We are living in a more and faster civilizing society whose fondness for television is increasing. Everyone wants and loves to watch television, and some people tend to spend more time watching television as compared to others. One issue that has not been given thought to is if television can cause any alteration to personality and how this could happen. Television normally has different programs, and these have themes that we show preference to.
In the advertising industry, so many commercials have various designs that can easily influence thinking. Their main aim is to convince us to purchase whatever it is they are advertising. It has as well been proven that these advertisements are indeed effective as companies always show better performance in terms of yearly sales. This is all thanks to the commercials on television. For example, there are advertisements that specifically target children (Tracy, 2003). These have special designs so that they have a way of getting to children. This is because children are still naïve and believe in whatever they hear. They end up not making a decision of what they want basing on their own free will, but as per the commercials. This phenomenon has the same effect on adults.
The moral standards of the society are declining each passing day. Not many people bother to give it a thought, but they are certainly on the decline. Most people have come to live their lives basing on what they see on the television shows. In line with this, there are many vices that the society is now accepting thanks to television. One such vice is homosexuality. Some years ago the society could not tolerate its existence, leave alone just mentioning the notion. It is now on television more often and there even exist unique broadcasting networks just so that it may get more airtime. This frequency certainly is changing people’s mind and thinking when it comes to what is okay for the society.
Television causes the steady increase of the risky behavior. This is evident especially among the youth. Smoking, for example, always comes out in any television show as a cool habit. Therefore every teenager wants to be different nowadays; then, the next thing seen is a couple of new underage smokers. They do not quite know why they are smoking, but they are doing it. Drinking of alcohol is also normal on television. More and more teenagers are getting into the habit of taking all kinds of alcoholic drinks because of television (Tracy, 2003).
It is not easy to find a movie on television that does not have scenes related to sexual relationships. However, no matter how mild these situations are, they still have an effect on the personality of the viewer. Children are most vulnerable in this case, because they do not understand the whole idea of sex and early visual exposure makes them start engaging in sexual behaviors at a premature age. The result of this is promiscuity which eventually yields early and unwanted pregnancies. The result is high frequency of abortions and a high probability to become orphans for those who are to be born.
Television is also a wide variety of violent actions nowadays. Children are prone to watching these since they do spend a lot of time watching these violent shows. After watching they have an impression that violence is just another way of having fun and more so an act of being cool. They go as far as creating mental pictures in their minds and try to associate with some of the characters in the shows. For some people separating reality from fantasy is a problem. Perhaps, that is why we see violent shows attracting more people than those which are not violent.
Watching too many of violent shows on television leads to one thing - acquisition of violent behavior. We become more or less sensitive to others. We no longer pay much attention to humanity as it deserves. Human sufferings become something normal to us and thus we pay less attention to it. This, in turn, affects willingness to help others because we have witnessed an act of violence by one character over the other. We therefore, think that it is just normal to make someone suffer. Having aggressive behavior towards others is also a vice that is typical to most television shows (Tracy, 2003). Children especially pick up this trait because they are the most vulnerable to television, as they spend most of their time watching it.
For example, when examining the case of a romantic show, one always wants what they see on television to happen in their own life as well. Television brings in the whole idea of a perfect lover, and that is exactly what we start searching for. We forget that this is all just fantasy. We even have reality television shows, but the truth is that they are not entirely real. Lastly, there is the production of these Mexican and Korean soap operas that the theme centers and revolves mostly around love. Young men and women watch these and all of a sudden start making all sorts of demands on how they want to be treated. They use the program as a yard stick to monitor their love life. This comes to be a massive mistake, because some of the scenes in these shows are not real at all. They are just nothing but ideal situations.
One of the major crises of all times that we may be facing is the loss of the human identity. What it is that exactly defines us and the ideas in our heads? We have always known how to behave depending upon the definitions of one’s origin. But the crisis is that all this is under the threat, because the long-held values are no longer there. We are changing the way we interact with one another. We are changing sources of happiness thanks to influence of the television. This same television has come to change the capacity that we posses in terms of realizing the full potential that we have within us. Television has a way of affecting the brain. The human brain has been put in a category of one of those sensitive organs that are facing threats from civilization.
When watching television, it is normal for us to relate and identify with characters and themes. This phenomenon affects and modifies personality by a great deal. We somehow get an attachment to the idea that is presented in the shows. For example, when one watches a horror movie, one tends to build up anxiety within. One may even become jumpy for a number of days. On the other hand, watching a religious film on forgiveness makes one just want to forgive even if the ordeal that happened was nasty. Thinking of similar stories, whether fictional or not, is one way or another of reflecting on experiences that we have in life (Plotnik & Kouyoumjian, 2011). This brings the concern that somehow these fictional stories may subconsciously affect us. It is a normal occurrence for someone to become sad after watching a movie that has a theme of sadness. Looking at such a scenario there is certainly much more than we can see with our eyes meaning that there is a much deeper connection at a level that is more personal.
Sometimes one may watch a thrilling series on television that brings the feeling of wanting to do exactly what one is seeing. It is a result of us seeing part of ourselves in these characters that come with the feeling of attachment to them. Most of the time the characters that we develop a liking towards, are those that we are remarkably similar with. These become favorite characters and thus we tend to want to be like them. There is evidently mood change after watching something on television. Personality also changes depending on the theme of the show in question. One time I was watching a movie with a friend. This colleague of mine ended up crying during the movie, because it got too sad and he could no longer hold tears back. This illustrates the power of television.