In my opinion television is the most influential medium. Millions of people spend countless hours each week watching television, and they are influenced by what they view. This is why most companies use television to advertise their products. Studies have shown that television has a strong influence on what consumers choose to purchase. For this reason, many cereal and toy companies have their advertisements presented through television commercials during the hours that young children are most likely to be watching. Children watch these commercials and insist that their parents purchase these items.
“Children who watch a lot of television want more toys seen in advertisements and eat more advertised foods than children who do not watch much television,” (Strasburger, 2001). Many parents give in because the children continue to whine and nag until they get these items. The children insist that these items are better than other items, which are not advertised on television. In addition, many television advertisements target women by feeding off of women’s low self-esteem in terms of their body image. Thus, companies make billions of dollars selling make-up, hair care products, and weight loss products.
Television also sells products designed for men by using women as sex symbols in the advertisements. All of these tactics have proven effective, demonstrating the influence of television. Moreover, television has a major impact on racial problems that exist in society. Television often portrays different racial groups based on stereotypes. “Research has shown that an individual’s stereotypes can be learned by viewing television, and stereotypes are closely connected to prejudice and discrimination,” (Dong and Murillo, n. d. ).
Television is powerful and we should be especially careful of what we watch. We are influenced to a greater extent than most of us realize or are willing to admit.
Dong, Q. and Murrillo, A. P. (n. d. ). The Impact of Television Viewing on Young Adults’ Stereotypes Towards Hispanic Americans. Retrieved April 30, 2007, from http://www. uab. edu/Communicationstudies/humancommunication/dong. pdf Strasburger, V. C. (2001). Children and TV Advertising: No Where to Run, No Where to Hide. Journal of Development and Behavioral Pediatrics, 22, 185 June.