Is television a boon or bane

Dec 28


Rahul Sharman

Rahul Sharman

  • Share this article on Facebook
  • Share this article on Twitter
  • Share this article on Linkedin

Over the years, the popularity of television has grown to such an extent that today, at least one Television set can be found in almost every home in the world. Its the menace that everyone loves to hate but can't seem to live without.

India is a country of many linguistic,Is television a boon or bane Articles ethnic, cultural and economic diversities. In such a complex and dynamic environment, the vast expansion of television network raises metaphorical questions. Is television a new bull in a China Shop shattering many a traditional belief and value systems or is it a new pet merely effecting some adjustments in the environment? Undoubtedly, television is the fastest growing medium of mass communication, the most glamorous one, with high profile, but certainly the most controversial. The government’s official commitment in India, as in most developing countries, is to use television for educational and training programmes, literacy campaigns, promotion of health, hygiene and dissemination of domestic and international news, among other priorities, thus visualising its potential as a harbinger of change in a developing society.

Learning through television can be enriching when used for educational and informational purpose, not only in the class-rooms but also at home. Television is an important source for spreading information in all fields, although its nature may be more of general awareness than any specific set of information. T.V. has brought the villages and cities of the world together. In India, the impact has been one of fostering unity in diversity, thereby integrating various sections of the society. On the whole, its impact has been positive.

It is interesting to note here that television invented way back in 1926 by Baird, was thought of as an instrument of intrusion into the privacies of life. For children, watching soap operas, commercials on television is an extension of play. This affects their habits like reading, playing etc. Anyone who sensitively observes ad listens to children quickly would understand that they assimilate trivial television programmes on the basis of norms and value system of their environment. It should be ensured that this influence from the electronic media do not unfold their negative influence in our society. Provided that a balance is struck in viewing the programmes, there are tremendous gains in general knowledge, discussion on current affairs, environmental awareness, cultural uplift, family welfare, promotion of science and technology etc. Sports of all kinds have come alive through this medium.

However, with the arrival of each new medium, a feeling of potential threat is registered in the minds of the people, same is the case of television. Many bemoan what they perceive to be television’s addiction or harmful influence on the future generation. Exposure to violence, sex, superfluous habits of consumption and consequent pathological or delinquent behaviour are perceived to be some of the fears. T.V. provides counter-images to reality and supplies visual forms for fantasies and day-dreams. There is a visible reduction of outings, social interaction, communication in the family because even though watching T.V. may be a group activity, it develops into a silent one. Late night films keep people awake till past midnight, thereby causing disturbance in the pattern of sleep with the consequent depletion of vitality and their next day’s effectiveness in activities.

Some think that television is a necessary social evil. Sometimes, it is the only family activity done together during the day. It is not necessarily a passive experience because it can bring an opportunity to talk, enjoy, learn, think and share within the family and with those of outside world. Though there are some negative effects, we have to agree that television watching is a relaxing, pleasurable and a useful activity. It is a medium to counteract depressive moods. It is a boon for elderly to fight their loneliness and an active catalyst in the process of mental growth of children. Television should contribute to the well-being of society that is, it should serve people’s needs and become an agent of cultural uplift. Television assumes immense importance, as it can lead the audience from darkness to light, giving them access to information and entertainment, which they could not have before.

With the talk of autonomy of television, it should be kept in mind that in our effort towards development, if television is used as a media of education first and entertainment seconds the impact is certainly going to be rewarding. Alvin Toffler in his masterpiece “Future Shock” has emphasised the need for adaptability to the ever-increasing and exploding volume of information, Television is the nearest tool to this proposition. He also continued to write about the vast futuristic changes that may sweep the world in the near future in his another famous masterpiece “Third Wave”. Communication is the keyword for survival of mankind and electronic media assumes a very fateful dimension to this aspect.

Article "tagged" as: