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In the past few decades, the cultural and moral values of our society have been decaying rapidly, partly due to the unhealthy competition in society that had arisen together with the insatiable demand for wealth. In fact, this decay is taking place so rapidly that people are desperately searching for the root of the problem. Naturally, the various groups of citizens in this society would be less than willing to put the blame on themselves and as a result, television, a form of mass media whose popularity has rise so alarmingly in the past few years, has conveniently been made a scapegoat for our own mistakes and problems.

Unfortunately, it is undeniable that in a small way, television has contributed to some of the problems in our society. In a bid to boost ratings, producers have added much violence and sex to programmes to make them exciting. As a result, minors have been exposed to the wrong ideas. Besides, some programmes are so “exciting” that people spend too much time watching television, neglecting their work or studies. The promotion of sexual liberalization has also destroyed the conservative cultures of ;numerous nations. Hence, many people have blamed their problems on television.

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However, television is merely a tool of mass communication. The actual masterminds behind the popularity and content of television are the people around us, producers and audiences. The audiences are the ones who set the demand for such violent and sexual shows and the producers respond by using television to satisfy their wants. Hence, television is but a scapegoat, an excuse, used by audiences and producers to deny their guilt, by pushing all the blame onto television, as if it operates on its own volition. Furthermore, television does not necessarily show unhealthy shows only.

Informative programmes like those by National Geographic have helped raise people’s awareness of the dire straits of our environment. The daily news has kept people aware of the world’s happenings and broadened their vision. Through charity shows on television, money has been raised to help the less fortunate so as to provide aid to our brothers in poorer nations. Even the predictable and meaningless drama serials conveniently condemned by so many who used to love it, have helped entertain them and relieve the stress they are experiencing.

It is just that often, people become greedy and watch too much television and blame their lack of time once again on television rather than on their own lack of self discipline. Television is but a tool. Whether it is clean or unhealthy depends on who is in charge of it and who watches it. Hence, we should stop running away from our problems by conveniently blaming everything on television. Instead, we should try to correct ourselves since we are the true causes of society’s ill. It is never too late to correct our mistakes, but it will be too late if we fail to realize that we have made television a scapegoat of society’s ills.

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