TV Stole My Identity

By Maria Marquez

As soon as you walk into the home of your friends or family, what is the first thing you see in the living room? A television.

Oh, the television! A magical box that with its motionless body has made a great impact in our everyday lives. But how different would our lives be without it?

TV has become a huge part of our lives. Americans watch nearly five hours of television everyday, according to a 2011 report fromNielsen, a global information and measurement company. Shows with wide fan bases such as “Games of Thrones,” “Teen Wolf” and”The Big Bang Theory” prove that television has an incredible influence on our society. The influence is so big that fans have created a whole new level of admiration that could be considered obsessive.

When you are a fan, you are one person that has a great appreciation for a show, but when you are part of a “fandom,” things escalate quickly. Fans spend hours and hours staying up to date, watching reruns, writing fanfiction, cosplaying and generally obsessing over their fandom.

But why should a simple pastime take so much of our lives? Perhaps because it’s the easy access that has led to the overtaking.

TV is greatly accessible. Not only do we have the telly, but we can also stream shows from our phones, laptops and tablets. Our shows are simply a tap away, and the amount we can watch is unlimited. But with this generation being technology-crazed, that is not the case.

According to a blog post written by cartoonist Gahan Wilson, the impact of modern technology may involve the “alteration of our brain function and a change in our identity as humans.”

“Our contemporary life filled with the new modern technology may actually be gradually changing our identities from the inside out: our ideas of who we are, what we represent, what we do and how we behave…as well as our capacity for reaching our full potential as productive individuals,” said Wilson.

Individuals. That’s the key word: being our own person with our own set of ideas and perspectives.

However, our minds are struggling with developing new concepts.

First, there was “Friends,” and then, there was “How I Met Your Mother.” Both were popular programs that followed a group of friends trying to figure out their lives in New York City. Spoiler alert: In the end, most of them end up with one another. The common conclusion for these shows is the happy ending.

Production of the predictable is occurring because the people get what they want. The irony is that television implanted the ideas.

Our desires are now extravagant as we see the perfect home, the perfect job or the perfect spouse. Television is a magical mirror that produces images of what we want, but cannot always have.

We may believe that we are all unique individuals. But how much of that is true if we gain our ideas and drives from what is produced through entertainment? What we see, we mimic. And as we mimic, we only become an over produced product of society.

Gazing into a crowd of people, it is easy to find and label stereotypes: the athlete, the brain, the princess, the criminal and the strange. Why do we have these labels of people?

It’s simple: television has implanted these images in our heads, preventing any true identity development from occuring.


Monica Lopez / The Poly Post


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