Televison’s picture of the World

Who creates our picture of the world around us? Today, we receive information from all over the world through TV and the Internet.

I was reminded about the impact outside influences can have on our perception of the world after reading a chapter from a book I was given earlier this year. The book is called “The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People” by David Niven. In this book, there is a chapter specifically on the effects of watching television. I have provided the content of this chapter below.

“For a thousand generations, the Gwinch’in tribe lived in northern Alaska in nearly complete isolation from outside cultures. Tribal members were completely self-sufficient, surviving on skills taught to them by their parents and elders.

In 1980, one of the tribe’s leaders acquired a television. Members of the tribe describe the event as the beginning of an addiction. Soon the native customs were ignored to maximize TV-watching time. One researcher said of the tribe’s experience, “For these natives, like anyone else, television is a cultural nerve gas. It’s odorless, painless and tasteless, and deadly.”

What happened to the Gwinch’in traditions that had existed for thousands of years? In the words of one tribe member, “Television made us wish we were something else. It taught us greed and waste, and now everything that we were is gone.”

This story doesn’t have a happy ending, however the message is clear. TV, the Internet and other media can change our perspective of our own life. The more time we spend on our own life, the happier we will become.”

Now letÂ’s strengthen that thing between your ears.

1. What impact has TV and/or the Internet had on your life?

2. What positive impacts do they have on your life?

3. What negative impacts do they have on your life?

4. What are your thoughts on TV and the Internet teaching greed and waste?

5. What do you do in your life to continue to follow the values and beliefs passed on to you by your family, friends, mentors etc.?