Do movies and television affect our behavior? I believe that movies and television do influence our behavior, both for the better and for the worse.
Movies and television influence our behavior because they make us less active. Looking at films is a passive activity. If we watch too much, we become unhealthy, both mentally and physically. We stop using our own imagination when we see things acted out for us. Mental laziness becomes physical laziness; we'd rather watch sports on TV than play sports ourselves. We'd rather visit with the characters on "Seinfeld" or "Friends" than go chat with our own neighbors. Imaginary people have exciting lives. Is it any wonder that some people would rather live a fantasy life than their own? Movies and television also can make people more violent. The more we see violent acts on television, the less sensitive we become to them: Eventually violence doesn't seem wrong. We may even commit violent acts ourselves. This is especially true because we don't always realize that violence has consequences. Actors can be killed and come back for another movie. Sometimes we confuse that with reality. We forget that killing someone is permanent.
Of course, watching movies and television can also be good for us. It can give us a broader window on the world. For example, seeing movies can expose us to people of different races and cultures. We can then overcome some prejudices more easily. Recently there have been more handicapped people in films, and this also helps reduce prejudice.
The best influence on our behavior is that movies and television reduce stress. Watching films, we can escape our own problems for a little while. Also, sometime movies show positive ways to resolve problems we all face. While TV and movies shouldn't be a way to hide from life, sometimes they can help us cope.
It is true that movies and television can influence our behavior negatively. However, I also believe that they influence our behavior in positive ways. How they affect you depends on how much you watch, what you watch, and how you respond to what you watch.
Hesitating I enter my house, the light outside is dimming and the shadows make everything appear unfamiliar. I know that my husband has not returned from work yet, simply because his car is not in the garage. I am alone. I carefully check all the rooms, almost expecting something to happen suddenly. I hold my bag in my hand as if it were a weapon. After the whole house has been declared "clear," I start to breathe normally again and a smile appears on my face as I realize, once again, how a simple movie seen at the cinema a week earlier can modify my actions.
Sometimes I wonder if I should watch TV, with all its shows that make me wonder whether I exercise enough, whether I am slim enough, or whether I treat my pets with the care they deserve: am I really concerned about their mental health? Not to mention the hundreds of commercials that try to make me believe I need a water purifier to remain alive since the water I am currently drinking is heavily polluted! And countless are the times when I have heard people talking by quotations learned from movies. We need to watch shows and films to know what to say, how to be, how to act. We are so addicted to all this that it almost seems like we cannot think on our own.
I cannot help thinking about what happened to me some days ago, an example that clearly shows what kind of power TV has over people. My husband and I were in a restaurant when I heard my young neighbor pronouncing violent words in a low angry voice. Surprised, I turned to better understand the situation and I saw that he was holding a fake military device and was acting as if he were filming a war movie. I am sure that if I had been a little be more updated about this type of movie, I would have recognized what he was saying as a quotation. Now, I wonder if he uses such a language also with his friends and with his parents, if he is aggressive, and if so, whether his attitude has really nothing to do with what he watches on TV.
That same evening on the way home I saw two cars stopped one next to the other at a traffic light and as soon as the light turned green they started racing, in the middle of town. In this case not even a major knowledge of movies and TV programs would have helped me: there are just to many of them on the market showing the exact same thing: people racing with cars.
I am sure that everybody, if asked, could easily list many other examples of how TV and movies can modify our behavior and therefore our life but, I wonder, if we will always be able to draw the line between a TV show and real life, between what they make us think we want and what instead we really need and are and believe.
Reel life is based on real life, they say. But how far it is true is left to the judgment of the individual's intelligence. The impact that movies and television have on our lives can never be over-emphasized.
Nowadays television and movies are the only sources to keep in pace with the latest trend in the global environment. Every part of our lifestyle is somehow influenced by what we see in the television or in movies. The advent of the motion picture has been one of the greatest influences of the cultural activities of the humankind. It does not require great intelligence to ascertain this fact. If we just give a glance to see hanging or posted on the walls are the photos of our favorite celebrities from the tinsel world, mounted on the table are things from our favorite T. V. show, the music blaring out of the system of the latest excuses for musical excellence, in your wardrobe are outfits last seen on our favorite stars, the hair cream, shampoo, paste, and what not, the list is endless. This does not stop with just what we wear and own it also extends to the way we behave in our peer group.
