Television Violence and its Impact on Society essay
Many people believe that television violence has a negative effect on society because it promotes violence. Do you agree or disagree?
Today, the impact of television on the audience is still significant that raises the public concerns about the possible negative impact of television violence on society (Machlis & Forney, 2010). On the other hand, some people argue that the negative impact of television on society is insignificant because people are rational and can distinguish the real world from the imaginary one. However, the television violence does have the negative impact on society because people see violence on the regular basis. As a result, they grow accustomed to violence and take it for granted. If they see violence on television over and over again they start believing that violence is a norm and comprises an integral part of their life.
In fact, people become vulnerable to the impact of television because, if they see violence, for instance, they may grow disturbed about cases of violence occurring in society. Steadily people may grow anxious about their own safety and start expecting violent and aggressive behavior from the part of their social environment. Eventually, they may slip to the aggressive and violent behavior as the means of self-defense and, more important, they steadily learn that the aggressive and violent behavior is a norm since they watch violence on television day after day and there is no effective counteraction to the violence in society.
On the other hand, it is possible to argue that people should be reasonable and rational in the perception of the information which they receive from mass media, including television. Therefore, they should not necessarily behave in the violent way as they watch other people behave on television.
In fact, people live in society and they respect existing social norms and standards (Moy, et al., 1999). Therefore, if violence is anti-social, then they will never behave in a violent or aggressive way, unless they are inclined to the anti-social behavior because of some reasons (Machlis & Forney, 2010). Instead, they behave in the rational way and respect social norms, while the violence on television cannot change the existing social norms and values. People are just living according to rules and legal norms that are acceptable within their community.
However, arguments of opponents of the belief that television violence cannot have a negative impact on society are inconsistent because they apparently underestimate the depth of the impact of television on the audience (Lawson & Stowell, 2009). If people are always exposed to the violence on television, they stop perceiving it as something abnormal. In fact, the normal psychological reaction of the average viewer on violence is repulsion. However, if that viewer watch the violence on television over and over again, it becomes less shocking, until the moment, when the viewer perceives the violence as a norm. As the attitude of the viewer on the violence on television evolves, so does change the viewer’s attitude to violence in the real world (Lawson & Stowell, 2009). The viewer just starts believing that violence is not abnormal but a routine part of social life. Therefore, the viewer starts believing that violence is a plausible means of resolution of any problems fast.
In addition, viewers are vulnerable to the impact of violence from the early childhood. As a result, children are also vulnerable to the impact of violence on television (Moy, et al., 1999). At this point, it is worth mentioning the fact that children perceive television in a different way compared to adults. They cannot always distinguish the real world and fiction on television. They cannot clearly say what is good and what is right because their personality and values are just forming. As a result, the exposure of children to violence leads to the development of negative behavioral patterns, such as violence and aggression that influence their social relations and may cause deviant behavior.
Thus, the violence on television is dangerous because it has a negative impact on society. Arguments of those, who believe that violence on television does not have negative impact on society, are inconsistent because people cannot always think rationally and perceive the information they receive from television critically. Moreover, they learn negative behavioral patterns and become violent and aggressive under the impact of the violence on television. In such a way, the violence on television does have a negative impact on people, their behavior and social relations.
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