Living in a Digital World

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‘Cause We’re Livin’ in a Digital World When Philo Fansworth invented the television his intention was not to create a system that people spend most their lives watching. What originally started out as an entertainment source has now begun to take over the daily routines of people worldwide. Today’s culture has become a byproduct of what is seen on TV. Whether or not these values that are manufactured by TV production companies are wholesome or not is up to the viewer. While parental control is available, what is seen on TV tends to become a part of everyday life. Granted television provides a new wave of story telling, the system itself has begun to spiral out of control. Mainstreaming has become an integral part of today’s culture, in turn proving true what George Gerbner spent years researching: cultivation theory. In Cultivation Analysis: An Overview, by George Gerbner, argues that when people watch television over a long period of time much of what they watch they internalize and create reality. In this reality, much of the core values and beliefs are shaped by the television reality. In a sense, the real world for those who heavily watch television is drafted from what they watch. Gerbner furthers this by suggesting that society has formed a multitude of beliefs and values based off what broadcasters and advertisers make money off of. In his research Gerbner considers the amount of time people spend watching television. If for example a person spends little to no time watching television, then their values, beliefs and attitudes derive from other sources. On the other hand, those who constantly watch television are highly exposed to the values, beliefs, and attitudes that are portrayed on TV; thus the same ideas shown on T... ... middle of paper ... ... the television world. Sometimes reality can be morphed by what is seen on TV. Understanding cultivation theory and its implications can definitely propel the media literacy of the world. Whether Philo Fansworth intended television to be an entertainment source or a source for constructing moral values one thing is for sure. The invention of television offers a plethora of possibilities for society. What is important to remember is that with any advancement in media convergence there will always be negatives lurking around the corner. The best way to go about these drawbacks is to learn from them. Understanding what new media technology has to offer can shape the way consumers utilize these products. Thus is it very important to continue to conduct studies that reveal flaws in certain products; without these there would be no way to teach consumers media literacy.
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