Shortly after the advent of television, critics consistently ridiculed the impact it had on society. The list of negative effects it had on America’s family life in particular, only continued to grow. Who would’ve thought the thing that critics once said “brought the family together in one room” would eventually be looked down upon as the cause of a dysfunctional family. Has television done ANYTHING to improve the lives of people in America? Or has it only transformed the American people into root vegetables? In “The Worst Years of Our Lives,” Ehrenreich is right to call the world inside the black box “eerie and unnatural”; it was never intended to be anything else.
Television for many people, serves as an aid to relaxation. When the kids come home from a long day at school, Mom comes home from the nursing home, and Dad comes home from selling insurance to extremely rude clients all day, everyone looks forward to the chance to escape the burden of “real life”. Of course, there are channels that don’t completely ruin a person mentally, for example, the news. However, television is mainly entertainment. Watching Channel 7 News report that a man shot up a school full of small children isn’t exactly the last thing someone wants to see or hear before they go to bed. Moreover, watching something like Spongebob taking his driving test and failing it over and over, driving Mrs.Puff insane, gives the family a good laugh. Watching a beloved show, gives everyone a chance to spend quality time together before dealing with the exhausting tasks that come with the following day.
Furthermore, most televisions have more than three channels. Ehrenreich states that couch potatoes, do nothing that is ever shown on television (because it is either dangerous or would involve getting up from the couch). I’m assuming cooking and workout/exercise channels or videos did not exist in her time. My siblings, in-laws, and cousins all participate in the exercises shown on workout videos....
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