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The Power of the Screen

  • Date Submitted: 07/17/2011 05:57 AM
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The Power of the Screen

When television was first introduced, writers and social scientists thought that this new invention would better life. For example, psychologist Joel Gold predicted that it would make family bonds much stronger (as cited in Guwern, 2008, p. 103). Pictures which advertised television in the 1950s invariably showed a happy family gathered together in the living room, sharing the TV viewing experience. Who could have guessed that a quarter of a century later mother would be in the kitchen watching a daytime drama, dad would be in the living room watching a ball game, and the children would be watching cartons in the bedroom? Nobody could have foreseen the sad picture, which prevail almost all homes all over the world today. Unfortunately, TV has taken over family life and thus has two negative effects on family relationships.
To begin with, TV has certainly influenced the activities of family members, especially limiting family outings. As families today schedule their lives around the television only, when there is a special occasion, which requires every family member to attend, there is always someone in the family who does not want to go. They generally utter the same complaint, “I’ll miss my program”. Afraid of missing even one episode of their favorite program, they sacrifice the valuable time they would otherwise spend together with their family. According to Gisso, 80% of the people investigated in Paris reported to have at least 2 TV shows per week that they feel heartedly attached to (2000, para. 1). This is clear evidence of TV being an obstacle to possible family outings. Another reason why TV is favored over family outings is that it provides a variety of entertainment programs, which in return make family members house-bound. When people have the opportunity to spend time with TV series, talk shows or entertaining shows, they do not feel the need to go out. For example, technology made it possible today to watch a live concert...


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