Impact of Television on Behaviour
Television is an audio-visual medium and has a tremendous potential to influence its viewers to a maximum level. Its mode of persuasion distinguishes it from the rest of the media. Besides, it has a greater entertainment value. That is why for people it does not have any informative or educative priority. The history of television in Pakistan shows that it was introduced as an entertainment gadget.
The mode of education through television differs in itS” manner and organization. As Marshal Mc Luhan puts it, it is a cool medium one has to present things softly and pleasantly if one wants a maximum impact. That’s why education information and guidance must be presented in an entertaining manner. The more it is light and indirect, the more it would penetrate deeply into the minds something which we, in Pakistan, badly need for maximum awareness among the masses. We, also need to know the tremendous potential that T.V has for educational purposes. It is ironical to note that the government and the masses both are unaware of the remarkable role of T.V. The unchecked use of television for personal ends by successive governments has marred the credibility of television to a disastrous level. They have never considered television more than an entertainer. This has created a distorted image of television in the minds of the viewers. This hinders the mass education revolution which can transform our society from illiterate to literate.
There is a need to systematically arouse the expectations of the masses as without their consent nothing useful could be imparted. At the same time the government must loosen its grip on television and make proper arrangements to recover the lost credibility of the medium and use better minds for arranging its policies. This must always be kept in mind that without the informative credibility, the medium would never gain the status of a guide and educator, and would remain as an entertaining juggler with less positive utilization.
Extensive research has been conducted and is continuing, to determine how, and to what extent, watching television influences human behaviour. It is matter that concerns social Psychologists as much as media theorists.
The youth audience (Pre-school to high school) is Television’s most eager and impressionable audience. According to studies audience aged up to 18 spends
Media not only inform but also serve the cultural purpose of lessening tensions and enhancing harmony. The positive cultural values can be easily made clear through the audio-visual medium of television. In the same way the negative and destructive tendencies can be shown in an evil shape. Thus making the task of harmonizing the culture on cultural and sub-cultural level easy.
Television do have cultural effect. Media theorists believe that a new global culture is emerging through television. Fashion, dress, decoration and food are under influence. Pop Music is now considered as a universal music. Television is the sole source of its wide popularity. Special production techniques and use of special effects has made pop music the most popular among masses and now there is seldom any country in the world where this form of music is not on the top rattings.
Programmes like Fashion shows, Style, Catwalks dress designs has influenced people’s dresses. Programmes on food dishes is another field in which television has . influenced its viewers.
The powerful cultural traditions of alien cultures are getting popularity due to television’s repeated telecast.
It is imperative to safegaurd the local culture and traditions by depicting right, perspective and true representation of the local customs and cultural heritage.
Television directly affects the social relationships which bind individuals to each other. It shows the nature and patterns of a nation’s cultural structure. It also shows the interactions among different sub-cultures. The fusion of local cultures into a national culture is also depicted on television. These are the patterns which govern social relationships.
Television also combats the signals from alien cultures. The cultural invasion is nothing but depiction of the structure of the social relationships of the alien culture.
Television has made people captive in their homes. They spend more time before TV. They prefer watching their favourite programmes than visiting friends.
Before television evenings were free and social contacts were more. TV has affected the social get togethers. Childern spare less time for games than watching cartoons programmes and other favourite programmes. TV has made people passive than before.
It depicts the alien social relationships which create awareness and anxiety at the same time. In fact, it shows the weak and strong points of social set up, thus giving a chance to repair and strengthen the weakening bonds. On the other hand, if used for nefarious designs, the televised picture might develop frustration among the viewers. If the picture of the alien social relationships is made all rosy, exempting the flaws which are always there in every structure, the exposed viewers will resent their own arrangement. Unluckily, this is how present state of affairs is. The western pattern of life seems to be very well organized because the western media depict those social patterns which are lacking in our own set up. They never expose their weaknesses. Even if they do, it is always done in a controlled manner. They show that there are many ways out of any trouble within their set up. They have alternatives. Their capacity of the social structure to absorb opinions is greater.