Far from being merely a conveniently entertaining piece of furniture, the television
has become an integral tool to understanding and shaping society
– The shift in the way people communicate, access knowledge or entertainment and keep up to date with what’s going on in the world means that television has become a highly sophisticated window into the human mind. While many people watch television as a stress-relieving mechanism, research also suggests that watching can have a positive impact.
Long before written language, storytelling was an important aspect of everyday life and a new study has confirmed that it’s just as important today. According to research, “storytelling is a powerful means of fostering social cooperation and teaching social norms, and it pays valuable dividends to the storytellers themselves, improving their chances of being chosen as social partners, receiving community support and even having healthy offspring.”’[i] How does this affect modern society, though? One of the interesting aspects is the ability for immigrants to more easily assimilate into their adopted country by observing social norms through TV series, news and local programming.[ii]
Numerous studies have been conducted on the influence of television programming on social change. One such study has focused on the advent of satellite television programming in rural India. Within a year of programmes other than those aired by a public broadcaster being available, there were significant changes in gender attitudes. Women were less likely to accept domestic abuse and there was an increase in school enrolment for younger children. In fact, the differences in attitudes between women in rural areas and those in urban areas decreased from seventy to forty-five percent.[iii]
Lyle Mitchley, Head Product Manager for TV at Samsung South Africa says, “You’d be hard pressed to find a home without a television these days, but it’s the quality of the viewing experience that makes all the difference. Samsung’s range of superlative QLED TV’s ensures that whatever you’re watching becomes a fully immersive experience.”
While putting a child in front of the TV for extended periods of time has always been a contentious issue, the content they consume is more important than the time spent. A research study showed that children in Finland scored higher than most of the rest of the world in their reading skills. One reason for this, concludes the research, is that they are often served American shows and have to read the captions in their own language.[iv] Understanding the narrative of their own local society and learning about other societies, as well as interesting or fundamental facts about the world is also a highly value aspect of watching TV. So, while sitcoms can teach societal intricacies, its usually best to ensure children are watching age-appropriate programmes that are geared to teach. In fact, a whole new aspect of psychology has arisen from the advent of the internet – media psychology. Reports show that there are a number of positives garnered from viewing or leaning online, such as rising IQ’s due to media-assisted learning and interactive game playing; advancement of women in science; people are learning more about learning itself; communication across cultures is increasing public understanding of numerous crucial issues[v]
“The connected home and Internet of Things (IoT), means that you can remotely control most of what goes on in your home electronically from your smartphone – and TV is one such example,” adds Mitchley.
With on-demand television programming and streaming services, researchers have been able to track viewer behaviour even more effectively across the globe. Interestingly, it’s been found that viewers tend to multi-task – by being online on various social platforms and commenting while watching a TV programme, whether its live TV or streamed.[vi] On demand or streaming services mean that multiple programmes can be watched by different members of a household. One of the negatives in streaming, however, is that viewers feel content is better watched on a TV screen. Of course, Samsung agrees with this, which is why its QLED models are connected through smart hub and with one remote, so numerous streaming platforms can be viewed, offering a fully immersive, vivid picture no matter what is being watched. The Samsung Smart View app also means users can seamlessly connect their mobiles to their TV screens and be in complete control.
“The way people are watching TV and similar content may have changed, but one thing is for sure, the quality of the image is vital to enjoyment. Samsung affords viewers an incredibly vibrant and detailed experience that ensures they pick up every detail and nuance, whether its sport, cooking, interior design, fantasy or fiction,” concludes Mitchley.