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Television has had a significant influence on the culture of many societies. To what extent would you say that television has positively or negatively affected the cultural development of your society?
It is unarguable that television has had a considerable impact and changed the world in which we live. However, there is debate whether that change has been for the better or the worse, when we consider cultural development. While there are certainly strong feelings on both sides of the argument in western Europe, my own view is that television has had a largely positive influence on our society. There are, however, several reasons why it can be argued that television has a negative effect on cultural development. Perhaps the principle argument is the lowbrow nature of many programmes, particularly sitcoms and soap operas. People who watch these programmes do not learn anything, they are simply entertained. The other major argument is that because people watch so much television, they no longer take part in more traditional forms of cultural entertainment. An example here is how traditional dancing and music is becoming much less popular because people are staying at home to watch the television. On the other hand, there are a variety of ways in which cultural development has been assisted by television. Here the major argument is that television has allowed the whole of society access to cultural entertainment. For example, in the nineteenth century only a small proportion of people could go to the ballet or the theatre. However, it is now possible for everyone to enjoy these on television. A second positive effect is that on television we can learn more about other cultures and societies because there are so many interesting documentaries about other countries. My personal conclusion is that television is a largely positive influence. However, it is important that we do not watch it too much and that we watch the right sort of programme. If we watch the wrong sort of programme and watch too much television, we may become couch potatoes. (309 words) IELTS essay writing resources