Since the inception of Television in the 1950s in the United States, its representations have become a significant part of shaping, creating, nurturing, and reflecting the cultural morals and values in an individual’s life. Moreover, it has the potential to generate negative and positive effects on a child’s psychological development which makes it a critical factor to determine age-appropriate exposure of a child to media. The objective of this discussion is to explore the stance “You are what you watch” in terms of my experience. I have selected 3 of my favorite TV shows I loved watching in my childhood, teenage, and I love watching them till now. This essay explores how these TV shows affected my psychological development level and in shaping my worldview of the world during the years I experienced rapid physical, emotional, and cognitive development.
Sesame Street aired in 1969 on National Educational Television is the show I have started watching when I was 7 years of age on my father’s recommendation because of its ultimate goal to develop early literacy and emotional skills for school-going children of pre-school age. 80% of show’s content in my opinion is dedicated to the said goal whereas the rest of the show is meant to entertain the audience. It has changed my view that TV shows only have negative effects as the show created and codified many significant ideas about how to teach kids through media which is the need of the hour in today’s fast-growing world. The stated mission of the show that has pushed me to learn basic conceptual things later in my academic career was to help pre-school age children which I successfully adopted whether I paid half attention to the show. I quickly learned what the letters are, how to read, how to count, and how to delve into the little things. The show has shaped my worldview of delving and accepting little things in nature and how we can learn from the petty things around our surroundings. The show did not only teach me how to write, read, and count, but also how to develop racial harmony, kindness, empathy, and cooperation mutually in an environment. It has morphed my thoughts that television shows are a better medium to pacify learning and instill effective knowledge in children’s minds as the world itself is unquestionably a better place to live in.
The Big Bang Theory
The reason why I love this TV show and have selected it for the discussion is my immense love for Science and curiosity about how Earth has evolved since its birth. The season of this show I watched is aired in 2019 and completed in 2020 and has started off with a group of men and women who tackle their work schedule and friendship. It has helped me a lot to understand what has happened in our universe at the preliminary stages of its birth and to clear the air about what was there when our universe was not here. One of the many things from the show that I witnessed and never want to acquire in my entire life is the behavior of Penny with her friends. I took an oath of being always kind to others while watching Penny’s character as she is always cruel, rude, and condensing to her friends most of the time. I opine that she is a hypocrite as she criticizes all of her friends for their hobbies and activities and later enjoys them, too. I have assessed myself while watching Penny’s character in the show and tried to overcome the violent behavior I sometimes have had with my classmates as I have the habit of self-actualization whenever I experience any event or watch any show on Television. Her character has changed my view of behaving people living in my immediate surroundings as well as even the vulnerable animals and birds as an offensive language should not be convincing at all no matter what the situation is.
One of the highest-rated Television shows sweeping national and international awards since it has aired for ten years is- Friends. The reason I have started watching its seasons is its hype as a pop culture phenomenon in the United States. It has inspired my thoughts in terms of clothing decorum, hairstyle choices (as I love being well-dressed in every moment of my life), and even the trend of slang words. Unlike other Television shows that focus on family life, Friends emphasizes that a group of loyal friends can also be a family which has set the benchmark on American television. It focuses on the daily lives of individual characters and how they create the vulnerable bond of friendship defining it as the central dynamic of the show instead of concentrating on issues older American TV shows documented such as class or race issues. However, what I perceived earlier from this show is that it is all about living with a group of friends in the big apartments with all the luxuries in adulthood that I understood with time was a wrong expectation from life. The thought morphed into the idea with every passing day that we humans are on Earth to strive and to make difference between what is wrong and what is right. Life is never about living luxuriously but surviving in all ups and downs of life. The show undoubtedly has changed the worldview of Americans in terms of how they should carry their everyday lives and how they should interact with each other because of the friendship bond it presents.
In conclusion, the positive, as well as negative impacts of Television on the psychological development of a child in his/her formative years, are profound that no one can deny. Therefore, physicians need to discuss the potential effects Television shows pose on children’s physical and mental health to promote the healthy use of Television.