Culture of Rude: TV Talkback

Change the station. How hard it has become to find shows which do not have slapstick negativity or slapping others with taboo topics. Whether it is the most popular sitcom or reality show, anyone who has been around at least the last 20 years can notice a change in the delivery of the material. While humor doesn’t need to be exactly like Sesame Street, the good ol’ fashion family values of Brady Bunch which may not be as relevant to single family homes of today, or the good humor of Bill Cosby which seems to be forgotten—there is something which needs to be noticed about what we find interesting and what we find funny today.

Shows which center around insulting and mocking, speaking with tongue-in-cheek that is no longer that but rather talk back and rudeness, and incivility in it’s many forms has an indirect impact on viewers and the standard of the culture today. Even most reality talk shows, specialize on delivering the shock factor of what used to be unthinkable to even talk about. Very personal information is revealed on topics of sex, personal relationships, and the overall tone is one of negativity. While not every show is like this, it takes some filtering through before you can find a show that has better delivered material and those are in the minority.

With material like this common to the media we watch, we soon become desensitized to what is respectful and appropriate. In fact, so much so, that many who turn on the TV would not even label what they are watching as a form of lack of culture. This influences our culture and in how we interact with each other. Talking back becomes the standard, negativity, spreading gossip on taboo topics, little respect for boundaries, and a lack of accentuating the good in others and throughout society.

We choose what we watch and listen to. Whether it is TV, movies, the radio, or podcasts, step back and evaluate the content and delivery and see how it may be influencing your individual delivery in the way you interact with others. You might find that it is time to change the station, or at least submit some respectful talk-back yourself to provide them with some feedback.


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