By- Isha Mathur
|Creative Writer| Editor| "Seek it, and thou shalt find it."

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Isha Mathur



Reality Check

Television has always been an integral part of almost every household. Since its invention, it has been serving us both in recreational and informative ways. Hardly have we realized that the video graphics it portrays to the masses can leave a considerable amount of impact on its viewers; be it children, teenagers, or adults. Television channels have largely been condemned for displaying violence and aggression in a huge amount to its viewers.

Studies have shown that television shows, news channels, and even cartoons portray a variety of insensitive violent acts which if not understood in the entirety can pose a great influence on bad intellect and aggressive behaviors. The American Psychology Association, in 2015 has elaborated in a review of scientific literature on video games that “News commentators often turn to violent video game use as a potential causal contributor to acts of mass homicide. The media point to perpetrators’ gaming habits as either a reason they have chosen to commit their crimes or as a method of training.” The report has highly supported the proposition that video games or video graphics are among the

contributing factors of developing aggression.

Apparently, children are the most vulnerable group of viewers of television shows. Most of the time, they are only exposed to cartoons which startlingly are becoming a big factor in determining their behaviors. Children begin showing anti-social behaviors like shoving, yelling, bullying, and destroying things and accept violence as a possible way to solve problems after being exposed to a considerable amount of watching television shows.

They tend to imitate the acts shown on the television and a lot of times relate to specific characters. In such circumstances, it becomes highly vital to scrutinize their television watching hours in such a way that they do not get much exposure to such negatively influential sources. Parents and elder siblings can ply the roles of interveners while the children the watching such shows and can discuss the acts, characters displayed, and its positive impact. It is, however, pertinent to consider that television is not the ‘only’ factor determining the aggressive behavior of people, particularly children. But, it does hold a potential capability of influencing the minds and behaviors of its viewers.

It seems a bit less probable but the adults are no prone to the problem of getting influenced by television violence. Research has shown that violence shown through TV media channels has an effective impact on the audience their intellect. It largely is responsible for framing perceptions and affecting emotional behavior. Researchers like Newhagen and Reeves have examined a study on the relationship of the negative news portrayed on television and the memory of its viewers. Their research revealed that viewers are most likely to remember the negative aspect of what is shown to them rather than the vice-versa.

However, the other notion says that without such violent centric content, the originality and realistic approach of media channels will get diluted which again is a serious concern. I sense that the most probable solution to such a dichotomy is a balanced approach. While we sit back on our couches and watch the television, grasping the huge amount of information (both positive and negative) it depicts, it is important to use our intellect and consume only the relevant pieces of information, at the same of critically evaluating the information so shown. Keeping an eye on children and playing active roles of interveners while they watch television is again important. We must considerably appreciate the positive impact that television has left on, but its ‘sincere’ efforts of being an indispensable set of information can efficiently be achieved only when we become self-regulating and good critics.  

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