You and your TV are family.

By Ali Twaha

It was 6:45 pm when she signed-out from her usually tiring job. Darkness was beginning to shove light away. Stuck in the gridlock and her mind only hooked on the clock at the front of the car, her face looked worried and even when she regaled her mind with facebook from her smart phone, still she seemed anxious.  

Twenty minutes later, she got back home, ready to watch her favorite soap opera as she normally does on a daily basis, in a jiffy after opening her door, her eyes soaked in tears and her face soiled with sadness. She had been robbed while at work. There were many things stolen but what hurt her most was the Samsung flat screen she was sent by the fiance living abroad as a birthday present. Each time she remembered her lovely program on the giant screen, she relapsed into sorrow. The house felt so empty and forlorn without a TV.
The television meant a lot to her. She is not alone, as our television sets have turned to be part of us in this age, given the programs it offers on the various channels. It has always helped us stay informed about issues happening around us.

Many people today set up their lifestyles and activities around a TV program schedule. some wake up with TV, eat with TV, and at last they can not go to sleep before they watched their favorite programme.
There is a sharp urban-rural divide in Uganda television viewership, about 88 percent of Ugandans live in rural areas implying that TV lags well behind radio in the media market. Poverty, a lack of quality reception outside of urban centers and a limited electric grid inhibit use and reach of TV outside the cities.

However,TV viewership is growing moderately. Uganda surveys conducted in 2007 and 2008 showed a rise from 14 percent of respondents saying they watch regularly (weekly) to 18 percent; rural weekly viewership jumped from 15 percent to 24 percent.
Television is the main and most important source information about what is happening in the world and watching TV is the most popular pastime in many countries. For example according to research conducted in Britain: 75% of British people watch an average 25 hours of TV each week and TV programmes are one of the main topics of conversation among family and friends.      But television has also it’s dark side, because when we watch it too much we are subject to be a television maniac.
The twentieth century has made television a very popular form of entertainment ,and no one can imagine life without this little home cinema. When somebody does not have a TV set, we might look at him with disbelief and ask him “How on earth can you survive?”, “Whatever you do in the evenings?” “Aren’t you bored?”. TV set became almost a member of a family and it dominates the entire household.
First of all it is a major source of information, news, facts. Thanks to it we know about the cultural events, social conflicts, wars, disasters, crimes, politics events, and many more. Moreover television can provide us good entertainment. We can watch interesting film, comedies, sport programmes, public shows. We can also listen to good music, like a concert of international star. It bring us cultural entertainment. And thanks to it we can get education possibilities for our children. They can watch scientific, education programme, they can also watch in nature films and see rare animals at distant places and on earth. It surely broader their mind.

Strong relationship among family are weaken, because instead of exchange opinions, express emotions, they sit in quite have their eyes glued to the TV set and they follow soap operas characters lot. Soap operas are favorite housewife’s programmes. People only like to watch talk shows, because they want to know others life and dilemma, and do not want to feel lonely with their owns problems.

Television can be like a drug. Those people who are already addicted, forget about everything else. They can sit and watch TV all the time, because they have nothing better to do. The life of soap operas characters are more interesting then theirs. They can sit in comfortable armchair turn on the set and turn off the brain. But most amazing of all is that, they seem to be completely satisfied  with their passive enjoyment.

Television has also negative impact most especially on children and some grown ups. kids are exposed to silly, nonsensical cartoons and brutal films which are full of violence. They waste their time to watch programmes which do not teach them anything but only chewing-gum for the eyes. Instead of going out to jog or play some sport. They cannot even read a book when they can watch the filmed story on TV.

Television when we watch it in limited amount, when we choose really interested programmes from masses of cheap soap operas or dump commercials, can add colour to our life and be kind entertainment. It is also very comfortable and cheap form of spending our spear time, because whenever we are tired, we can sit on comfortable sofa, turn on set, forget about all the problems and relax.

In defiance of bad voices about television I think its important in our life. It’s also unifying force in the world. With millions people watch the same news, shows, commercials and films world becomes nothing else but global village.
Ali Twaha is a 2nd year student of Mass Communication 
Islamic University In Uganda


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