Can We See It and Not Be It?

February 22, 2012
In a world plagued by scandalous television aimed specifically at teenagers, it seems almost impossible to get around school or Facebook statuses, without hearing and seeing conversation after conversation about these immoral television shows. One of the biggest contributors to this trash television is MTV, a network made for teenagers that showcases and oftentimes glamorizes topics like teenage pregnancy, frequent partying, underage drinking, smoking, and sex. It’s no secret that a large percentage of the youth population is completely on board with these programs, which begs the question: can we watch immoral television and still be moral?
The most popular genre of offensive television is without a doubt reality TV. We live in the age of reality television, where every network has at least one, if not many more, reality shows. One of the key elements that really make this kind of TV successful is embarrassment. We enjoy watching other people get extremely drunk and making bad decisions, we like to watch as people incorrectly use words, we laugh when they fall, and we are right there when someone hands us this entertainment topped with fun catchphrases and people we relate to so well that we think of them as friends. From The Jersey Shore, The Bachelor, to even Big Brother, voyeurism is clearly what we thrive off of. People can win contests to go party with the cast of Jersey Shore, they can watch a 24 hour feed of the Big Brother house; we can even start our own reality show with the help of YouTube and the concept of “V-logging” or video blogging, your life.


With all of this “reality” television floating around us, it’s easy sometimes to lose touch with our own real lives. These shows are made to ultimately make money, they don’t aim to prove a point or even provide words of caution, and they only are in it for the cash. This is something that teens often forget, and it’s easy to build up an ego of invincibility and acquire the attitude of “if they can do it, so can I” a mentality that is incredibly dangerous in itself.

All in all the television, not unlike many great inventions, can be an invaluable tool, or one that leads to destruction. It’s all about moderation; children and teens should learn to limit how much they watch TV to decrease their chances of becoming just another negative statistic. It is also important not to draw morals and values from television programs because more often than not, they are not entirely realistic and are not always in the best interest of the viewer. The television is a wonderful way of spreading news and important information; conversely, too much TV can lead to an unhealthy and lazy lifestyle, produce an uneducated population, and can encourage poor decision making skills in the youth of America today. Although it would be absurd to think that television as a whole should be eradicated, it certainly needs to be thought of in a different, less glorified light to preserve the population of our society as a whole.





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