Idiot box turns aggressive!!

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If you believed that the TV viewing numbed sensitivities and reduced people to cola guzzling veggies or couch potatoes as they were called, here is some bad news. According o recent study in the US the idiot box or more specifically the realty shows with their hyped up characters and situations could actually lead people to over react so much like the characters in these shows do. Audio visual mediums are naturally powerful and impression forming, most of us are only too aware of how the movies have left their deep impression on generations of teens, making them walk and talk like their favourite screen heroes. These were essentially adolescent fancies which faded off as the person matured. The realty shows on TV seem to be leaving a far more dangerous impact on both young and adult viewers. According to psychologists even people who are meek and mild mannered by nature may enjoy shows that have participants fuming, punching the air, taking it out on some one and acting hostile. The funny thing about these realty shows is that viewers are only too aware that all the show of hostility is staged; make believe stuff to add spice and entertainment to the proceedings. These shows nevertheless succeed in stirring up passions in the viewers who start exhibiting such behaviour in real life.

Such has been the influence of these shows that they have set a new benchmark in behaviour patterns. So if you are concerned or worked up over anything from the daily traffic snarl on the way to work, the war in Afghanistan or even rising potato prices, you need to over react and throw a fit to express yourself in other words you need to speak with a loud body language. In a typical case President Obama's reaction to the HP oil spill has been criticized as not being strong enough by viewers who watched his address on TV, perhaps because he did not seem outwardly worked up and did not go about swearing, puffing and flaying his hands (This is in contrast to the sharp criticism that ex Prime Minister Gordon Brown's similar outbursts on his staff members evoked among the British public - Does this place Brits on a higher pedestal?)

It is perhaps just a sign of changing tastes and perceptions, staying calm and composed under pressure was considered a trait that set statesmen and seasoned leaders from ordinary people. Such restrained behaviour by Obama may have won him a lot of appreciation not many years ago. But today thanks to an overdose of masochism and over reaction on these realty shows, people want a lot of gritting of teeth, clenching of fists and table banging accompanied by intemperate language to prove one's concern and involvement. Such is the craze for strong reaction for people in high places that a White House spokesperson had to ensure the public at large that the President was very angry with General McChrystal's differing views on the Afghan war which he expressed in his meeting with the President.

So who ever said that the idiot box made laid back couch potatoes of its viewers was sadly wrong, it is in fact creating seething and fuming viewers who believe that the best way to act is to overreact.

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