"Stay Tuned" This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   From the days when you believed everything a singing, middle-aged man told you while he changed his shoes, to now, when the words and pictures of MTV and prime time television are the underlying basis for the majority of your living and thinking, the "mighty" television has stared you, and me, in the face and conformed our minds into what we call a free-thinking society.

Why do we make watching television such a priority in our lives? Is it the mindless entertainment it provides? The government sets the standards for television presentations. Why does government seem to have this upper hand in entertainment? If the freedoms of mind and media exist, why aren't these major priorities in the governmental agenda?

It seems monetary gain is valued much more than idealism and individuality in our supposed "free thinking" society. Sure, it says we have the freedom to think and say as we please, but indirect attempts to conform society to be a bunch of unknown citizens is prevalent in television and its role in society. The government uses its omnipresence to promote its doctrines for being an average, middle-class, tax-paying "success "; in other words, a live, work, and die theory. It keeps people happy and it makes money and, therefore gives power to the leaders of our nation.

One of the best and saddest examples of government's use of its telecommunications power, relative to our schools, is that of Whittle Communications' Channel One. The television monitors preach the issues and topics the government and society deem important ominously over classrooms of students to the next generation of unknown citizens in a supposed free-thinking society.

Give everyone a big round of applause who has successfully captured the minds of us all to play into their ideas of social structuralism and idealism. Is that what we want? Do we want to be unconsciously conformed to a society that is going to suggest to our unconscious mind how our life is supposed to be lived? Your school principal and superintendent and school committee are all facets of the government which strives to uphold their idealism of a smooth-running, "free-thinking" society. School is a place where this social idealism can be implemented. Television is another. Television in school is a double-shot.

What I can say in conclusion is, watch television, go to school, and even watch television in school if you so please, but understand the roles that they play in society. Be critical. Freedom of the mind is a natural-born right, so use it. Never take their word for it. Don't fall into the traps of society; build your own home in the woods and seclude yourself from society. But, then again, don't take my word for it .... n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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