Hello, and welcome to our Show! I’m your smarmy host, Mark G… Today we’ll be discussing the human communication device and entertainment system we’ve all become so accustomed to love; the passive pervasive hypnotizing TELEVISION!!
Today our special guest is YOU! We will be looking to find out all the nitty-gritty gossip that doesn’t matter and more of what you do in your real life off-screen free time. We’re all dying to know!!… Surely it isn’t wasting your time with that antiquated bulk of paper that truly engages your mind and helps expand thought and idea (~yawn~). We know you’re more exciting and inspiring than that! We saw your Facebook and Instagram posts and know you’re living the life!
Enough about you already! Heh heh heh! Let’s move on into today’s discussion about the medium that has become SO LARGE and influential!! Sit back, relax, and get ready to enjoy this episode of TV TIME!!
THE BLACK AND WHITE TRUTH
Development and patents of the television began in the late 1800’s. The first working TV set, with a neon orange, geriatric Floridian color screen, was demonstrated by Scottish inventor John Logie Baird in 1926. From 1928-1934, the first black & white screen mechanical sets were sold to the public. On July 1st, 1941, electronic black & white television began broadcasting commercially in the United States.
Sales and broadcasts were halted because of World War II from 1942-1945. But electronic development continued and eventually sent the mechanical models into obsoletion. In May 1954, the first all-electronic color TV hit the market and has become part of the family more and more ever since (while geriatric Floridians continue to maintain their neon orange hue).
Television really isn’t that old. Yet it’s impact has irreversibly changed world perspective, and arguably, set the trend for increased technological dependency. TV has become commonplace and an accepted normal part of life. Now-a-days, nearly the entire world population has no experience without the existence, or at least the awareness, of television in their lifetime.
In the United States, citizens are considered foreign, or a bit of a pariah, if they don’t own or care to watch television in any format. But whether a person cares to view or not, they inevitably will be in the presence of one through various viewing options, public venues, and other variable visitations. A great question then is, “What does television’s existence and impact mean for non-viewers?” In short… a lot.
So let’s look a little deeper into if it is really a “weird” thing to not watch TV, and how this communication tool affects our reality, regardless of individual attention.
WHAT DO YOU CHANNEL?
The average American watches 3-4 hours of television a day. Those who watch over the average tend to be overweight and risk gaining shorter attention spans and learning disabilities. In 1969, a public marketing researcher, Dr. Herbert Krugman, found that television viewing altered brain waves from Beta (associated with active, logical thought) to Alpha (associated with daydreaming and passive learning). It has been proposed that this brain wave state is more susceptible to suggestive thought and leaves the mind more open to outside influence. Is this where the phrase “Prime Time” really came from?
There is no question TV can be entertaining and appealing in all kinds of ways. From sports to dramas, people can live vicariously in HD from the comfort of their couch. There is nothing wrong with relaxing from daily stresses or grinds through the escapism that TV offers. But with any habit or vice done in excess, practicing moderation helps maintain a healthy balance and improved mental states.
Plenty of diverse people actually subscribe to the abstinence of television. They are not all extremists, such as religious fundamentalists and counterculture artists, whom have chosen to abstain. Busy college students, training athletes, and highly successful people, for example, do not watch much, if any, television. The groups that don’t watch television are generally engaged with more productive activities such as exercise, reading, proselytizing, business practices, world domination, and travel. More time is spent channeling their attention and energy towards their growth and ambitions.
Watching television or not, the choice is ours. If what we do in our life is truly fulfilling and uplifts, then don’t change that dial!!
ADS: THE MOST ANNOYING AND, TO THE MAJORITY, LEAST FAVORABLE PART OF THE VIEWING EXPERIENCE: LOUDER, BRIGHTER, BOLDER, OFTEN STRAIGHT UP RIDICULOUS!!! HOW BETTER TO GET VIEWER’S ATTENTION TO SELL SOMETHING THEY DIDN’T KNOW THEY NEEDED? BUT PUT YOUR WALLET AWAY. I DON’T WANT YOUR MONEY. YOU’VE ALREADY PAID AND GRACED ME WITH YOUR TIME!
