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With or Without?

Why is watching tv with subtitles more standard for today’s teens? Originally, using subtitles was something for translations, for people with attention issues, or for those who are hard of hearing. People in the deaf community are able to read about what is happening within the movie since they can’t hear the audio, which makes watching TV more inviting for them. Individuals who don’t have issues with hearing wouldn’t even think of turning on the subtitles. Now, using closed captioning has become more common for the average user. It has even gotten to the point where some students at Eastern “can’t live without them”. So, what is the major motivation for these teenagers to use subtitles?

 Having the ability to watch tv while eating a crunchy snack, or being able to understand actors who have a different accent are just some of the benefits that come with using subtitles during TV time. When watching television while enjoying some food, it might be difficult to hear due to the sound of chewing, so many have been driven to use the captions whilst eating. There are also many actors who have an accent that may be difficult to comprehend for some, the closed captions come in handy to confirm what the viewer is hearing.  Whispers on screen are also very hard to hear, and sophomore Bethany Narducci even says that she “can’t understand what they are saying without the captions,” so having the captions on truly helps. When watching videos meant for study, closed captioning also can act as a better way to focus on what is being said and to help retain information. Therefore, many Eastern students use subtitles when watching video assignments for class. Even with all of these added advantages, some teenagers simply just like the extra depth that watching with subtitles can provide. 

On the other hand, millennials and beyond don’t seem to be utilizing the wonderful idea of closed captioning systems. The majority of the older generations tend to stray away from using them, even with the many uses that they provide. Many adults claim that using subtitles on television is like “reading a movie” or that it requires “a higher concentration level.” Thus leading them to leave them switched off. The simple act of adding captions to their screen is taboo because it is seen as a distraction, not something that would aid their viewing experience. 

In conclusion, subtitles are something that the growing generations have learned to love. Even though there still are some who find closed captioning systems annoying and useless, but they will always be there to help the people that need them.

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