According to Marie Winn and her essay “The Plug-In Drug,” television has various negative effects on our society today. In her essay Winn explores the ways in which television has harmfully caused disruptions with the quality of family life, rituals, and values. She recognizes there is a problem with our society and the way in which it is consistently influenced by television. I am able to agree with Winn on this point, but I do not feel that the totality of the influence is negative. Television today has a lot of positive effects and influences on our society and our American culture. Television gives us helpful information, various forms of education, and entertainment which are all a part of the positive effects that television has on our society.
On a day to day basis, the television keeps us informed with plenty of helpful information. We are informed through the television of the latest news, weather, and information which are important in our daily lives. The television often acts as an almanac, dictionary, and an eye into the world around us. It informs us of the most recent happenings around the world within seconds. Such as the O.J. Simpson trial, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the wars taking place in the Middle East. Through TV we can be warned about almost anything from a hurricane approaching to the fact that the stock market is falling. The television in today’s society has become one of our most basic resources for information. We use the TV as a convenient way to find out some of the simplest information such as the date, time, and what is going to be on channel 11 at 9:30. Our American society has designed its lifestyle around the convenience of the TV and the fact that it is so easily accessible.
The television has other purposes besides convenience. It is a great way of educating the people throughout society with the important issues that affect our everyday lives. Be it social, political, economical, or medical, there is always something new to be told, and the television is the quickest way to get it out to the people. Not only is the television fast, but it is also very accurate and in depth as well. The television takes the time to do the research that most Americans are too lazy to do themselves. Through various news programs and documentaries, the television keeps us educated, and on the right track so that we as Americans are not left out in the dark when it comes to the current events around the nation. For example, being that it is an election year, we are constantly being informed about the candidates, their whereabouts, and the debates. The reason for this is because, this is an important piece of education when it comes to the American people. We need to know these things, or we along with our government will suffer.
Along with informational and educational purposes, television serves as an entertainer as well. When television was first developed, entertainment was not one of its main purposes. As time went on people began to sit and watch the television for that reason. Soon after came the development of sitcoms, and special programs which served as entertainment purposes. Throughout the years, entertainment on TV has become much more popular among Americans. The television has become an important part of our entertainment today. Not only is it more convenient than going to movies, plays, concerts, or sporting events but it is also a lot cheaper. With modern day television people do not have to leave their houses, and get dressed up to drive to see what they could be watching on their own TV sets at home. This is why the television companies have adapted to meet the needs of the American people by supplying access to movies, plays, concerts, and the most popular sporting events. This past summer the TV proved its convenience for entertainment. Many Americans were able to sit back and watch the Olympics in their own homes, and still be able to get the feel of being there in Atlanta.
Throughout the years, the American people have come to rely on the television and all it has to offer. The television with its multi-purposes has positively affected our society through its means of information, education, and entertainment. We as Americans have become a part of a society which is greatly influenced by the television. Although, this influence has been proven to affect the quality of family life, as Winn mentions in “The Plug-In Drug.” The positive effects of television on our society as a whole, and the knowledge it provides is far greater than this quality of life that she mentions. I must admit that there are both positive and negative aspects that come out of our televisions today, but I feel that the positive effects definitely outweigh the negatives when it comes to the importance of information, education, and entertainment for our society.