A Summary of “Television: the Plug-in Drug” by Marie Winn
A Summary of “Television: The Plug-In Drug” by Marie Winn The family time that experts once believed the television would facilitate has backfired. It has been replaced with an everyday military regiment. Wake up, go to school, watch television, and go to bed. Parents have allowed the television to become the primary source for their children’s home life experience. Although this medium allows for peace within the home, the family dynamic suffers.
Winn references the conflicts that family’s had to deal with, prior to the multi-television home, is an essential part in family life (233). The home has become another form of a care taking institution rather than an accumulation of memory making experiences that can and will follow the children into their adulthood. In her article, Winn defines ritual by sociologists as “that part of family life that the family likes about itself, is proud of and wants formally to continue” (234).
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Rituals give us a sense of security; they are dependable.
They are the memories and experiences that will last a lifetime or for generations to come. Family rituals are a part of our culture; they set us apart from the family next door. Watching television has become the norm of our every day existence. We’ve lost touch of the quality of eating a meal together, tucking our children in, or celebrating a holiday in that special family way. Television has eliminated the individuality of families and has created a boring uniformity that all television watching families share.
Television not only affects the family dynamics; it also distorts how we communicate with real people. A child who watches hours of television a day will likely have a difficult time making eye contact, maintaining conversations, and even trusting people. It will be harder for that child to resolve disputes with others because of their lack of experience with people. Similarly, parents will use television as a diversion from disputes, whether it’s with their children or even their spouses.
Surveys show that even when families watch television together they are still not conversing with each other except during the occasional commercial (237). Still, sadly enough, many families that watch television together express it’s the only family activity they’ve done during that week. To be fair, television can not be blamed for the demise of the family. There are many other factors that have contributed. Although, that does not mean American families should accept this way of life.
Television can be compared to a mind altering drug because those who are addicted do not even see the negative affects it’s having on children, families, and the society itself. Love is the only virtue the television can not replace. Unfortunately, as time goes on, showing love becomes harder and harder to express because of the lack of one on one relationship the television has stolen from the modern day family. Works Cited Winn, Marie. “Television: The Plug-in Drug. ” The Blair Reader. Eds. Kirszner and Mandell. 6th