Television and Social Capital
Television a blessing or a curse? TV or not TV? That is the question. .Television is one of the greatest and at the same time worst inventions of all times. . It is true that television can inform, inspire and create. But it can also misinform, deceive and destroy. Firstly, watching television makes people depended on laid-on entertainment. That makes them lazy and unoccupied. People used to have hobbies, read books, listen to music, go outside for walks now all of these have been replaced by television.
Furthermore, our communication with the members of our family can be affected by television. Being glued to the “box” for so many hours can be really unsociable as you can’t talk and communicate with others while you are watching TV. Added to that, television promotes a fake lifestyle, which is totally irrelevant to real living. Children can easily be affected by that, as it is possible that they believe in fake life situations which can even lead to death. For example, a young child jumped off his window, believing that he could fly just like superman.
However, TV is not always a bad influence to us. Without television, we wouldn’t be able to experience the “visual travelling”. We can watch the Eifel Tower, the Great Wall of China, the Colosseum of Rome, the Sydney opera House in Australia and many other great buildings by just turning the TV on. Also, the information that television offers, can sometimes be vital as we need to be informed about the climate changes, the earthquakes, the wars, and a lot of other events which could lead to destructions.
Moreover, there are enormous possibilities for educational programs on television. Since children love watching TV it can’t be that hard to convince them to learn through a television program. The lesson will be a lot more amusing and not so tiring as school lessons. Considering the audiovisual perspectives that TV can offer, teachers can easily be replaced by televisions! In conclusion, the question “TV or not TV? ” still remains unanswered. The negative points are as many as the positive ones. It’s up to us, then, to decide whether we are going to be watching TV or not.
Television has the potential to unite communities, provide information to allow positive cultural, social and environmental change, and to create a true global village. It also has the potential to alienate, desocialise, to promote aggressive and negative behaviours, provide negative and inappropriate role models to our children, and to create negative values such as values of consumption and possession. During the past two decades there has been considerable debate on the issue of the impact of television violence on youth behaviour.
Many in the television industry deny television’s contribution to youth violence. The Net-generation refers to people born between 1977 and 1997. There have been many studies that identify an association between exposure to violence in entertainment and violent behaviour, but these studies do not prove that exposure causes violent behaviour. They show that there is a risk that exposure to media violence will increase the likelihood of subsequent aggressive behaviour. This risk can be increased or decreased by a large number of other factors.
Recent research into the effects of pornography and violent video/computer games is starting to draw similar conclusions, although findings suggest that pornographic films, especially those containing violence, can contribute to callous sexual behaviour and violence towards women. The relationship between what we see and what we do is extremely complex. Some of the more important variables are context in which violence is portrayed, the age of the viewer, the sex of the viewer, the ability of the viewer to differentiate between fantasy and reality, and justified and unjustified use of force.
Violence on television seems to be effecting our feelings of safety within the community. There is some evidence to suggest that the level of violence in television programs, films, news, may have led to an increase in fear that society is more dangerous than is actually the case. Censorship issues are difficult to resolve. What are our rights? Are they to be protected from viewing things that may be harmful to our own or our children’s psyche, or are they to have the right to decide for ourselves? Censorship may also lead to the ‘forbidden fruit’ phenomenon and the development of black markets.
Similar results may occur if there is regulation of broadcasters. Would self-regulation work? It is well known that parental influence can be a major factor in reducing the impact that television violence will have on children. But parents need to be aware of this and need to take the time to know what their children are viewing and, at best, view programs with children in order to ameliorate the negative impacts from such viewing. Parental influence can also enhance the positive impacts of television, and can allow children to understand social systems and appropriate behaviour more fully.
Parental education and awareness programs will determine how successful this approach is. One option to ensure television viewing is less damaging to children is to have media literacy education for children in all schools. The aim of this education would be to help children to critically evaluate the images, which are presented to them on an everyday basis. If we are concerned about the kind of television our children are watching, technological advances such as the ‘v-chip’ (violence chip) can be programmed to block out unwanted programs from television broadcasts.
Just as it is with censorship issues, new technology relies on parental involvement. Television programming is driven by commercial intent. Television appears to be harmless entertainment, but the function of global television is connected with the ideology of globalising capitalism. It appears the commercial intent is focused on distraction and cultural reformation. Television has a large social cost. Television viewing removes us from the physical reality of our current lives – and often for extended periods of time. When we watch television, we stop social interaction – conversation becomes fractious and partial, if it continues at all.
While we watch television we miss the verbal interaction that allows for sharing, learning and building collective perspectives. Television changes culture in more ways than we can imagine. In the United States, half of the population now report watching television while eating dinner, and more than a third watch while eating breakfast or lunch. People in the US spend more time watching television than they do talking with their spouses (four to six times more) and playing with their children (an average of twenty minutes each day compared with four hours of television viewing).
The situation is no much different in the UK where 46 percent of people say that at the end of a working day all they want to do is watch television. It is, in fact, the number one leisure time pursuit in much of the developed world. ; People’s absorption in television results in far less time for intimate social connectedness, which is visible not only in the home but in the broader patterns of community vitality, or social capital. Social capital is a term used to describe the overall health of social connectedness – feelings of common purpose, common identity and common commitment.
Television viewing has been implicated in the collapse of positive civic participation in almost all of its forms. Since healthy communities are characterized by high levels of social capital and participation, lack of positive civic participation indicates and unhealthy communities. This is decline in civic participation reveals a clear inter-generational shift Music and Human life Music is one of the greatest creations of human kind in the course of history. It is creativity in a pure and undiluted form and format.
Music plays a vital role in our daily life. It is a way of expressing our feelings and emotions. Music is a way to escape life, which gives us relief in pain and helps us to reduce the stress of the daily routine. It helps us to calm down, an even excites us in the moment of joy. Moreover, it enriches the mind and gives us self confidence. Music surrounds our lives at different moments of lives, whether we hear it on the radio, on television, from our car and home stereos.
Different kinds of music are appropriate for different occasions. We come across it in the mellifluous tunes of a classical concert or in the devotional strains of a bhajan, the wedding band, or the reaper in the fields breaking into song to express the joys of life. Even warbling in the bathroom gives us a happy start to the day. Music has a very powerful therapeutic effect on the human psyche. It has always been part of our association with specific emotions, and those emotions themselves have given rise to great music.
The origins of Indian music can be traced back to the chanting of the Sama Veda nearly 4,000 years ago. The primacy of the voice, and the association of musical sound with prayer, were thus established early in the history of Indian music. Today, music is available for us in different forms and the choice for music varies from person to person just as the reading choices vary from one another. There is folk music, classical music, devotional music, instrumental, jazz, rock music, pop music, hindi movie songs and many more.