I am sure we all have that grandmother or grandfather that spends his or her day in front of the television. In my opinion, those are the strongest examples where we can see the cultivation theory coming to life. My grandfather complains a lot. He thinks that the world is evil and my country is corrupt. He has lost the sense of what is happening in the world because of the images that media has planted in his mind. My grandmother is similar. She thinks that the world is violent, and doesn’t approve the fact I am living and studying abroad because “did you see what happened to the girl in this TV show?”
These are just some of the messages that can be cultivated in people’s brain, and I believe that we have all seen some of the effects and experienced them on ourselves. What bothers me about this topic is the extent to which these ideas are actually caused by the television. There are so many more things that influence our opinions – our experiences, our opinion leaders, even the street art or graffiti we see on the building. It is hard to distinguish the point that changed the way we look at one particular thing.
I can see the initial discussion on cultivation in the era of television. However, we live in a century where messages are exchanged through too many means to be sure of the effect of one single media. But there are trends that can be seen in all the media that have been cultivated in our brain. The concept of beautiful/ugly is one of the most cultivated concepts in our brain, and it is one of the hardest one to harvest from our brain. Any common stereotype, prejudice or common-sense assumption would fall in the same category. And those are hard to change, even if the strongest of the opinion leaders would set the new trend.
It is extremely hard to tell where these ideas – so cultivated in our brain come from. I would sometimes be frustrated when seeing the mainstream community around me. But I can’t blame the television, because it cannot be proven that these ideas are caused by it.