The Positive and Negative Contributions of Social Learning From Television and Other Screens:
The case is, more often than not, made that social learning from television and other screens is largely negative. To the degree that the negative case is successfully made, it must be remembered that the multiple forms of media are largely a selective mirror not just in what has been shown to hold the attention of some in society and so that is what media largely reflects to turn its profit, Its funhouse distortions overplay some of the worse of the world because this is what sells more than other choices. (Baran, 2019). With that in mind, all a modern household needs to do is be more selective in the viewing habit of the adults and the children present there and with the wide variety of choices offered via television and other screens a great deal of self-development and overall education is available at a bargain basement price. Even in the fast paced and complicated set of offerings available via television and other screens there is even the opportunity to replace physically going to church services during these pandemic times. In fact, it is possible to attend church in the Philippines with other persons around the world simultaneously if willing to make the time to coordinate and do so. In doing so and in engaging in other aspects, “media can reinforce the good in our culture (Baran, 2019). With this in mind, former Federal Communications Commission member Nicholas Johnson, might be very pleased to know what modern television and other screen applications are indeed now doing for us. Whether these innovations will thrive or not depends on the support of the consuming public (Baran, 2019). Some of that public makes great use of it at present
The case is easily made for positive social learning and other positive gains from television and the other screens in the modern world. These range from sheer entertainment that from Arthur, to Dora the Explorer, to Sesame Street teaches skills such as handling emotions to peer interaction to offering up interactive quizzes to just teaching children how to recognize and use thinking patterns. Other forms of learning from screens include straight forward education from National Geographic to documentaries on a myriad of topics. The case is equally made that in watching sporting events, children can learn the rules of multiple sports but also be offered encouragement to be active, healthy and fully engaged in life’s emotional and physical well-being. A fairly recent addition to the positive social learning that screens can provide is the advent of Marquee TV which is a Netflix.com like application that offers ballet, opera, musical theater, classical musical and several other genres that offer up social learning centered on dance, the fine arts and music. There are multiple applications that pertain to developing adult and children’s own unique creativity both by inspiration such as cooking shows to The Great Courses Plus to several other such applications including but not limited to Youtube.com on which can be found courses from drawing to playing guitar to multiple other genres. Applications such as Grokker.com offer health and well-being programming from mindfulness to yoga and there are other programming apps such as The Great Courses Plus which offers classes in Tai Chi, Qi Gong and nutrition.
How Too Much Television Impacts Individuals:
The prevalent view in mass communications theory holds out under cultivation analysis that the degree of how much television and other screen viewing is had, people’s perceptions and thoughts about themselves, others, the world and humanity’s place is the world is shaped by that view. This seems falsely put in that the assumption is that people who consume a lot of this media will hold negative beliefs as to holding others “generally selfish, untrustworthy and out to get” one another. Though I do not see this evidenced in the text, it is seemingly as reasonable to believe that it depends on what exactly was being viewed. If the example given was demonstrative of selfish, untrustworthy people out to get one another, then that seems reasonable. Bandura’s studies indicate this as well established (Baran, 2019). If, however, the viewer spends time in deliberatively choosing positive, informative content such as TED Talks, and the myriad of positive choices previously set out, one might reasonably derive that there is a tremendous amount of good, positive, wholesomeness to be gleaned from the available media as well. This media is a tool, neither entirely bad nor entirely good but dependent like any tool on the user whose hands it rests in. Though the case might be made that negative material is much more prevalent a strong case might be made that it is a matter of selective process dependent on attention, retention and perception (Baran, 2019). In at least one example, positive comments focusing selectively on retention of positive values were able to change negative perceptions about a minority refugee group to positive perceptions (Stylianou, et al., 2019). This may be indicative of the ability to likewise choose focus on positives in media viewing consumption, retain this and change perceptions of the viewing public to consume better product that will help shape a better mass media ‘landscape’ by its leadership.
Is multimedia, good or bad? Does it depend on who is doing the choosing and what standards are used to define selective viewing? Please feel free to respond in the comments section!
Baran, S. J. (2019). Introduction to mass communication: Media literacy and culture (10th ed). McGraw Hill Education.
Stylianou, S., & Sofokleous, R. (2019). An online experiment on the influence of online user comments on attitudes toward a minority group. Communication & Society, 32(4), 125–142. https://doi.org/10.15581/003.32.4.125-142