Sunday, June 21, 2009

Television's Influence

Since the birth of television, the industry has been creating multiple shows and movies to keep us Americans entertained while doing nothing but sitting on our comfortable couch and observing a box. These shows and movies consist anywhere from children education programs to comedy with a little science fiction. Today, many Americans are raising issues saying that television is a waste of time and is too graphic. Are we being realistic? Are we to tell artists to stop painting too graphic and that it’s a waste of time? Television is like art, it is never ending.

Each American pursues their own taste and style. Television is where we visually see the different varieties of style. Whether someone wants to watch a horror film or “Entertainment Tonight” is his or her choice. Through one’s perception, television may be observed as a positive influence.

Television may posses a positive influence in a matter of enhancing our personal status. Our personal appearance is one of the most important traits. Judging an individual by their appearance can tell a lot about a person’s character. When we watch television, we notice that every person’s appearance is perfect. For some of us, we pay attention to the big movie stars.

The first words that come to mind when I think of movie stars are “famous and beautiful.” The clothes are always expensive looking and very classy. Their face always has perfect skin complexion with no acme whatsoever. They each have their own unique hairstyle that someday we dream of having. We admire these movie stars so much that we try to look like them, dress like them, and even talk like them. I remember watching “Conan the Barbarian” when I was younger. Arnold Schwartzenegger had a body like a tank. His appearance was one of no other, pure barbaric. I wanted to be just like Arnold, having the same physical physique. Arnold’s presence provided me with so much motivation that I joined a gym near my house and started training instantly. To this day, I am still training due to the appearance of Arnold Schwartzenegger. Advertisements may have a positive effect on our personal status as well. Observing all the expensive cars and real estate ads advertised on television might get you thinking twice about saving your money. Ever been to Hawaii? Well watch a commercial for a trip to Hawaii and you are destined to go there. Advertisements get your mind thinking positive and help us budget our money. The fact is we look up to people on television and their possessions. We want what they want. Television provides us with modeled images we dream of resembling someday.

Stories from movies and shows on television alone have a positive effect on our actions and behavior. Writers have created imaginative stories where we can escape into the writer’s own constructed world. A perfect example is the movie “Rudy.” The movie is based on a typical teenager who, since a child, had always wanted to play football for Notre Dame. His friends and family told him that he was too stupid and that he couldn’t even get into college, let alone play football. Rudy took all the negative energy and used it to work even harder. To make it short and sweet, Rudy ended up inviting his friends and family to his first appearance in a Notre Dame football game. After watching the movie, a feeling of pride overwhelmed my soul. Knowing that this movie was based on a true story almost left me in tears. From a personal standpoint, the story line in the movie “Rudy” captured a lot of what growing up was like for me. I had a lot of people around telling me that I couldn’t make it, just like in Rudy’s case. I felt myself falling into the shoes of the character, sharing the same traits. Many stories that are told on television can be related to real situations we come across daily. Another example is the sitcom “Seinfeld.” The sitcom is about nothing and it’s hilarious. It’s watching your average person and his friends doing nothing. Is that weird? Well no. The show contains your everyday problems like your friends bugging you, or waiting a half-hour to get a table at a Chinese restaurant. We are entertained by watching others deal with the same situations we come across. It makes us laugh when the Soup Nazi says, “No soup for you,” or Kramer comes stumbling into Jerry’s apartment acting like a klutz. Television provides us with stories that have a positive impact on our daily life.

Children programs on television portray a positive attitude and expand a child’s horizons. The benefit of television for children is endless. From advertisements to cartoons, a child’s imagination can run wild. Children love to see different advertisements ranging from GI-Joe figures to fast cars. They are always interested in what’s out, what’s coming out, and if they can have it. What do children really love the most? Children love cartoons. Cartoons are the gateway to the imagination for a child. I remember when I was a child, all I wanted to do was watch cartoons and then draw cartoons. Television provided me with the imagination that I could create anything. I could draw a chair and make it have a face and dance. I could draw a monkey and dress him as a businessman. There were no ends to the possibilities. Television can be very educational for children too. If your child is getting ready to go into Kindergarden, the television provides many programs and ads that will prepare your child for school. Programs such as “Sesame Street” and “Hooked on Phonix” have proved to help enhance a child’s ability to learn. Television provides continuous education and entertainment for children.

Television is like an artist’s canvas, anything can come to mind. When we try to put limits on graphics and behavior, we are generally stopping our imagination at work, resulting in boredom. As Americans, we are always constantly wanting to change for the better. Television portrays every kind of positive image that we would like to model someday. We have the choice to watch whatever show or movie we’d like on television. Those choices may have a positive effect, or they may have a negative effect. It’s whether we want to posses a positive outlook that makes the difference.

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