Over the years, television has remained to be an important source of information to most people. Television provides us with useful information, inform of entertainment and education that are all a part of positive influences. It keeps us acquainted with a lot of valuable information like educative programs, football games, weather update, and latest news, for instance, informing people about terrorism and terrorist acts occurring in other parts of the world in New York, the revenge against Afghanistan as well as the recent terrorizations of Biological warfare. It is actually a great means of educating people in the society with essential matters that affect our daily lives be it political, social or economic. TV is not only the quickest source of media, but it is very precise and detailed as well. It is a visual means of communicating that is simple to connect to and understand. Consequently, below is a discussion about the influence of TV on education, politics, and family.
Influence of TV on Education
TV has greatly played a significant role in the education sector as well as teaching practices. Teachers have had to familiarize and provide lessons that entertain and educate the learner. Children and teens can study many ideas and skills including literacy skills and imperative language by watching television. According to Mares, Gayathri and Laura (1841), there is a positive influence of exposure to watching television across various learning results: cognitive results which include numeracy and literacy, social cognitive and attitudes and studying about the world which include safety and health knowledge. Television is truly a remarkable window into the world.
Children and teens also listen to prominent leaders making important speeches or watch athletes and football players breaking records. It also teaches and raises the cultural level by providing children with useful information and programs on economic, social, political, ethnic and scientific aspects of life (Amin 3). Educational shows and films are of importance to not only the scientists but children as well. They are designed to educate children on linguistic, reading, and academic skills such as; Martha Speaks, Super Why!, World Girl, Dinosaur Train, Curious George, and Sid the Science Kid (Kail and Cavanaugh 250). These programs and films educate children in a colorful, attractive and a fun way. In addition, these educative programs and competitions uplift them in cultural changes and knowledgeable upbringings. It also gives them the desire to study (Amin 19).
Television acts as a source of formal education where it works like a supportive tool. In non-formal education, TV has a more precise role to play as well. It acts as a basis for teaching etiquettes, social relations, hobbies, religious beliefs and language skills. It disseminates educations by informing people of their privileges, duties, environment, and rights. If knowledge is power, due to its psychological and physical availability, television can redistribute this power more broadly in the society and between societies, mostly through its practice in the educational scheme (Greenfield 45). Therefore, television plays an important role in education by providing children and teens with social quality education, enhancing the quality of education, minimize dependence on verbal teaching, stimulate learning, offer mass schooling opportunities and provide flexibility of space and time in learning.
Watching Tv can as well help children learn to be more cooperative, altruistic, and have self-discipline (Kail and Cavanaugh 250). They engage in pro-social conduct by being encouraged to watch TV. The other major definite influence of watching TV on kids is Sesame Street. Exposure of kids to Sesame street give them an opportunity to acquire substantial education. They become more skilled and can adjust to school easily. Children who watch TV frequently expand their knowledge of shapes, color, letters, and numbers. They study more about the social and physical world and acquire positive attitudes towards communal out-groups (Mares and Pan 11).
Influence of Television in Politics
Nowadays, television is one of the most crucial forces in influencing political opinions and moods. Over the years, the presentation, content, and elegance of political television shows have changed significantly under the influence of developments of commercialization, privatization, and deregulation. The traditional mode of political debate and interview has made new and more attractive ways of reaching viewers from all over the world (Asa 76). In 1952, Adlai Stevenson and Dwight D. Eisenhower were campaigning for the presidency in U.S. However, Eisenhower won the election due to his display and simple slogan that was created in the TV ads (Lang and Lang 12). TV news reporting of political campaigns is more on public opinion polls. Television is the most dependable source of media for the extended election cycle. For example, when Barack Obama won the presidential election in 2012, TV personalities started contemplating about the next possible candidates in 2016. They also started discussing specific changes in Congress that might happen from the 2014 midterm elections.
Anything that people watch on TV leads to their political know-how. TV programs and commercials, be it non-political or political, change public's perceptions of authenticity. These observations drive the people's political influences. The content shown on TV when it comes to politics is equally clear on how it works. Through political advertisements and news, most people get to know more about the politicians, their actions as well as their planned motives to the society. Viewers get to understand more about the world events and attribute blame to nations, groups, and people for unwanted events. Lastly, television enables politicians to get more support due to personality and appearance. The aspirants seen as the most personable and attractive tend to win.