Some time back, my friend and I were at the cafeteria near our college when were suddenly mobbed by a group of students who were dressed up as people straight out from prehistoric age. They were carrying contraptions that resembled like weapons for a battlefield, which made us wonder whether they were struck in a time warp. And what followed actually bemused us completely, the group started speaking to each other in a very laboriously slow manner in a language which sounded nothing of this world. My friend and I were not able to understand a single word of it, we left that day with a really confused mind and were in the same state for quite some time. But it all ended on the day we decided to watch the movie "Lord of the Rings" Peter Jackson's adaptation of J. R. K. Tolkiem's novel of early 1900s. We unsouvenir collectibles, and the language they spoke was that of the elves originally created by the great author.
Thus we see people talking about 'molecular disintegrators', 'laser swords', 'elves', 'hobbits' etc., and also tend to act and perform like what they have seen in movies and television. We also see that big FMCG companies bringing in newer products in line with the latest movies. There are several institutions, which glorify such attitude. Those who dare to ignore are considered archaic and become the butt of all jokes. This can be easily acknowledged by the fact the elves language has already been recognized as part an official curriculum in a British university.
Thus the line between real and reel life is fast becoming a blurred one. The whole behavior and cultural activity of the human race is left to the mercy of the next big moviemaker.
Movies are popular because people are great watchers. They like to watch other peoples' lives. They like to live vicariously. By going to movies, we can escape our own lives, share other people's emotions, and imagine ourselves as someone else.
Many of our lives are not as adventurous or glamorous as the lives in movies. We do not battle evil all day long and then go back to our luxurious penthouse apartment. We just go to school, do our homework, eat, talk to our friends, and sleep. We need a little excitement in our lives and we find excitement at the movies.
Humans are very emotional people. We all like to cry and laugh. Fortunately, there is not much to cry about in my life so I like to go to sad movies where my heartstrings can be tugged. I also like to go to comedies so that I can laugh. I tend to cry and laugh more in a dark movie theater than I do in broad daylight.
Now I am a student, but I know someday I will be a scientist or a politician or a famous model. When I go to the movies, I can see my role models. I see how they act, what they wear, how they talk. I can prepare myself for the day when I will be like them.
Even though my life is quiet, I can go to the movies and watch someone else's life. I can share their emotions and their everyday life. I wonder if they would like to share mine.
Every human being tends to take some time off from his or her chores for relaxation. There is no doubt that movies and television play a major role in get tiredness and boredom away from us. Though primarily intended for entertainment, these media do influence the behaviors of human beings. I would like to discuss the effect of the media on the demographic divisions of children, teenagers and the adults.
No doubt that children are the most fascinated and fond of watching movies and television. Though parents are temporarily relieved from baby-sitting their children who are indulgent in watching television, they are certainly worried about the influence of this media. Today's movies are filled with violence. Heroism is being portrayed as the capacity to destruct (the enemies). This easily influences children. The fondness of children to watch WWF wrestling on television bears testimony to it. This proclivity towards violence tends to show up at schools, where they start to bully their classmates.
While teenagers tend to show some maturity over the issue of violence, there are separate gamut of factors in the media that influence them. Teenage is the important period during which one choices his career and subsequently his direction of life. This media greatly influence the choice of one’s career. Today's rock concerts and music televisions create an impression that becoming a rock star or a video jockey is the best profession in the world. Numerous teenagers are drawn into this whirlpool and it becomes too late when they come to realize the reality in life.
Adults watch this media mainly for entertainment and to relax themselves. However they too are relieved from being bitten by the media bug. The constantly running television advertisements have a negative bearing on the adults. The ostentatiously displayed by a Porsche car driving by the hero in our favorite films inadvertently propels our instinct to go for a similar car. Seldom do we think about the aftereffects and get entangled in the spider web. We tend to sink our ship by the exorbitant interest rate, mortgage and the overflowing credit card bills. Once overloaded with these, we tend to become peevish losing our natural gregarious behavior.
Hence I feel that the media has an influence on each one of in whatever above said categories we are in. While there are also many things which positively influence people's mind, I have purposefully chose to deal with negative aspects as understanding these problems instigates us to seek a suitable solution. We as a parent, a teacher and a good friend can help some of our friends who need help to get themselves out of these problems.