Television: The Plug-In Drug
In Television: The Plug-In Drug, Marie Winn describes the unanticipated effects of televisions on families. After the introduction of the television, it was predicted that the medium would, in fact, be a “wonderful improvement” on one’s way of living (457). However, according to Winn, the effect of TV’s was a drug that would “dominate family life” (458). I agree with Winn; the closeness that many families once enjoyed has changed drastically because of television. Winn’s main argument is that the power of television changes the quality of life, puts an end to family rituals, and prevents interaction with real people.
Unintentionally, TV’s in homes “destroys the special quality that distinguishes one family from another” (459). These distinctions depend upon what a family does together, but if all a family’s free time is spent on watching television, what makes it different from another family that just watches TV? Winn goes on to say that if families do not share experiences and build relationships, they will be nothing more than “a caretaking institution” (461); the quality of life is not at its full potential. I definitely agree with Winn because I know in my family, we lack a sense of unity that other families have; growing up, there was not a day that I remember where I did not watch TV. I never watched with my parents, and consequently, I feel like communicating with them is more difficult. This unforeseen effect of television is not something that can be easily mended.
Rituals are something that can set families apart. However, as television viewing has increased, the family rituals have considerably decreased. The quality time spent together has diminished as television has become “more attractive” in some eyes (462). Many rituals – such as game nights, Sunday dinners, or reading a bedtime story – have been replaced by a TV set. As a child, I remember eating dinner together with my family, but as I got...
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