Introduction: Television is one of the greatest inventions of mankind. It is an audiovisual device which entertains you through various visual programs transmitted through the air. The information that it provides is not always useful, however that depends on the user to a larger extent. Today, the television is found in billions of houses the world over. As per global statistics, nearly 79% of total households own at least one TV set. With such immense popularity and acceptability television has also hugely influenced individuals and even societies. In this essay we will discuss on the boon and bane factors of the television, ending with the conclusion.

Television since its inception has a vast effect on Civilization, ranging from health to sociological and sometimes psychological. Though it is a source of information, the incessant use of Televisions has led to many medical conditions and a drastic change in the social fabric.

Advantages of Television

The advantages of television are discussed below –

  • Cheap Entertainment: Television is the cheapest source of entertainment available to a common household. Various programs on information, education, entertainment, religion, and other topics provide a pool of options to choose from, that too sitting in the comfort of your house. The options never seize and you will never be left bored in front of the television.
  • Educational and Informative: Television is a good source of education and information. There are various educational channels dedicated to teaching students about a specific subject. 24-hour news channels will keep you up to date about the world affairs. Channels based on wildlife, science, and traveling enhance your knowledge about various subjects apart from entertaining you.
  • Skill Development: Television could be an effective tool for skill development. There are various programs dedicated to skills like cooking, drawing, singing, dancing, etc. Anyone who desires could learn a skill of his choice by watching it done on television by the program host. If you have a hobby of cooking then you just have to switch the channel and make mouth-watering dishes as your host is instructing.
  • Motivational: Some television programs could also be motivational for anyone in need. Channels offer motivational speeches and talk shows by some of the best in class motivational speakers. Listening to them will surely leave you feeling much better in the end.
  • Wide Exposure: Television provides a wide exposure on a variety of topics ranging from world issues, news, wildlife, science and fiction, history, geography, upcoming world, and national events, sports, hobbies and much more. Such vast exposure, while sitting in the comfort of your house is only possible because of television.
  • Family Ties: Television also increases family ties as all the family members sit together to watch a movie or their favorite sports tournament.

Disadvantages of Television –

  • Violent and Inappropriate Content: This is one of the most prominent disadvantages of television. Television offers a number of violent contents and inappropriate languages which has adverse effects on youths as well as elders.
  • Derogatory to Health: Sitting for long hours in front of the television has a negative effect on health too. It is the cause of many lifestyle diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, obesity, etc.
  • Social Obscurity: Person, who is addicted to television, often avoids socializing with friends and relatives, making himself a sort of an introvert. Such persons become emotionally vulnerable and often show hostile behavior towards others.
  • Emotional Vulnerability: Watching too much of drama on television might make you emotionally vulnerable. People are seen to face the same pain when their favorite character dies then they would have felt on losing a real friend. Such emotional upheaval isn’t good for the mental and overall health of a person.
  • Hidden Agenda: Various businesses have a hidden agenda of targeting vulnerable customers through TV commercials. Every TV program has commercials, where the manufacturers frantically try to lure customers by making false claims and promises about their products.
  • Shallow Information: The information that is provided by news channels on television is often only half the truth. Moreover, regular commercial breaks and an effort to glamorize the issue, keep the real information hidden and leave you confused and wondering in the end.
  • Highly Addictive: Television is highly habit-forming and children are seen to be more vulnerable to its addiction. Once addicted, a person loses all interest in other hobbies and always wants to watch television whenever he/she gets the time.

Role of Television in Education: The role of television in education building has been acknowledged by many countries around the world. It is used as a tool for effective teaching both formal and non-formal education. A television could be synchronized with the school curriculum and used to teach a specific subject.

Television is also an efficient method of effectively obtaining non-formal education, for those youth and adults who didn’t have a chance to obtain a formal education. It could be effectively imparted skills, provide vocational training and other necessary cultural and civic education when used properly.

Necessary Measures to Keep the Youth Safe from the Effects of Television: The most effective method to keep the youths safe from the influence of television is to provide limited access to them. Also, there should be a restriction on the channels they view and they must only be allowed to view informative and knowledgeable programs. Viewing malicious and violent content by youngsters must be strictly prohibited.

Parents and guardians should be more communicative with their wards, discussing on the derogatory effects of television among other issues. Children should be told on how to use television for gaining information and education.

Youths should be well informed about the advantages as well as the disadvantages of television and also that watching inappropriate content on television will adversely affect their behavior and social life as well as distort their thought and morale.

These days a number of youths are taking up bullying, smoking, consuming liquor other corrupt practices under the influence of television.

Conclusion: There are hundreds plus of programs on TV which have a negative effect on the youth’s mind. The responsibility of keeping the youths aloof from the ill effects of TV depends on us, the elders. Therefore, it is the responsibility of every guardian to keep an eye upon what his/her ward is watching on the television and what kind of channels they have access to. It is only through proper guidance and interaction that we would be able to keep our youth safe from the harmful effects of television.