Television: the Downfall of American Society

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Sean Conway
Professor Stevens
WRT 102
Essay #2

Television: The Downfall of American Society
Televisions have only been around since their debut in the middle of the 20th century and have since become a huge part of everyday life here in America. Originally having good intentions, the television and watching of television in the last couple of decades has changed greatly. The amount of time people spend watching their televisions has also changed in the sense that people spend much more time in front of the television than they used to. Some argue that television has had a huge negative effect on American families. In her essay, “Television: The Plug-In-Drug,” Marie Winn explores the ways in which television has lowered the quality of family life, rituals, and values. She recognizes that there is a problem with our society and the way in which it is consistently influenced by television. She shows this when she says, “Television’s contribution to family life has been an equivocal one,” (Winn 353). Winn is true in saying this because television has caused children across America to have undeveloped intelligence, creativity, and imagination. TV is also detrimental to family life, family relationships, and outside relationships as well. When the television made its first debut in the early to mid 20th century it came with good intentions. This idea of good intention however did not last long with the critics. As early as 1961 the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission referred to television as a “Vast Wasteland,” (351). Many other critics would come to share in his beliefs about television. There have been numerous books, articles, essays, and research done on the subject of television and its negative effects on children in particular. Marie Winn’s article is just one of many.

The amount of time America’s youth spends watching television can be correlated to a decrease in the quality of the lives of children across this nation. As...
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