A good example of this was during the popular presidential debate between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy. It was the first debate to be shown on TV in 1960 and for those who listened via radio believed that Nixon would be the apparent winner due to his policy strategies. However, for those who watched the presidential debate on the television amazingly favored Kennedy. When the panel started asking questions, Nixon used to go on the defensive, responding to Kennedy's point by point rather than concentrating with his viewers. On the other hand, Kennedy looked calm, rested, cocksure and informed differently from Nixon. He aimed at the millions of people viewing at the debate when answering the questions that gave him an immediate lead after the presidential debate (Biagi 263).
Nonpolitical TV contents are also of importance as well; however, its influence is more cautious. Today's real programs, sitcoms, and daytime talk programs affect the values, morals, and beliefs of viewers. Ideas about normality vs. fringe are spread thru TV shows hence all these ideas inform the political views of watchers.
Influence of Television in the Family
TV has continued to be the best choice for most families to spend their enjoyable time despite the development of other media technologies (Rideout, Foehr and Roberts 15). Viewers can choose from hundreds of programs and select when they wish to watch them. Meeting together as a family and watching TV can be of importance and a great way to spend valuable time together. By creating time for everybody to watch a program as a family can greatly create a bonding experience, deepen and enhance the relationship amongst family members. Besides, it's important to engage your children as they watch TV in order to guide them on the right programs to watch. Answer any question they ask and help them develop the need for valuing themselves as they watch. Watching TV as a family can be considered as a social activity, and the practice can play a significant purpose of bringing the house together plus confidently influencing the time used together as a family (Villegas 9).
Some subjects are not easy to discuss with children. For instance, discussing topics such as bullying, drugs or sex with your children can be very challenging; however, by selecting programs addressing such sensitive subjects via TV can help educate the children. For example, watching a program that idealizes situations such as the use of drugs or teen pregnancy, give a great opportunity to discuss the facts about such choices with children. Some programs have meaningful information to help teenagers learn about teen pregnancy. They educate them that as they grow, they can become responsible and productive members of the society. TV shows inspire them by encouraging them to try new ideas. For instance, a documentary about a popular artist or scientist can inspire teenagers do good things or achieve something great in life.
Besides, choosing TV programs that expose children to different cultures enables them to learn multiple values and lifestyles. TV enables children to travel all over the world without stepping out of the house. By watching the right programs, children and the family in general travels to different countries and learn about different beliefs, traditions, attitudes, and lifestyles. Dramas or documentaries recorded from other nations can help them sympathy with those living a miserable life or be curious about their traditions. TV can also inspire children by encouraging them to try rather new things like painting or coloring. Therefore, watching TV as a family fulfill a common task, and to some extent encourage interaction where one can share his/her thoughts and experiences (Saxbe, Graesch and Alvik, 186).
Television can truly have a positive influence towards the family; however, it's up to the guardian or parents to ensure that children are benefiting from watching TV. Engage the child when watching TV to understand the child's impressions and choose the right programs which are non-violent and educative. Although children enjoy watching educational programs, parent or guardian should also create time for them to associate with others outside. Have limits on the time to watch TV; probably they can watch TV for three to four hours a day. The influence of TV on politics is huge and consistent. Television adverts, news, and apparently non-political shows work together to form the basic platforms on each side of the political system. TV plays a very important role in reforming the attitude of the educated young people about the political and social matters in the society. It can help you youths understand where to fit in the community, get a closer relationship with families and friends, and train them to learn difficult social features of communications. With its multi-purposes TV has positively influenced the society by means of entertainment, education, and information.
Amin, Noorul. Television Viewing Among Adolescent Students. New Delhi, India: Educreation Publishing.
Biagi, Shirley. Media impact: An introduction to mass media. Boston: Cengage Learning, 2012.
Greenfield, Patricia M. Mind and media: The effects of television, video games, and computers. Hove, UK: Psychology press, 2014.
Kail, Robert V., and John C. Cavanaugh. Human development: A life-span view. Boston: Cengage Learning, 2018.
Kroon Lundell, Asa. Talking Politics in Broadcast Media. Cross-cultural perspectives on political interviewing, journalism and accountability. (2013): 381-382.
Lang, Kurt, and Gladys Engel Lang. Television and politics. Transaction Publishers, 2002.
Mares, Marie-Louise, and Zhongdang Pan. "Effects of Sesame Street: A meta-analysis of children's learning in 15 countries." Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 3...
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