How do movies or television influence people’s behavior? Use reasons and specific examples to support your answer.
English Writing Practice: Topic 7 – Sample 1
Do movies and television affect our behavior? I believe that movies and television do influence our behavior, both for the better and for the worse.
Movies and television influence our behavior because they make us less active. Looking at films is a passive activity. If we watch too much, we become unhealthy, both mentally and physically. We stop using our own imagination when we see things acted out for us. Mental laziness becomes physical laziness; we’d rather watch sports on TV than play sports ourselves. We’d rather visit with the characters on “Seinfeld” or “Friends” than go chat with our own neighbors. Imaginary people have exciting lives. Is it any wonder that some people would rather live a fantasy life than their own? Movies and television also can make people more violent. The more we see violent acts on television, the less sensitive we become to them: Eventually violence doesn’t seem wrong. We may even commit violent acts ourselves. This is especially true because we don’t always realize that violence has consequences. Actors can be killed and come back for another movie. Sometimes we confuse that with reality. We forget that killing someone is permanent.
Of course, watching movies and television can also be good for us. It can give us a broader window on the world. For example, seeing movies can expose us to people of different races and cultures. We can then overcome some prejudices more easily. Recently there have been more handicapped people in films, and this also helps reduce prejudice.
The best influence on our behavior is that movies and television reduce stress. Watching films, we can escape our own problems for a little while. Also, sometime movies show positive ways to resolve problems we all face. While TV and movies shouldn’t be a way to hide from life, sometimes they can help us cope. It is true that movies and television can influence our behavior negatively.
However, I also believe that they influence our behavior in positive ways. How they affect you depends on how much you watch, what you watch, and how you respond to what you watch.
English Writing Practice: Topic 7 – Sample 2
Hesitating I enter my house, the light outside is dimming and the shadows make everything appear unfamiliar. I know that my husband has not returned from work yet, simply because his car is not in the garage. I am alone. I carefully check all the rooms, almost expecting something to happen suddenly. I hold my bag in my hand as if it were a weapon. After the whole house has been declared “clear,” I start to breathe normally again and a smile appears on my face as I realize, once again, how a simple movie seen at the cinema a week earlier can modify my actions.
Sometimes I wonder if I should watch TV, with all its shows that make me wonder whether I exercise enough, whether I am slim enough, or whether I treat my pets with the care they deserve: am I really concerned about their mental health? Not to mention the hundreds of commercials that try to make me believe I need a water purifier to remain alive since the water I am currently drinking is heavily polluted! And countless are the times when I have heard people talking by quotations learned from movies. We need to watch shows and films to know what to say, how to be, how to act. We are so addicted to all this that it almost seems like we cannot think on our own.
I cannot help thinking about what happened to me some days ago, an example that clearly shows what kind of power TV has over people. My husband and I were in a restaurant when I heard my young neighbor pronouncing violent words in a low angry voice. Surprised, I turned to better understand the situation and I saw that he was holding a fake military device and was acting as if he were filming a war movie. I am sure that if I had been a little be more updated about this type of movie, I would have recognized what he was saying as a quotation. Now, I wonder if he uses such a language also with his friends and with his parents, if he is aggressive, and if so, whether his attitude has really nothing to do with what he watches on TV.
That same evening on the way home I saw two cars stopped one next to the other at a traffic light and as soon as the light turned green they started racing, in the middle of town. In this case not even a major knowledge of movies and TV programs would have helped me: there are just to many of them on the market showing the exact same thing: people racing with cars.
I am sure that everybody, if asked, could easily list many other examples of how TV and movies can modify our behavior and therefore our life but, I wonder, if we will always be able to draw the line between a TV show and real life, between what they make us think we want and what instead we really need and are and believe