Nov 21 is United Nations’ World Television Day. While many of us today take the television for granted, it’s actually one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century. TV changed the way that we relate to the world forever, and its popularity just grew and grew since its introduction. Indeed, it’s thought that by 2021, there will be 1.7 billion homes around the world that contain TV sets.
Television allows people the opportunity to learn about the world around them and see the lives of other people. CFP
Think about life before television. We mostly had to rely on the radio or newspapers to know what was going on in the world. But after television arrived, the world seemed a lot smaller. It brought information right to our home. People were able to communicate better, address issues faster and become aware of things happening around the world by watching the news. They could take part in global culture – major international sporting events like the Olympic Games and the World Cup, for example.
想想先前没有电视的生活吧。我们大多数人都要依靠广播或者报纸，才能知道世界上发生了什么事。但电视诞生后，世界似乎变得小多了。它为千家万户带来了信息。人们能够更好地进行沟通，更快地处理事务，通过收看新闻了解天下事。他们能够参与到全球文化中来 —— 如奥运会和世界杯等重大国际体育赛事。
We all have at least one TV memory that will last a lifetime. For those old enough to remember, it’s estimated that over 2 billion people worldwide watched the live funeral parade of Britain’s Princess Diana in 1997. And in 2005, hundreds of millions of music fans across China saw Li Yuchun take the crown on Hunan TV’s Super Girl.
But there is undoubtedly a bad side to TV. It could be said to have destroyed communication as much as it enhanced it. In the days before television, a typical family would have played games or just chatted with each other after their evening meal. But since then, sitting around the TV in silence has become a regular evening activity.
Still, the United Nations says that TV “continually invites people to explore beyond their living rooms,” and that is undoubtedly true. But sometimes, this “exploration” is at the expense of ignoring the people closest to us.
Television is constantly evolving and is impacted by changes in other forms of technology. Modern “Smart TV” systems, for example, allow the viewer to have a more interactive experience.
But while television is indeed a brilliant tool, let’s not forget about the people sitting next to us on the couch. After all, what good is watching something interesting if you don’t want to share your opinions on it?