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Monday, May 16, 2011

Television has changed the quality of life for the ordinary person. Do you agree or disagree?

There is probably no greater influence on social issues and society itself than the television. It has become arguably the greatest invention of the past century. There is no doubt that it has significantly changed the life of the ordinary man. The point to be pondered over is that as television has saturated our lives, has it always resulted toward our betterment?

With TV, we have witnessed countless historical events: Inaugurations of presidents; man’s first steps on the moon; even disasters as they happen. We watch TV in the morning to receive the daily news. We eat watching it. We watch it before they go to bed. While enjoying the entertaining programs aired on television, we hardly give thought to its detrimental effects, especially on young children.

The box has made us get rid of courtesies. When we have a guest, we cannot even conceal our lack of interest and attention in what they are saying, leave alone turning the volume down or switching it off altogether. We never think twice before turning the TV on at about 12:30 in the morning at a high volume. The half-literate domestic help watches TV serials when she is free, whereas she would try hard to read the newspapers had it been a few years ago...And the list can go on.

In earlier times women spent their idle afternoons visiting their neighbours and men socialised with their friends and colleagues. In today’s competitive world people are willing to work for longer hours for a better future. It’s already hard for the modern urban Indian to spend time even with their family. But in spite of that, the television eats up from the few hours one gets to stay at home. Such meager interaction increases the distance between spouses, and more importantly, between children and their parents, which has been found to harm the way they grow up and form relationships. What is more, the advertisements succeed in giving rise to strong materialistic wants in people, which must be one of the reasons why our society is becoming increasingly consumerist.

Therefore, moderation is quite important to ensure that the television is used as a source of healthy entertainment and for enhancing knowledge. So, it is better to set a time limit for watching television. Children should be encouraged to participate in activities, like playing and reading books. Before allowing children to watch television programs, the parents should take into account the program reviews and television ratings. They should be encouraged to watch programs that reinforce family values. As parents are the role models for their children, hence it is equally important to limit your own television watching, to set an example for them.

To sum up, it can be said that television has changed the life of the ordinary man beyond recognition in both negative and positive ways. We must ration our TV viewing hours in order to escape its cons.

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