March 15, 2015
While Winn focuses on the negative effects of television, she also includes some research suggesting that television makes people more satisfied, happy, and relaxed. How does she respond to this evidence? Do you find her explanation persuasive? Why or why not?
Winn argues that this new research suggesting that a lot of TV can also include quality family time is not logical and is not something that most families experience. She also alludes to TV as being like a drug, stating that ” the television experience is instrumental in preventing viewers from recognizing its dulling effects, much as a mind-altering drug might do”. Because Winn essentially argues that this new research is ineffective because people couldn’t possibly know whether or not TV is affecting their family life and compares it to a “mind-altering drug”, I feel like her explanation isn’t very persuasive. Instead of bringing up this counterclaim and addressing how TV could also possibly be positive for family relationships, she immediately shoots it down and says that the research is illogical. Doing so hurts her credibility, in my opinion.
Winn makes broad and perhaps questionable generalizations about families and family rituals. Respond to one or more of her claims. For example, write about your own family rituals and “culture”. Do Winn’s assertions in this essay correspond to your experience? How does technology affect or even mediate your family relationships? Does it diversify and enrich them, or “reduce them” to sameness? Do you find that opportunities for “expressing love within the family have been reduced or eliminated”?
Throughout her essay, Winn mentions her belief that television is a bad thing because it lessens the amount of quality family time that people can spend together, it creates “walls” between children and parents, and also makes families accustomed to living in their own worlds. In my opinion, however, television and technology is not always necessarily a bad thing for my family. While things like video games and television shows sometimes take away from the time we could be spending at park or eating dinner together, I feel like technology also helps unite us. Because I go to school in Sioux City, my family is almost always about 5 hours away from me in Kansas City. Technology like our cell phones, laptops, and mostly Facetime help me stay connected to them and still feel like I’m a member of the family, despite the fact that I’m 250 miles away. Because of this, I feel like technology has increased the amount opportunities for “expressing love within the family” more than it has decreased them.