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The essay examines how television has been a force on everyday life through the lens of "pattern influence." What began as a respected innovative invention that most observers admired for its ability to put families together has turned out to be a thorn in the side of society's most fundamental institution, the family.
Its power was initially intended to get the family together in one room to allow each member to spend quality time with each other while enjoying entertainment; however, its sway has developed into something that was not expected at all.
Rather than having a positive and healthy influence on the family, the concept of television has shifted family focus from spending quality time together into spending time alone watching show after show that do not even adhere to family values.
The unique roles of family institutions such as togetherness, unity, participation, and sense of belonging have been eroded and diminished. The quality of life with regards to togetherness has been reconstructed with multiple televisions in the same house but focus and roles being dispersed from parent to children differently.
This has prevented meaningful family rituals such as quality time during family holidays, eating together, preparing meals as families, and so on. Furthermore, the addiction to television has eroded and undermined fundamental principles of family and the relationship of relatives to each other.
Instead, people and especially children have replaced affiliations and conversations with programs and fictional characters which hinder their development and integration into society. The article tries to present what effects the television has had on family and how it has structured key responsibilities within this important pillar of society.
On this second article, the authors try to explain what it means for a person to be addicted to television. Additionally, it looks at the severity of the issue and how it takes places from a biological perspective.
Rather than looking at the issue as from the message being passed or content showed, the article depicts addiction on the allure of the medium. Addiction to television is brought about by the feeling the medium brings to a person and the dependence that one has with the set and its accessories.
Addiction to television is not merely watching shows but realizing that one is spending a lot of time in front of the tube and yet finding it hard to stop watching.
After identifying the problem, the author looks at how a person gets addicted.
The medium complements the cognitive notion of the body being at rest by passing a feeling of relaxation and passiveness. Therefore, its addiction is mostly associated with the experience of relaxation and getting rest which assures the mind that television is not the dependent medium but rather a circumstance of the need for rest.
The orienting response is another explanation on how addiction to television grows with its attention-grabbing features with the mind more appealed by the form of the medium rather than the content. The message is portrayed through content, but the form of the set regarding how such materials are presented to trigger involuntary response is what catches the attention of the addict.
Apart from how one gets addicted, the article also looks at some of the ways one could defeat the habit and entangle from television addiction. These include some home-based changes such as limiting the access to television, promotion of chores and domestic activities, and the use of other conventional tools such as VCR's.
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