Media is very important in today’s world, especially television. We now live in the Information Age and it is through media that information is transmitted. In olden days, media was not developed properly and so transmitting information was difficult. Starting from newspapers and magazines, technology had improved steadily to give us radio and television. More recently it has given us the Internet. Television plays an important role by giving us news and analysis about important events across the world. Television has both good influences and bad influences on society.
The following essay will talk about these in detail.
There is no doubt that Television has many good influences. Firstly, Television is an audio/visual medium making it easy for the audience to follow programs. It uses graphics, sound recording and film technology to bring lively and interesting material to the enjoyment of the audience. Many people when they come back from office or school switch on the Television and relax themselves.
More importantly, it also provides news bulletins and science programs for gaining knowledge. For school-going children it offers sport programming like live baseball telecast, etc. All this are very useful and perform an important social role. In fact, Television has become such an important part of everyday life that we cannot imagine how life will be without Television. (Bignell, 2004)
Television has been used for the purpose of education as well. For example, class-rooms can show students interesting movies that are part of the curriculum.
Class-room can also show recorded lectures and science documentaries. With respect to society, Television brings awareness about global issues so that all of us can act together. One example of this is global warming, about which information is provided in Television. With this we can act together and save the planet. Television also has plenty of advertisements. While some ads can be boring, some others provide information about products, which we can use when we go shopping. (Noll, 2011)
Television not only performs a social role but also a family role. It brings all members of family together during evenings. In fact, it has become part of family routine at dinner time. Television gives news about weather conditions. We can take precautions against rain and storm by watching weather news. Also, Television is used these days in closed-circuit cameras for security reasons.
On the negative side too, there are many points. First, watching Television for long time is bad for the eyes. Television can distract students from focussing on studies. It can make young children lazy and keep them away from books and sports. Parents are especially worried that Television has bad effect on society as it shows violence and crime. Young people can get the wrong idea about life watching such programs. For example, a young person watching use of guns on Television might later kill someone with a gun in real life. So it is very dangerous in cases like this. It also gives wrong idea about how to treat women, etc. In other words, Television can show women in stereotype fashion. Hence, not everything about Television is good. (Freedman, 2002)
Television can cause problems in society by showing racial discrimination, etc. For example, if black people are not shown in programs, one gets the impression that they are not important people. Television news can also be flawed. For example, we cannot believe everything the news anchor says as truth. Sometimes they give inaccurate information to deceive the viewer. So one has to be careful about the truthfulness of news. Also, the information given in advertisements can be misleading. Many companies are just trying to make quick money and will show any false claims to sell products. So we have to be careful while watching Television. (Bignell, 2004)
Finally, Television has many limitations which make it not useful for in-depth analysis. That is, Television can never replace the importance of books and libraries as sources of detailed information. If society relies on Television as the sole medium of instruction and knowledge than we are all doomed. (www.buzzle.com, 2011)
Hence, in conclusion, Television, along with other media, is neither wholly good to society or wholly bad. There are good and bad aspects to it and positive and negative influences on society. It is up to us to be choosy in watching Television. We do not want to be cheated by false advertisements and false news. We also don’t want to get wrong impression about women and gun usage. We should use Television for good things like developing knowledge and improving language skills, etc. So, we need to think about both sides of the argument and be selective in watching Television. It is apt to conclude by saying that books have more beneficial effect on society than Television.
Paul Noll, Television Plays a Positive Role in Society, Arguments in Favour, retrieved from
on 31st January, 2011.
Negative Effects of Television, retrieved from
on 31st January, 2011.
Freedman, J (2002). Media violence and its effect on aggression.: Assessing the scientific evidence. University of Toronto Press.
Bignell, Jonathan. An Introduction to Television Studies (New York: Routledge, 2004)