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John Baird's remarkable invention, the television has revolutionized the world and life as we know it. Its influence is rarely considered benign; more often than not it is seen as malign and insidious. This point has been the focus of intense debate for many years now.


This essay will focus on the statement 'Even when we are not watching television, it still frames our lives', discuss its implications and analyze whether this situation may be undergoing a change.
The average American family spends an average of 7.58 hours per day or 53 hours, 6 minutes per week glued to the television screen (Lawson, 2004, p. 17). Therefore the television has become an integral part of our lives, and this is true even when we are not actually viewing television. For instance according to Livingstone (1993, p. 5), " we plan our meals and phone calls as well as viewing around the television schedule". The influence wielded by television is exceedingly subtle but powerful nevertheless. The effects of television viewing have spilled over into several aspects of our lives which are examined below.
According to Huston et al (1993, p. 4) "Both theory and intuition suggest that television plays an important role in the development of many facets of attitude, emotion, social behavior and intellectual functioning". Even while not actually watching television, its influence can be felt as it shapes peoples' attitudes and perceptions. For many individuals interaction with people from other walks of life or other ethnic groups takes place mainly via the medium of television. Television portrayal of such people influences the way we see them and interact with them in real life.
Television is also seen to influence our consumptive beha ...
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