THE ADVANTAGES AND

DISADVANTAGES OF TELEVISION

In today modern world television is the most popular and recognized from of media and most homes in the western and developed worlds own one. That small (in some cases rather large) box sitting in your lounge is your connection to the outside world. It is an indispensable item and many of us cannot imagine life without it. As with everything there are advantages and disadvantages with the television. The main advantage is televisions ability to bring you news as it happens. A second advantage is the fact we are using more than one sense when viewing. The final advantage in this essay is the vast amount of information and documentaries available for viewing. However the first disadvantage is the amount of time spent watching television is often considered a waste of time. The second disadvantage is the fact that families may be in the same room but with the television on may not even acknowledge each other. The final disadvantage illustrated in this essay is that young children are often being exposed to sex scenes and scenes of violence.

Firstly, for many of us the television is our first or only source of news and current events. Most channels have news updates up to four times a day and current affairs programmes which take a deeper look at the news that has affected the world that day or week. Theses programmes are often family friendly and are sometimes the only form of media available or easy to understand for children or non-speakers of English. These news shows keep people up to date on the outside world it is possible to know everything that happened in a day without even going outside. However these news shows can try and monopolize people's opinions and be a bias to one political party or one side of a war.

Secondly, what many of us do not realise is that we use at least two senses to enjoy television. We use our eyes to watch the television screen and the visual on the screen. We also use our ears or hearing to listen to the dialogue and noises on the screen. Compared to other forms of media which usually involve only one sense e.g. the radio only requires the hearing sense and a book only requires sight. Even though the television lets us see and hear things it can cause eyesight problems and many people turn there televisions up which can cause hearing problems.

The final advantage is the vast amount of educational programming available for viewing particularly on channels like the discovery channel and national geographic which can educate and stimulate people and wet every audience member's appetite. It is also the fastest way to improve your knowledge and help you learn something completely new. Where else can you learn about Marylyn Monroe and Winston Churchill in the same afternoon? Many people who cannot afford university or night courses or simply just want a basic knowledge of one particular subject or event. Use documentaries to quench their thirst for learning.

The first disadvantage is that many people do not realise how much time they spend watching television if you spend one hour a day watching television. That is 365 hours a year and 3607 hours in ten years. You can only imagine what you could do with that time, it is possible to learn a language or do a university course. Many value their television shows over exercise or physical activity which can lead to obesity and 'couch potato'. Many people also feel the desire to watch a favourite television show every day or every week and neglect social commitments and therefore becoming anti-social.

A second disadvantage is that many people neglect their families so they can watch television. A family may be in the same room but would not say a word to each other or acknowledge each other. Many families now also eat dinner in front of the television which means normal dinner table conversation is lost. Most large families also have multiple televisions so that each member can watch the programme they would like to watch this means that some families may spend less than an hour in each others company before going to bed.

A final disadvantage of watching television is the violence and sex scenes that young children are often exposed too. Many of us find shows with crime or violence entertaining but these are not suitable for children of young ages. These scenes are practically common on crime dramas. Children may not intentionally be being exposed but by simply being in or near the same room as an older child or adult watching the programme. With children being exposed to these scenes it can corrupt there innocent minds leading them in some extreme cases become violent to other children. It can also lead to more permanent problems such as violence or evil thoughts well into adulthood. Fortunately this can be easily avoided or reversed by not allowing young children to view these programmes by placing them in a different room from the television or sending them to bed.

In conclusion television is perhaps the world's greatest invention though it is possible it will one day be replaced by something resembling a computer it is still indispensable in todays modern world. Television however has advantages and disadvantages as illustrated in this essay. It can be an educational, multi-sensory communication devise that takes up our time to exercise or our family time it can also have scenes that corrupt young minds. As Winston Churchill once said 'the best things are either immoral or bad for you' television is best in moderation. So next time you're bored don't turn on the television go out and play some sport.