Watch What You Watch

By Dericka Stinchcomb
Contributor

 

“Stop watching that idiot box!” This is an exceptionally famous quote that many mothers have used throughout the years. Televisions have been referred to as “idiot boxes” because of their known diminishing and addictive influences. To some people, television is just a form of entertainment; but to others, it is a legal form of public brainwash.     Television has such a great amount of control over society’s attitude. Whether anyone has noticed the fact that television impacts society greatly or not, television is very influential in almost every avenue; mental, emotional, and physical.

People often believe everything they hear or see on any technological source; this regularly prompts misconceptions of different situations. Prime case… It is no secret that NBC leans towards the democratic party, and FOX, more so stands republican. Often times, both channels share biased opinions with viewers. Both channels tell the story, but they tend to tell from their point of view. At this point, it is all about perception. Being aware of what is being watched and put into the brain is very important when watching television. Modern day television shows and series tend to reinforce gender-role and racial stereotypes. On almost every television series the person in charge is a middle-aged caucasian man. Also, the infamous show Black Jesus, depicts “Black Jesus” as being the quote unquote average black male in the ghetto. Television can mold minds so easily; especially, young, vulnerable minds. It is becoming more acceptable for people to be locked away in rooms as long as they have a television. Television is slowly, but surely making society antisocial.

Studies in psychology have shown that watching intense emotions on television leaves a long-lasting impression on one’s mind. This has been proven by lasting night terrors after watching a specific horror film. After watching horror films people tend to want to watch something funny to get their minds off of the movie, thus, leading to a better night’s sleep. Not only do horror movies leave lasting thoughts, but so do dramas. The Lifetime channel is famous for playing tear-jerking movies that tend to leave film watchers in a depressed sense for hours.  As television take viewers on an emotional rollercoaster, the violent films could never be left out. For years now, people have argued that violent films influence violent behavior… and they were right. It is a proven fact that people who view violent acts on television are more likely to show aggressive behavior.

Physically, television has a bigger impact on society than most people would think it does. Television bodily influences the way people dress, carry themselves, and eat. Hip-hop and urban culture has drastically become more popular because of television. Within the past ten years it has never been as cool as it is now to have hipster style and wear urban geared clothing. Along with wardrobe, people also tend to carry themselves in whichever way seems to be accepted at that moment. Based on who is doing what, and what is “cool” or “normal”, more people will always take that route. On the complete extreme opposing hand of the previous two effects, diet is also majorly influenced by television. It is a fact that people who consistently watch more than four hours of television per day are more likely to be overweight. With that being said, people should watch how much television they watch, along with the foods they consume.

Television is very persuasive and powerful. The “idiot box” has taken over certain things in the world that no one wants to admit it has; such as how we think, speak, and act. What goes through a person’s head is what they end up saying and or doing.  Television is influential in almost every avenue; mental, emotional, and physical. And as college students who have new parental freedom, it is very important to be mindful of what you watch.