Television’s Continuing Influence

Watching television is something now so common and an integral part of our lives that we don’t even notice its influence. It is a major factor of socialization and has been for quite some time. What do the shows and movies out now tell us about society today, and how does that affect the people growing up watching it?

It may seem strange that shows like The Walking Dead and How I Met Your Mother actually reflect something about society, but a closer look reveals that they do. Most shows are filled with allusions to the current times, which dates them. When you watch a show from the 90s or even early 2000s it is clear that it is an “old” one. These allusions create a feeling of connection and understanding to the present times, but also mean that in a decade or two these shows will have lost meaning to the new generations.

And then how are these shows affecting the attitudes of people? The most impressionable time is when we are children, and many kids now are watching these more “adult” shows. But does it also affect adults? It may model the way in which they perceive society and those people their age that they would feel more connected with.

This issue of television and its affect on society was brought up in another class but also relates to the IDEAS seminar—television is a technology that has become a seamless part of our life, but it is an older technology, so do we really understand or even recognize the impact it has on our lives?


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