In the article, “Talk Shows Lost Potential” written by Anderson you see his views about this fight between private vs. public. He states, “No revelation, confession, or disclosure is so personal that it cannot be exposed by a talk-show host. In the atmosphere of total exposure, no secrets are allowed” showing the disregard to what should be kept within personal boundaries and what should be shown to society. 1 Hence, talk shows are a doorway to the way our society really is and how the people in such a society really are.
These shows help give us a definition of our beliefs and attitudes towards one another. It shows our psychological way of thinking based on television. Soap Operas are another type of television show that influences American society. They are types of shows that include various plots taking place at once with immense amounts of drama and chaos. They reflect our society and how we are as people in it. Similar to Reality Shows, this type of program also creates the world of materialistic desire and wealth. It has characters that are the wealthiest of the community who are full of happiness and luxury.
Soaps are storyline taking place in a little community where everyone knows one another and it shows how they all interact with one another. It shows the selfish desires of human nature in characters and how they try to have what they want through destroying others that come in their way. In addition, it has a big stereotype of woman and their role in society. Although female characters in the show are educated doctors and lawyers soaps fail to show their intelligence and present these women characters running towards men by being seductive, dishonest, manipulative and much more.
The quote, “… Soaps show women in skyscraper offices running financial empires… the soap about women attracted to (or suffering from) sexual freedom. ” 2 by Ronald Berman shows how women are degraded against. Hence, this tells you that our society is still portraying women in a negative connotation and creating illusions of money bringing about happiness. Many viewers who watch these shows feel they can relate because they are housewives at home where the male figure is the higher authority and that if they go out and buy a certain item then they will be happier.
Shows like these shape our attitudes because they show us what is acceptable and unacceptable in society. They also give off beliefs that men are superior and cause the society we live in today to believe the same concept. Hence, the behavior of men and women towards one another is also altered and there are social conflicts which emerge. Also, children in these soap opera shows are shown facing the same problems of love and betrayal of friends. Talk shows also show the level of maturity in children as I stated earlier when presenting issues of “My 13 Year Old Teen Wants to Have a Baby”.
Television shows today impact children the most because they have a fresher mind and are easier to be victims of being taught to think and act a certain way. What does this tell you about the youth of our country? Children today are matured at a faster rate then twenty years ago and deal with the same issues that adults deal with. You hardly ever see shows with children worrying about school work or even attending school. Television today is changing the concept of childhood and is causing our younger audience to behave and act in a certain way then before.
It is changing their beliefs of what is considered more important – having a boy not call you or not getting your homework done. Today, children might feel that if a boy does not call you that is far more problematic that being unable to finish school work. Television is not showing the issues that are important to children in society and is causing them to think differently. The quote, “Television communicates the same information to everyone … regardless of age, sex, level of education or life experience….
television eliminates many of the important ways that we distinguish between childhood and children. ” 3proves the notion that children are losing their childhood and becoming unaware of the important issues of society. Overall, television influences our attitudes, behaviors and belief system by the way it presents our society on screen causing us to act, think and be the way television presents us individuals. Reality shows, Talk Shows, and Soap Operas all contribute to such a vicious cycle preventing us from seeing the real truth in our society and what is considered important or not.
They reveal the effects it has on every person in society either being a poor man, a rich man, a child, a woman, etc. and the expectations in all of us. Television shows every persons role in society and causes all members of society to think certain values and the way we interact with one another.
1 Talk Shows Lost Potential. Anderson. Page 160. Paragraph 3. 2 Soaps Day and Night. Ronald Berman. Page 206. Paragraph 2. 3 TV’s “Disastrous” Impact on Children. Neil Postman. Page 122. Paragraph 9.