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Why Do We Watch Television

Thesis Statement: Americans like to watch television and are drawn to it as it can help them in fulfilling their unmet needs and as such viewing TV habits are also linked with their interests. Introduction: Irrespective of the much publicity on the growth of the Internet as a substitute to watching television–TV, a majority of Americans, really are not leaving away from their living room TV sets. (Survey: Americans Watch TV, Not PC) As per the studies made by the Nielsen Media Research, in comparison to the past, Americans accord much priority even now to watching TV.

The studies and ratings services on TV watching indicates the parameters at the highest ever record in terms of TV viewing per household per day—almost about 8 hrs and 11 minutes during 2004-05 and this is due to growth in the number of available channels and number of televisions available per household. The report of Nielsen also indicates that the average individual viewed about 4 hrs and 32 minutes of TV a day during the last season, which is considered to be the highest in 15 years. (Americans watch more TV than ever)

Nielsen report also states that an average American family watches about 1 hour 53 minutes of prime television per day. Moreover, the report indicates that during 2005’s premier week with regard to prime time programming, an average of about 62% of American households was involved in viewing television. (Americans watch more TV than ever) As per a new consumer survey published by RBC Capital Markets taking a sample of 1000 US families in 2006 revealed that about 60% have at least three or more television sets in their homes and they are found to be using them.

Almost 53% have responded saying they are viewing the same amount of television programs in the past, irrespective of the fact that 42 percent indicated to have increased the time of surfing the Internet. The survey also revealed that about three out of five US consumers are much interested in Internet-protocol TV, indicating that the price as well as the choice of programming is the top two drivers affecting their decisions with regard to TV-service. (Survey: Americans Watch TV, Not PC) Discussion

Studies have indicated that the needs of people affect the way they utilize and react to a medium. Zillmann has brought out the affect of mood on selection of media: monotony stimulates the selection of exciting content and stress promotes selections of a relaxing content on the television. A particular TV program may be the source of various forms of enjoyment to various individuals. Separate requirements are related with each of the individual personalities, phases of maturation, backgrounds as well as social roles.

Development factors appear to be associated with some motives for viewing television: for example, Judith van Evra advocates that young children may be specifically interested in watching TV in search of information and therefore more vulnerable to be influenced by it and drawn to watching television. (Why do People Watch Television? ) Irrespective of the category of retired, widowed, or having grown up children, the elderly American women depend upon television to fulfill their needs for a sense of ownership in the dearth of interpersonal relations.

Preferred programs contain dramas, soap operas, game shows and programs of religious broadcasts. Highly learned American women in the group of families of managers or professionals and having a strong necessity for intellectual development as well as growth, witness mostly theatrical as also musical performances particularly classical, documentaries along with viewing the news on television. High proportion of married American homemakers, those who are much inclined towards healthy family bonds and local community events also are fond of watching television and robustly prefer soap operas as well as religious broadcasts.

(We Are What We Watch: We Watch What We Are) The reason as to why the homemakers prefer to witness such soap operas is due to the fact that such programs have tend to become a normal course of their daily routine and performs as an entertaining reward for work, it turns out to be a base for social as well as personal interaction, fulfilling individual necessities wherein it comes out to be a mode of selecting to be isolated or of fulfilling the need out of forced loneliness, identification and association with characters, escapist fantasy whereby American super-soaps are more incredible.

(Why do People Watch Television? ) Another group of American women having young children who are also curious about family interaction as also child development activities utilize television as a medium for combining children and the adults together. They adapt to watching what their children either desire to or need to watch, supporting non-violent, family-oriented dramas as well as movies, particularly telecasts devoted to children education. (We Are What We Watch: We Watch What We Are)

The American males in the age group of teenagers having a strong requirement for intellectual stimulation, status enhancement as well as having the need to evolve out from boredom are drawn to watching television quite a lot. They watch more programs in the category of strong male personalities or that laugh at conventional authority facts. Further, the teenage females from upper-income families having heavy requirement of dissuading themselves from the worries at home and to become socially stimulating are also drawn to viewing television.

They demonstrate a strong interest in escaping programming associating male/female interaction mainly in non-family as also lighthearted environments. The low-income American women more drawn to television to watch indoor games as also other non-intellectual resources leading to higher status and social stimulation. They are serious television watchers, and their favorite program is youth and youth-homemaker related and practically no viewing time is dedicated by them to informational or cultural programming.

(We Are What We Watch: We Watch What We Are) Most of the American adult men are inclined towards keeping themselves educated on a varied range of subjects and in being socially encouraging, dedicating most time to watching television: news, documentaries, variety shows, talk shows, movies as well as sports. The television inclinations of the low socio-economic Americans are to some extent are escapist-inclined, with a stress on movies, crime dramas, science fictions as well as soap operas.

(We Are What We Watch: We Watch What We Are) They find the television as a means for dissuading or being isolated from problems, comforting, having intrinsic intellectual or artistic enjoyment, filling time for emotional discharge and for sexual stimulation. (Why do People Watch Television? ) Moreover, the excessively black and Southern Americans reimburse for their lack of educational as well as social advantages by witnessing more television than any other group apart from viewers in the type of the news and information media.

(We Are What We Watch: We Watch What We Are) In reality, it could be witnessed that presently Americans use less time at work and more time at activities of viewing television. Radio and motion pictures were the most preferred areas of entertainment during the earlier part of 20th century. Ever since 1950s, television has become the priority. Beyond doubt TV has presently revolutionized the American life during the last half century favoring the statement ‘Lucky, I’m home’.

(Moore; Simon, 26) Conclusion: To conclude, it can be said that American television watcher requirements have socio-psychological origins that form some anticipations on television, giving rise to differing prototype of television experience that brings in both the satisfaction of their unfulfilled necessities and as such watching TV habits also have a relationship with their particular interests.

These usually have the presupposition that an active American television audience is making motivated selection for viewing the television and being getting drawn to watching television.

References Brown, Karen. Survey: Americans Watch TV, Not PC. 10 August, 2006. Multichannel News.

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