Television, one of the world’s most widespread forms of communication and entertainment, has been on the receiving end of negative criticism for years. There have been thoughts like “It will turn you into a vegetable”, or “It will make your eyes go bad”, or even the thought of “TV gives off radiation that can cause cancer”. These are just a few examples of how television has gotten its bad reputation. Despite all these negative thoughts, television has risen above them to become a huge part of people’s lives all over America, especially children and the impact on their lives.
Children are easily influenced by television. If you are wondering how your child got the idea for you to buy them that new toy or take them to the mall to get all the new clothes, the answer is simple, advertising. “There is a great increase in visual attention to TV during the preschool years, a leveling off of attention at about 70% during school age years, and a significant decline in attention among adults” says Shirley Biagi, author of the book Media Impact. This is why commercials shown between Saturday morning cartoons are trying to sell toys and games. These commercials are for the audience of children- they are specially made to appeal to children because the advertisers know that kids will want what they see and ask their parents for it. Companies know children are in the position to be taken advantage of and that’s why experts estimate that more than $12 billion dollars a year is spent just on advertisements targeting children. In an hours worth of watching children’s television, there were over 35 commercials- compared to an hours worth of adult television with only about 22 commercials shown. This proves that children influence the economy’s spending money each year.
The media of television is changing the way our children are learning. “Television is being used as an attractive and seductive medium to get children to like school with shows such as Sesame Street” says Biagi.