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Rock Street, San Francisco

Professor Nancy Obermiller

English Composition I

 12:30 The television is a device that transmits sounds and moving images across vast distances. When it was developed, the television was intended to be used to deliver news and other important information to the public very rapidly. The technologies used to produce the modern TV where in development by many different people of the course of many years. Beginning with 1884  HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Gottlieb_Nipkow” Paul Gottlieb Nipkow, a 20-year old university student in Germany (Fisher et al 14). Advancing through to its current incarnation the television is something that can be found in almost every household.

             The beginnings of the TV are like that of almost any new technology, a gleam in a sci-fi writers eye. Inspired by the transmission of sounds via wires, they believed that one day light could be transmitted as well. Then in 1884 Paul Gottlieb Nipkow of Germany patented the first electromechanical television set. This device used spinning disks (similar to records) to display a still image onto a gaseous filled box with a display screen (Fisher et al 29). This humble beginning, and many technological advancements later, lead to Philo Farnsworths invention of the earliest form of the modern TV.

            Farnsworths Philco TV would not remain the top for very long, because soon after various other companies, made enhancements and improvements to the original Philco design (Godfrey). The TV is now a common household appliance, and something that every home has. When you wake up in the morning, while you drink your coffee, don’t you turn on the news without thinking about it? When you are sitting and relaxing, you turn on the TV because you want to watch something? And some people even find themselves turing on the TV when they sit to read a book. It stands to reason that the TV is not a common household appliance, but a major facet of our lives.

            In a study conducted by the American Psychological Foundation, found that children that watched an average of 5 hours of TV a day (the average alone is a staggering number), increased there chances for obesity and lethargy (Hershberger 2). Another study conducted by Scientific American via poll, found that people that found there lives unrewarding or unsatisfying watched television 30% more than there happy/satisfied counterparts (Kubey et al). A whopping 43% of people surveyed said that they found themselves turning on the TV as soon as they walked into there homes being gone. While 19% said that they turned there TV off, and did something else, the remaining 24% said that they remained in front of there TV the rest of the evening (Kubey). Simply put American does not like TV, but it is obsessed.

            Of the 1000 families surveyed, 20% or 200 said that they often have two+ TV’s running simultaneously, with different programming showing. 30% said that they had one TV and one other electronic device (I.E. computer or telephone) running with 30% saying that they had only one TV running at all, with 20% reporting that they either did not have a TV or that is not on hardly ever (Kubey).

These numbers are hardly surprising, and neither is the fact that doctors and psychologists have found a correlation with television and obesity (Shelton et al).

            With all these facts taken into account, the TV, seems to have abused America’s trust. A device that promised to deliver information and news to use has taken advantage of its position. The TV is now an addiction for most people. They cannot seem to function without it, and this partial stems from the current sociological trend to have everything now. We have such as cell phones and mobile internet have got us hooked on having the information we want and need, when we want it. By being addicted to television is not surprise, but a natural development.

            People need to take responsibility and know when enough is enough. People need to have the strength and courage to turn the TV off. Being able to cut back on the time spent watching TV is the first step in being happier, healthier individuals

Word Count: 707

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