Television's Impact On Society Essay

1997 words - 8 pages

Television's Impact on Society


Although television is perceived as one of the greatest scientific inventions of the 20th century and is watched enormously by the American public, it is often criticized as the root of intellectual destruction for children.  Television has been praised throughout history for its ability to transmit visual images with accompanying sound to entertain, educate, and to provide a sense of truth.  Through the miracle of television the public has witnessed extraordinary historical events in an approach that no other form of communication has ever been able to duplicate.  It has brought the man landing on the moon, the Kennedy assassination, and the Vietnam War into the living room, as if the viewers were actually there.  Although television has captured such memorable, historical documentation, it also can be perceived as an evil storyteller.  Through the illustrations of TV, children have witnessed war, murder, hate, prejudice, sexual promiscuity, as well as other forms of inapt actions, before they were even old enough to ride a bicycle, without training wheels.

            The miracle of the television is credited  to Philo Taylor Farnsworth, who invented the existing system of the television transmission and reception at his 202 Green Street Laboratory in San Francisco, California in 1927. (Philo Farnsworth, 2002: 1).  Though, visionary inventors first imagined ideas of television?s potentials as the 19th century ended.  George Carey of Boston first hinted transmitting every component of a picture over numerous circuits in 1875, but others like W.E. Sawyer introduced converting of images over a single wire or channel by quickly scrutinizing picture components in progression.  (Inventing Television, 2002: 1).  After the contributions of many and a century later television has become a reality for everyone; by transmitting images through the exchange of light to electrical signals and then back again.  Television consists of two fundamentals ? video and audio.  Video is derived from the Latin word ?I see? and audio is derived from the Latin word ?I hear.?  (History of Television, 2002:1).

            The birth of television occurred and the invention was subject to many modifications.  American culture would be altered for an eternity and would continue to revolutionize society with the escalation of television.  Peter Goldmark of CBS would improve television technology by employing a three-filter system to enable color television.  In 1953, color broadcasting commenced.  In today?s society, approximately every household ? 98 percent of all US homes ? have at least one television set.  Television has a tremendous impact on today?s society and culture, as there are hundreds of broadcast, cable and satellite television channels transmitting enormous hours of programming to audiences all over the globe.  (Inventing Television, 2002: 1-2).

            The Communications Act of 1934...

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