When looking at television and how it impacts our daily lives one can see the psychological, social and interpersonal affects it has on society. Television gives off certain images and representations of people and how they live in accordance to the environment around them. With this in mind, it is justifiable to say that television creates a sense of stereotype and interpretation of how society should run. The biggest influence television has on our values, beliefs and behaviors is the way we view and set standards towards one another through what is shown on the screen.
We are victims of thinking and acting a certain way based on how it is presented to us. There are different programs on television that give us insight to the various parts of society. Reality shows, talk shows and soap operas all possess a certain ideology about society and the way it should be. They are a part of television that influences how we see and interpret things as well as how we think, act, and live in relation to one another. Reality shows are televised programs that are not scripted, not preplanned, and do not have professional actors.
All members of these types of shows work towards a particular goal or purpose and spend the entire show aiming for that success. It can range from winning a million dollars, finding true love, having a dream come true, or just pleasure of escaping from everyday life. The viewers who watch these shows are bound to pick up certain beliefs and ideas. If you examine a reality show, you see how producers are trying to lure their audience to be interested in their particular show. They do this through materialistic desires and untrue fantasies that society desires.
For example, in the show Survivor it is evident that society is focused on money and materialistic wealth. The show is about 10 people fighting to win a million dollars and how each of them is willing to go to extreme measures to achieve that goal. What does this tell you about society and each individual submerged in it? It shows how people think of wealth and money to find happiness and shows the attitudes of our society. The measures people are willing to take and the amount of craze and importance money has in our society.
Also, television impacts our interpersonal system in such a way that people who do not even watch these shows or television know what it is about and the concept behind it. In addition, reality television brings about the beliefs and the desires of our society. In another show, The Bachelor the issue is lying to ten girls about the amount of money one has and then seeing if the test of “true love” will surpass it. This tells you about how people want to see the unreal and the happy-ending to happen. The girls who wanted to go on that show wanted to be with someone who was financially stable and well off.
They did not want a bum off the street but rather someone who can support them. This brings about the attitudes of women and that they are looking for a man with money. It also shows how society is fixated on the idea that the “perfect” man is someone who is good looking and must have money. These shows impact our behaviors because we all think that the ideal man is someone who has these qualities present in them. It also affects our behaviors because we want the Disney-movie happy ending fantasy and go out to look for that “true love”.
Hence, Television impacts our system of values, behaviors and beliefs. Talk shows are supposed to be shows that are supposed to be therapeutic, help common people overcome their problems through reason and working through them. However, this concept in talk shows is hardly visible. Talk shows today show a society of disunity where problems are avoided but rather made fun of and ridiculed. There are shows that have extreme topics of discussion of “Is He a Man or a Woman? ” and “My 13 Year Old Teen Wants to Have a Baby” and much more. What do topics like these tell you about our society?
Yes, it tells you about the dysfunction in it and the loss of ethical values and morals. However, it also makes the viewer aware and act in a certain way towards different groups of people. An elder woman watching this show might stereotype against young teens in today’s generation thinking how they do not have any belief system of what is right or wrong, they are crazy and uncontrollable, and much more. She might feel discontent such groups of people. Also, you see the high ratings these television shows get and how society desires such entertainment.
It tells you that viewers and how they are nosy and want to know everything that is going on everyone else’s lives. It also shows you how we want to feel better about ourselves when we watch these shows and are thankful that we are not like the “psychotic” people on television. However, they fail to realize that the people on television are the people in every-day society. In addition, it provides no limits for what should be considered private problems and what is visible to the whole public community.