What are the impacts of TV on family life?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The impacts of television on family life vary greatly with the circumstances.  The amount of TV that is watched, the types of shows watched, and the situations in which TV is watched all make a tremendous amount of difference as to how TV can affect family life.

On the one hand, it is possible for TV to harm families.  First, it is possible that the types of shows watched will have an impact.  If children watch shows that encourage them to be violent or materialistic, their attitudes will affect the ways in which they interact with their families.  More importantly, though, TV has the ability to prevent families from interacting.  If families are all watching different shows in different rooms, they are not being together.  They are not building the sorts of ties with one another that will help them have a strong and stable family.

Conversely, it is possible for TV to help families.  This would be most likely to happen if TV gives them a way to be together.  If they are all watching the same shows together, the shows are likely to help them bond.  The shows give them something in common that they can talk about.  They also simply allow them to be together more, giving them chances to interact that would not be present if they were scattered around in different rooms doing different things.

Thus, TV can either help or harm a family, depending on the circumstances.

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