“Our Culture and the Media”
Benjamin Joseph Lentine
Television has become a major influence in our culture today. There are some who claim that it is perfectly harmless, and that it is no better or worse than any other recreational pursuits. There are others who say that though television certainly has its problems, it is a necessary evil. I believe that there are a few positive things that television provides, but as a whole its use should be limited and the content viewed should be carefully screened. The main benefit to television viewing is the amount of information that is readily available. For instance, news can be instantly broadcasted around the world. You can also learn a great deal from all of the documentaries available on TV. There are also some educational video games that can help teach foreign language, math facts, and other skills to children. While most won’t deny that television can have some benefits, it seems that there are for more negative effects than positive ones. Karen Springen states in her essay “Why We Tuned Out” that she and the rest of her family doesn’t watch TV at all and she believes that it has only benefited the education of her children and the atmosphere in their house. In her essay, she also states what the American Medical Association’s opinion on television is: “Kids who watch more than 10 hours of TV each week are more likely to be overweight, aggressive, and slow to learn in school.” (November 11, 2002) Although, it’s probably not necessary to go to the extreme of getting rid of all media in the house and trying to prevent the kids from seeing anything on TV while they are at other locations, its use should definitely be limited. Here are some statistics that I found: •
Approximate number of studies examining TV's effects on children: 4,000 •
Number of minutes per week that parents spend in meaningful conversation with their children: 3.5 •
Number of minutes per week...
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