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Media: Making Society Go Downward Essay

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It seems as if it doesn’t take much to amuse us now days. It is apparent that entertainment, specifically television, has changed drastically. All three of the articles discussed the change of television through the years. They all had interesting views and debated well. The article that I chose to discuss is “Reality television: Oxymoron” by George F. Will. “America is becoming increasingly desensitized. Entertainment seeking a mass audience is ratcheting up the violence, sexuality, and degradation, becoming increasingly coarse and trying to be shocking in an unshockable society (Will, 295). Television may not be the worst thing in America, but it is desensitizing us. Without even knowing it things don’t bother us as much as they used to.
Will’s article discusses reality television and how it gets it ratings. Reality television consists of people being fools or degrading themselves for something of monetary value. Fred Allen warned us, “Imitation is the sincerest form of television” (293). Networks take existing shows imitate them and put their spin on things. This is why we have so many of the same type of shows on television. Some of these shows consist of people doing things they fear or even inflecting pain on themselves for humor. These shows can desensitize us which can affect us outside of the comfort of our living rooms. I believe that the television programs that we participate in take part in what kind of people we are and even what we accomplish.
I do not wish to bash or degrade reality television. I am sure that all of us have been succored into it once or twice myself included. While these reality programs are entertaining, what percentage of them are really realities? Sometimes while watching these shows it ...


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...TV makes you smarter or dumber. I am merely saying that it doesn’t benefit us much; it is just a form of entertainment. I am sticking with my argument that media affects each and every one of us in some way. Whether it is for the good or bad that depends on what, and how often, we watch. “They are not merely private vices; they have public consequences in driving the culture’s downward spiral” (Will, 295). Whether you watch bad programming in the comfort of your own home or in the middle of a crowded public area they still have the same effect on you and the society.







Works Cited

Text book-
THEY SAY I SAY: Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, Russel Durst

Articles-
WATCHING TV MAKES YOU SMARTER: Steven Johnson
Pages: 213-230

THINKING OUTSIDE THE IDIOT BOX: Dana Stevens
Pages: 231-235

REALITY TELEVISION: OXYMORON: George F. Will
Pages: 193-296


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