The Question

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? People communicate with each other less than in the past because of the popularity of television. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.

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The Sample Essay

               These days almost everyone spends a lot of time watching their favorite television programs.  However, I strongly believe that the advent of televised entertainment has not had a negative effect on interpersonal communication.  I feel this way for two main reasons, which I will explore in the following essay.

              To begin with, I contend that television actually helps people to have more meaningful conversations.  In the past, people mostly talked about what they had in common.  Often, talk of this sort was quite limited because people lived fairly simple lives.  These days, in contrast, individuals can enjoy spirited discussions about the wide array of current events and world affairs that they hear about on television every day.  For example, I have a regular Friday lunch date with my work colleagues at a local restaurant.  We do talk about office affairs, but most of our conversations are about the wide world around us which we learn about from watching television.  We talk about everything from political developments in distant countries to sports results from entirely different continents.  I strongly believe that without television to supply us with topics, my colleagues and I would talk mainly about banal office gossip.

               Secondly, I am of the opinion that television has mostly replaced solitary activities, rather than interactions with others.  It appears that television has mainly taken the place of hobbies like reading and exercising that we used to do alone.  My own experience is compelling evidence of this.  I grew up in a very rural area without access to stable television signals.  As a result, I spent my time either hanging out with friends or just reading books and magazines.  When I started university, however, I moved to a big city and suddenly had access to one hundred channels.  Almost immediately, watching shows and movies replaced reading as my primary hobby, but I still had time to do things with my classmates.  I now read almost no books, but I still have meaningful conversations with friends on a regular basis.

              In conclusion, I disagree with the idea that the advent of television has harmed communication between friends and family.  I feel this way because television supplies us with a variety of topics which we can discuss with our friends, and because television-watching has mostly replaced solitary hobbies  rather than social activities.



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