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“Television Addiction” by Marie Winn

In her essay “Television Addiction”, Marie Winn considers television viewing as a serious addiction comparable to drugs and alcohol addictions. According to her, the television experience gets us into an enjoyable and inactive mental state so that we ignore the worries and the concerns of the real world. By giving various examples of how significantly the “small screen” may influence people’s lives, the author points out different negative effects of watching TV. For instance, she states that heavy viewers tend to ignore all other activities in order to spend countless hours in front of the “tube”. Therefore, the lives of these people become as imbalanced and disordered as drug addicts. She claims that the watching habit destroys our sense of time and, as a result, seriously weakens our relationships with others.

I strongly disagree with Winn on this point because I consider television as a wonderful tool for improving our communication skills. Furthermore, nowadays, television is one of the largest sources of information. First of all, television is one of the most important inventions of our time, which allows us to acquire a huge range of information. In her essay, Marie Winn declares that TV watching “is an unproductive experience” and “almost any other endeavour is more worthwhile by any human measure.” (15). How could she ignore the positive influence of television on our culture? Television helps us become acquainted with the world around us. For instance, channels like CNN, BBC or CBC provide us with the latest news or the weather forecast. Within seconds, we get informed of the most recent events around the globe such as the war in Iraq, the acts of terrorism in the Middle East or the raging Hurricane Isabel in the US.

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Moreover, Discovery Channel reveals to us the worlds of history, technology, nature, science and exploration is a great, interactive way. Therefore, scientific information has become accessible to more people all over the world. Secondly, television can be a powerful tool for learning a language and, as a result, it can improve our communication abilities. Thus, Marie Winn falls into card stacking by saying that “It weakens relationships by reducing and sometimes eliminating normal opportunities for talking, for communicating.”(15). In her essay, she quoted many viewers who claimed that they felt tired after watching TV. However, aren’t we getting tired when we learn? Can we actually realize how many words “pass through” our brains while we enjoy our favourite shows?

Undoubtedly, this experience will help us enrich our vocabulary. When asked the question “How did you learn English?” most Vanier College students, coming from a French-speaking environment, will answer: “From TV!”. In other terms, television gives us easy access to immense linguistic resources. In conclusion, unlike Marie Winn, I think that modern television has a lot of positive features and therefore it influences our society in a very constructive way. Not only has television become our most common source of information, but it also provides us various forms of education and entertainment, which are very important in our lives. In addition, TV affects our creativity and develops our language skills. On the other hand, will Internet replace the television in the future?

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"Television Addiction" by Marie Winn. (2021, Apr 12). Retrieved May 9, 2021, from