Television shapes perceptions of America unfairly

by Skyler Noble

Television is known to bring forth a perception of violence in America—this is not necessarily the case in other countries.

People overthink how much violence permeates our society. We feel unsafe in certain situations when the likelihood of a dangerous situation is actually slim. People from other cultures may not perceive reality as violent because they might not watch as violent of television.

Most television shows portray society negatively with people having cruel intentions and creating certain stereotypes. is solidifies the perceived idea society is violent. In actuality, society is not as cruel and vicious as it seems.

In other countries, television is shown differently than in the U.S. Some international students at Whitworth shared how television influences their cultures and how it com- pares or contrasts to the prominence of television in the United States.

Senior psychology major Marianne Sfeir grew up in Beirut, Lebanon.

“A lot of the television we watch is American produced. In Lebanon, I don’t know the statistics for crime, but I am sure there is plenty of violence,” Sfeir said. “If I were to guess how much crime there is in Lebanon, I would probably overshoot how much violence there is.”

“Most of the television shows we get are from Russia. That might influence how we see the world because it is a biased opinion from Russia,” Olga Kvak, a freshman from Uzbekistan, said, “I don’t think people are that violent [in Uzbekistan].”

Sara Laguna Garcia is an international student from Spain who is studying English at Whitworth.

“I think American TV shows have more violence compared to Spanish ones,” Laguna Garcia said. “What people want to see on TV are things that they don’t have to think about like talk shows or comedies.”

There is not much television violence in Taiwan, but it is found more on the news, said Martina Cho, a freshman from Taiwan.

“Everyone wants their opinions heard, but no one is really violent,” Cho said.

She does not think Taiwanese society is violent from the influence of television. Crime dramas are one of the most popular television genres, and they often show the most violence.

Crime dramas and genres which tend to portray more violence are the most popular, especially in America because they stimulate and captivate the audience. The most interesting aspect of these cultures were the producers of their television. In Uzbekistan, there was mainly Russian produced television. However, in Lebanon, most of the television is American-produced.

Americans interpret television violence differently than people from other cultures. We think our society is more violent than it truly is because there is so much violence on television.

I do not think we should perceive society as violent. It is not fair to assume people are dangerous when they are not. There is so much violence on television and we eventually start to think people are not as safe as they appear.

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