Paul has been teaching technology for a number of years, especially the creation of digital audio and video. He lives in Florida.
Television technologies came to dominate the latter half of the 20th Century as the main source of household entertainment and information throughout much of the world. From humble beginnings, when widespread public broadcasting began in the 1930s in the USA and European countries, TV gradually spread around the world.
Only at the end of the 20th Century was the television's popularity dented somewhat, as PC's, smartphones, laptops, tablets, and other internet-enabled entertainment devices began to eat into TV's traditional dominance.
In this article, I look at what are the advantages and disadvantages of TV.
7 Advantages of Television
1. It can act as a very useful general source of information. You can watch the news on television and see what is happening currently. You can watch history, travel, nature, biography documentaries. Essentially, TVs can supply an almost endless flow of factual information.
2. It can be a source of entertainment. Television can deliver comedies, drama, movies, sports, and children's programs. Over the years, program makers have near-perfected the art of producing watchable shows and a whole industry has built up around the medium. Viewers now have more choice than at any time before, with a huge archive of programs backing up current material.
3. It helps us with our everyday lives. Television gives us practical information such as weather forecasts. It gives us information on how to do all sorts of things, such as buy and decorate a house, cook meals, and where to travel to.
4. As well as a source of general information, TV can also give students more in-depth educational information, which they can use to complete their school and college courses effectively.
5. The video and audio format can sometimes be the best way of conveying certain information. Watching the news, or see a movie on television, for instance, can sometimes be a more powerful experience than reading about it online, or in a newspaper, or book.
6. TVs generally have bigger screens than any other device. This usually makes them the best way to play games, or watch movies and videos. It also means that they can be very social, with the entire family sitting to watch a movie, or a group of friends gathering to watch a sporting event.
7. It is generally a tightly controlled and regulated medium. Unlike the internet, for instance, where it is possible to stumble across pornography, fraudulent adverts, or disturbing images, Television normally provides safe viewing for children and families during the daytime and early evening.
5 Disadvantages of Television
1. The commercials can be very disruptive and irritating and can undermine the enjoyment of programs, especially if there are too many of them, or they are too frequent. Repeated commercials can also be irritating.
2. Traditional television lacks a certain amount of flexibility in the internet age, where a viewer can often choose from a wide range of programs online and watch them at the times that suit them. You can't pause traditional programming either, if you need to take a break.
3. TV can sap your time and end up being a passive excuse for being lazy, if you're not careful. Phenomena such as channel surfing show how easy it is slip into an apathetic state of mind. While it is often certainly relaxing, it is not necessarily a very productive use of time, especially if overindulged in.
4. Television can influence society negatively as well as positively. Violence, sex, and crime shows can all attract viewers, but they don't necessarily make for a healthy and positive society.
5. TV is relatively easy for oppressive governments to control. They can dictate what news and information their citizens have access to. Television can therefore be used as a means of social and political control (although this has been undermined to some degree in the modern age, with the introduction of the internet, which is less easy to control).
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2014 Paul Goodman
Vidgo from Menomonee Falls, WI on September 12, 2016:
Good article! It's certainly a mixed bag, but TV has tons of potential to add cultural value, apart from just general impact. I love my TV, FWIW.