Is there any social value to television?
I grew up in a household that had a book in every room. My mother believed that reading was far more important than watching television. We used our television for playing Atari games on and later the Nintendo until it broke. When I would visit someone who had a television, I often wondered more about the influence that the commercials had while advertising their products. Take McDonald’s for instance, their commercials can cause some to drool in front of their television and then make the decision to rush down town to buy a Big Mac. Furthermore, the commercials related to the hottest toys on the market almost always cause some children to long for them.
If the commercials aired today can be of so much influence, then of course the media programming that is aired has just as much if not more social influencing. The media industry can air shows that greatly cause teenagers to believe that “The Real World” is really how you are suppose to live and that this is what it is like having roommates.
I think society would benefit more with documentaries related to learning about the Earth and the science it has to offer. Instead, it seems that it’s all about entertainment and sometimes even upsetting the viewers in order to get them to watch the next episode just to see what happens next.
Now that television is delivered to us digitally, society can make choices about what they watch with the availability of streaming it over the internet. This has advertisers worried about how they are going to deliver their ad’s to the masses. However, the content will still influence society, and ad’s will continue to find their way to meet our eyes in order to influence us into buying the next latest and greatest gadget.
Originally published at thecomputerfield.com.