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Television is a form of media that has great ability to influence and brainwash the viewing public. The talking box in one’s living room has assumed the overpowering role it plays today as a result of the weakness of society. This may seem like a negative view but a society’s strength is based on the relationships between people and when so much time is spent away from others and together with the media, the actions that take place are often times a reflection of what television presents. In President Clinton’s speech, he brings forth this very point and he acknowledges the family’s increasing weakness and calls on all people to bring back the values of the past and stop the media from playing such a huge role in our community. The overwhelming influence of the media is a constant threat to the maintenance of traditional family values and to the protection of our children’s future. Nevertheless, television cannot be changed for it is too big and powerful but compromises can be made that can strengthen society and help keep certain values protected.
Over the past decades, people have less and less time in their hands due to careers, divorces and the constant struggle for success. This unfortunately, is resulting in parents spending less time with their children, which is an important responsibility that no one or nothing can replace. President Clinton said, “television… may be the third parent, but it can’t be the first or the second”(Clinton, p.173). The focus on “parental responsibility”(Clinton, p.174) is what is important and parents must ensure that their children are raised in a controlled and safe environment. The media has “more access… to children”(Clinton, p.172) then ever before, and it can develop certain bad habits, patterns and subconscious actions if the individual is too weak to fight its affect. Therefore, parents must spend more time with their children, otherwise, the old values will slowly slip away and new ones, established by television, will take their place for good.
Television has incredible power. In a society where money signifies success and influence, television has taken its place among the most prosperous of businesses. Television cannot be attacked because it can and has successfully stood up to all sorts of challenges. The solution of changing its role in society lies within man himself. Television, despite many negative aspects, has much to offer. It is a great tool for learning, communication and for information. Attacking television may deprive us of such benefits therefore this trend must be approached with “more conversation and less combat”(Clinton, p.173). Instead of criticizing, we should look for alternatives that, in the long run, will benefit society. Just as televisions’ bad influence has settled in slowly in our community, it can slowly be filtered out with time, patience and most importantly with everyone’s cooperation.
We, society, are responsible for making television a threat to traditional values and future generations. It is our duty, as a population, to work together to steer away from the tube to the values that will strengthen society. Step by step, this can be done and the future will get brighter in the long run.