incredible experience they feel when watching television and because of this they are unable to stop.

People often use television as a scapegoat for the many problems that goes on in their own lives. They watch TV to live out the life they never had. Maria Winn explains, "...the television experience allows the participant to blot out the real world and enter into a pleasurable and passive mental state"(Winn 506). They are able to enter an imaginary television world as a place where they can forget about their troubles and live the perfect life they never had. Dove states, "It is not that we confuse TV with reality, but that we prefer it to reality..."(Dove 503-04). For some people the television life is a life they rather live. They find the television world to be a much more fascinating world than their own.

Sex and violence has also become an all too common problem in television today. Every television show on TV is resorting to sex and violence to make money. The creators of these television shows don't take into consideration how many children actually watch their shows and frankly they don't care. These companies are only after one thing and that is how much money they can make. They base their success on the amount of viewers they get because the more viewers they attract the more money they rake in. Children's cartoons have always been revolved around violence. Whether it be a coyote chasing after a roadrunner or a pussycat trying to kill a bird, they all seem to have a little violence in them. They show these characters engage in crazy stunts that often involves them getting hurt, but they don't show the consequences or the aftermath of their actions. The producers think its okay to show these kinds of behaviors as long as they're done in a humorous way. The kids watch these shows and they think its okay to do what they see on TV, but what they don't understand is that there are consequences to these actions and if they try to imitate these actions, someone will eventually get hurt.

Although there are many negative aspects to watching too much television, there are some benefits. Television stations like The Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, Animal



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