Mixer #24 | Intermediate B1

Is TV a bad influence?

Six people share their feelings about the influence of TV.

Eucharia, Ireland
speakerIs TV a good or bad influence? Well, most people would say it's a bad influence but my university lecturer when I was in university, quite some time ago had a very interesting take, he said that media doesn't influence society, that these behaviors are learned. He used the example of Japan at that time having the lowest crime rate in the world and the most violent media in the world, including video games, manga, which are the comics, and in general, Japanese TV, so yeah, there are two ways to think about it. Most people would immediately say it's a bad influence but maybe it's not.

Mark, United States
speakerI don't think TV's a bad thing but I never ever watch it because it is extremely addictive, or I'm extremely, I can get very addicted to it. If I turn on the TV, I will watch it for two hours, but I'll just flip through the channels without actually stopping on any one thing, so I never turn on the TV.

Kate, New Zealand
speakerI think TV can be good and bad. First of all, it can be good like for example the learning channels, discovery channels, animal planet, things, such channels like those. However, of course there's bad points to TV such as violence and fighting which should not be watched by small children. In fact, in my country, they put the more violent scenes and more violent channels after 8 p.m., once the children have gone to bed.

Jeannie, United States
speakerTV is both good and bad. It's not really the TV's fault what people are putting on it. Some of the children's programs I say are really good for kids. I used to sit my neice in front of a child's program and she picked up her ABC's pretty quickly and she sung along with the songs and everything, so I think that was pretty good but of course you have programs that are a bit too violent maybe but they're learning opportunities and you have your nonsense

Rina, Canada
speakerIs TV a good thing or a bad thing? Well, for me I think it's wonderful because it's a form of something that entertains me without asking anything in return. For young children, I think it is a cause of a lot of desensitization but I don't think it is the sole cause of what's going on in the world in general and should be blamed for what is like the shootings and everything, and that's negative happening right now.

Todd, United States
speakerI think television is a very good thing. Not so much for what people can see but what for television can do. TV requires a lot of skilled workers and a lot of people to put on a production so television just creates a lot of jobs and in every country, you need people from your own country to run the television stations to be the cameramen, to do the editing. You need local people to be the actors, technicians, things like that so TV is not and industry where you can export jobs and it's an industry where basically a lot of jobs are provided for local people, so yeah, I think television's a good thing.

Answer these questions about the interview.
Learn vocabulary from the lesson!



Most behaviors are learned.

Our 'behavior' is how we act in certain situations.  Notice the following:

  1. The teacher didn't appreciate our noisy behavior in class.
  2. We need to be on our best behavior during the temple tour.

bad influence


Most people would say TV is a bad influence.

Here, a 'bad influence' means that TV has a negative effect on people who watch it.  Notice the following:

  1. Many parents believe hip-hop is a bad influence on their children.
  2. Corrupt police and government officials are a bad influence on young people.



Some TV shows are extremely addictive.

We use the word 'addictive' to talk about an activity we can't stop doing.  Things can be mentally or physically addictive. Notice the following:

  1. Smoking is extremely addictive.
  2. Good things like exercise can be addictive too.



TV is a cause of a lot of desensitization.

'Desensitization' happens when we have less feeling or emotion about something than we did in the past.  This can happen because we see so much of something that it begins to lose meaning. Notice the following:

  1. Current research suggests TV desensitization may be exaggerated.
  2. Sorry, but TV doesn't desensitize me.  I know it's not real.



I don't think TV is the sole cause of what's going on in the world.

The word sole has the same meaning as 'only'.  Notice the following:

  1. Too many cars is not the sole cause of global warming.
  2. Dirty factories are not the only cause of global warming.

Vocabulary Quiz

behavior • influence • addictive
desensitization • sole
  1. My parents thought my friends were a bad on me.
  2. Nothing will cause a to poverty for me.
  3. His changed a lot when he started to go to child care.
  4. Better weather was her motivation for moving.
  5. These chips are really . Take them away from me.

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