We all know about television and TV shows including drama, documentaries, reality shows, etc. It is believed to be the cheapest source of entertainment. Televisions are so ingrained in our lives that finding a house without one is exceptionally rare. Moreover, with the advancement of technology, TVs have evolved a long way. Innovations like fire stick, setup box, internet connectivity have made the viewing experience more comfortable and appealing. But is this where the story end? Is it an all win-win situation? The answer is NO. Nothing comes without a cost and the cost we pay for this comfort is more harmful than we think.
Unknowingly, TVs have become an inevitable part of our life. The more we watch it, the more it influences our actions. Let’s take a simple relatable example. Suppose you are watching your favorite show on TV and your favorite character in the scene is crying. Unwillingly, you will start to feel sad and in some cases might even cry because you relate yourself to the character. The degree of relativity you have established with the character will determine the degree of emotions you feel watching it. Now, you switch it off and then you will realize that you continue to feel the emotions even though aren’t watching it because your mind is not able to detach from the feelings immediately. The negativity that has been input is harming you. Then you might watch another show to laugh and this series of actions make you addicted.
This is one thing but studies have proved a direct relation in watching TV and obesity as people just sit in front of the television and do absolutely nothing accompanied with snacks. This is also putting people at a risk of heart disease. Enough about physical, now, let’s have a look on how TV shows impact our moral standards.
MORAL STANDARDS/VALUES/ETHICS can be roughly defined as a set of rules standardized by society and individuals for society as well as themselves alone. They are set so that people distinguish between right and wrong. They can also be seen as a shield created to differentiate humanity from monetary benefits and materialism. Here are some points to support that TV shows we watch are impacting these standards and imposing fake morals.
1) TV shows set unrealistic standards
The things we see on TV are fake and meant for pure entertainment. This is a fact known to all. But still we look up to them and we want to live a life like our favorite characters. We might want to dress up like them-which might not be suitable or affordable in various situations. People want to have love life like TV dramas which again is an unreal expectation. The lifestyle we see and is unreal too and people take wrong ways to achieve it. They forget their morals just to fulfill their obsession. TV can make you less satisfied in life because the expectations are not meant.
2)TV shows are setting beauty standards
You might be wondering why to categorize this separately when it could be merged with the former. But it is necessary as this has become a whole different issue. TV shows have set a beauty standard, which means there is a certain body image men and women need to maintain in order to be called beautiful. People are refused to be accepted by the society if they fail to go through the stencil of typical body image. The models in shows have been set as the perfect images to be followed by everyone. Due to this body shaming has reached peaks. Self-acceptance has disappeared. People are trying everything to shape themselves instead of accepting what nature has given them and staying healthy. Body shaming has lead people(especially young generation) to go through depression, anxiety and experiencing suicidal thoughts. This is a side we all choose to ignore and compare our real world to the photo-shopped and fake world of Television.
3)Normalizing bad influence
TV shows are inculcating a trend of looking cool by adopting bad practices. Several of the TV programs being shown on popular broadcasting stations such as VH1 and MTV illustrate dominant messages that imply that alcohol and drugs use have no or very little consequences. They escape through this by saying it’s just for entertainment and showing a warning for 5 seconds only. They convey a message that sex is not meant to be a meaningful experience, rather just something for fun. This is clearly promoting rape tendency. It is working as a bad influence on teens as well as an adult. It is manipulating people. TV can wrongly alter your beliefs with its strong influence.
4) Cutting off people from society
People prefer watching their TV shows or a movie sitting in the comfort of houses instead of going out. This not only make them lazy, unhealthy but also anti-social. Relationships are at stake due to this behavior of people. They spend more time on their TVs and smart phones rather than with their partners. believe it or not TV shows are making people shallow. TV shows depict fake news and exaggerated documentaries. People take them serious and this implants a fear in their minds. Some people are seen to develop a phobia out of this. TV can affect people’s mind causing them to act differently.
At last I would like to sum up with a message that television is for you, you are not for television. You should control what you watch, what you watch should not control you. Stop wasting your time by watching Netflix, senseless series, cartoons, etc…Even if you aren’t paying money, you are paying something more valuable than money, that is, your time and attention. Remember, attention is the best currency. Recognize the harm posed by what you watch and how it is altering your day to day lives. Filter the content you watch and keep it for watching alone. Always remember the fact that things shown in TV shows are fake and not comparable to real life. Don’t let it influence your actions and thought process.