Television has a major role to play in familial relationships, emotions, aggression and sexuality. Critics of the insidious influence of television point out that excessive television viewing has led to a complete breakdown in communication between family members and consequently the number of broken homes is more prolific than ever before. According to Brock, (2003), "With television turned on in the average American household for seven hours and 40 minutes per day, and 40 per cent of Americans saying they watch TV 'always or often' during dinner, it's no surprise that many families don't talk anymore".
It would seem that youngsters are usually too wrapped up in the happy families portrayed on television to be bothered by their own parents. Any attempt to strike up a conversation by a well-meaning family member is usually met with hostility and resentment as such gestures are viewed as pesky intrusions into the ideal world of television viewing. Many of us have experienced a twinge of irritation or full-blown annoyance if our mother chooses to call in the middle of our favorite show.
Therefore it would appear that television is robbing us of family time. The television exposes the viewer to the entire gamut of human emotions, as characters are shown in the throes of passion, love, fury, vengeance and the like. These emotional behaviors or responses create a lasting impression on the viewer and stays with them long after the set is switched off. In similar situations individuals find themselves responding or behaving like some television character they have a hazy recollection off, slightly aware of the artificial quality of their emotions and feeling strangely transplanted from reality.
It is almost as if art has ceased to imitate life and life has started to imitate art instead. The relationship between television viewing and aggression has been subject to intense scrutiny and scientific research but unfortunately, results are far from conclusive.
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