Really, behinds the scenes, that is what commercial television needs most..your time. Time is money. And if sponsors have your time, chances are they have, or will have, your dollar. As viewers watch their favorite shows or events, they also become exposed to specifically targeted advertisements. These advertisers pay big money to the network corporations to reach their audience.
These corporations have dominance in the entertainment world. In essence, it’s a monopoly on ownership and control of the news and associated networks. Just six companies (GE, Time Warner, The Walt Disney Co., News Corp., CBS, and Viacom), own every commercial station available to the public. This conglomerate mogul nearly drowns out most public access channels and the interest in them.
The significance of this is that billions of dollars are put into advertising through this trickle-up system. Advertisers and network owners have a great relationship and are often the same entity. That means these companies have the money to hire high-end researchers, marketers, and psychologists. They study consumer behavior and thought, in the most intimate ways possible, to communicate, influence, and sell their ideas and products. All this coming from just six companies shows the major influence a rich corporate minority has on the public.
By the time one is cognitively aware, at a fairly early age, advertisers have already been there waiting, having tactics set to incorporate your mind. Their genius marketing plans have shaped ideals and paradigms through psychology; appealing to insecurities, desires, and necessities. Having people believe brainwashing cannot happen to them is one trick of brainwashing. Perhaps this is where the term TV “Program” really developed from. Thought control is lucrative business!
BACK TO YOUR PROGRAM
Awareness and limitations of cable practices have moved many to seek out better and more personalized viewing experiences. Sub-culture viewers turn to alternative media sources, such as YouTube, Reddit, and Netflix. These options have grown in major popularity during the last decade. Having multiple sources helps appease the craving for choice so ingrained in us. Now matter your fancy, there exists a medium that suits your informational, educational, carnal and artistic desires. People subscribe to their own style of news, business, comedy, education; nearly any topic or genre in existence.
Within this style of media viewing does also exist high potential of addictive viewing; as witnessed daily with people on their smartphones walking like zombies all over. These unfortunate zombified citizens watch their mobile devices more out of entertainment and convenience than elevated awareness. Marketers, once again, know these patterns, and because of internet site cookies and algorithms (surely named after Al Gore), formulate and sell even more specifically on individually tracked interests and patterns. As trends move from the living room to on-the-go, advertisers follow.
There is almost no escape. To call it evil and dismiss it is as much a farce as being completely brainwashed by it. Just as what we watch is our choice, so is what we buy.
Even people aware and free from TV addiction still have to live in and deal with a world that just overall doesn’t seem to be as free and in-tune. But we now can use these media as beneficial tools and reach out to others. We can go global too, and be the advertisers, the entertainers, or the educators! We can literally make our own programs on-line for anyone to see! The world of communication is in the palm of our hands…
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX!
On a marketing or personal level, we can find out quickly people’s hobbies, tastes, and personal interests. It can be an easy, even fun way, to get to know, understand, and relate to another. You can learn a lot about a person by what programs they watch and therefore learn more of their patterns. But let’s look at the bigger picture!
In reality, there is a much larger universe to engage in outside of a TV or any screen. I encourage you to go out and explore the world, the constructs of the mind, and the possibilities of the unseen. We should understand, that often what we consider normal, is a construct more than a natural occurrence. Humans lived for thousands of years without television and were just fine. Inventions can improve quality of life but cannot ever replace genuine human interaction.
Remember to watch what you feed your mind. A body can’t operate optimally if it isn’t kept up. The mind is the same and should be cared for just as much (if not more). Reading, practicing hobbies, exercising, and social get-togethers improve brain power and hence can elevate the ability to communicate effectively.
Our greatest experiences should happen outside of any boxed-in screen.
Well, that’s it for this episode of TV TIME!! Thanks for joining us ; )