Television has increasingly become the quintessential epicenter of communication, since its invention, in 1927. At any moment in time 2.5 billion people are viewing some form of television broadcast (Ballard). Modern society has introduced various categories of television. These variations range from educational to violent. This broad spectrum makes it hard to generalize the effects it has had on American youth; however, television seems to have increased moral and intellectual degradation. Through violent shows and monotonous news broadcasts, American youths have become desensitized to the poverties, and hardships of the world. This desensitization has had several, and moreover negative, moral impacts on the youths of America. Nevertheless,
In the article “Watching TV Makes You Smarter," Steven Johnson argues why and how television can make you smarter. In another article, “Thinking Outside the Idiot Box," Dana Stevens contradicts everything Steven Johnson said in his article about television making people more intelligent.
In Watching TV makes you smarter, published in "The New York Times" on April 24, 2005, Steven Johnson argues for the multiple threads, fewer flashing arrows and social networking that make modern Television nourishing cognitive food. In answer to Johnson's article, "Carrie" posted Does watching TV make you stupid? on May 1, 2005. Carrie presents further blogs on May 3rd and May 7th, 2005; however, the gist of her arguments are contained in her first blog. Comparing the logic of Johnson's argument for and Carrie's argument against Television as cognitive food, I believe that Johnson presents the more convincing argument.
The average American child watches 20 hours of television per week, that is 5,000 hours before first grade. Most children between the ages of 3-6 years old can even turn on the television and start a DVD by themselves. I am guilty of allowing my children more TV time then they should have, but I guess that is because I enjoy watching it myself. There are many hidden messages in children’s shows that I was oblivious to until now. For instance, in the show “Rugrats” Charlotte Pickles, Angelica’s mom never had time for her, always on the phone and working. Ethnic stereotyping is another message sent in Speedy Gonzalez’s cousin Slow Poke Rodriguez which is lazy, slow, and dim witted. Morality is also affected by these shows. Most every little boy
There is no doubt that television holds a purpose in our society today, but is that purpose brain-numbing or actually beneficial to our brain development? The television, also known as: TV, the boob tube, the idiot box, as well as many other nicknames, has been around for almost a hundred years. Ever since cable TV became popular in the 1950’s, there has always been a worry that people watch too much TV. Most people believe that with exorbitant exposure to the popular media both dumbs us down as well as makes us more likely to tolerate acts of violence. Dana Stevens’ “Thinking Outside the Idiot Box” argues that television does not make you smarter, directly
Consider the cognitive demands that televised narratives place on their viewers. With many shows that we associate with ''quality'' entertainment -- ''The Mary Tyler Moore Show,'' ''Murphy Brown,'' ''Frasier'' -- the intelligence arrives fully formed in the words and actions of the characters on-screen. They say witty things to one another and avoid lapsing into tired sitcom cliches, and we smile along in our living rooms, enjoying the company of these smart people. But assuming we're bright enough to understand the sentences they're saying, there's no intellectual labor involved in enjoying the show as a viewer. You no more challenge your mind by watching these intelligent shows than you challenge your body watching ''Monday Night Football.'' The intellectual work is
To begin with we will look at the issue of how modern TV can enlighten the audience. The author Stephen Johnson makes the argument of how TV is more complex, therefore it makes you smarter, in his article “Watching TV
“Steven Johnson proposes that what is making us smarter is precisely what we thought was making us dumber” ( 1 ). Television shows, reality shows, and even games are way different from what it was thirty years ago
As television viewers, we tend to slouch in front of this electrical box after a long day’s work, many of us don’t think or know about how much television programming has changed since our parent’s childhood. In “Thinking outside the Idiot Box” by Dana Stevens and “Watching TV Makes You Smarter” by Steven Johnson, both writers give their thoughts and opinions about how television programming has evolved over the last three decades. These gentlemen recognize that the days of slap-stick comedy were over and replace by more sophisticated stories. This new brand of programs have provide a step stoning for the evolution of television to gain momentum.
found, for example, that only 3.5 percent of viewers were able to answer successfully twelve true/false questions concerning two thirty-second segments of commercial…”(Postman 152). Postman goes in depth of this experiment which established that Stern had found that 51 percent of viewers could not recall any news from watching the t.v. program. Around an average of 20 percent could not recall any information from watching a 1 hour show . This supports his claim of television being a disruptive resource. Watching television doesn’t increasing learning like a printed
A highly debated topic that has recently appeared in the headlines is the question: Do TV shows stimulate cognitive development? In his article, Watching TV Makes You Smarter, author Steven Johnson vouches for the acceptance of TV as an effective cognitive enhancement for both children and adults. His main contention hinging on the fact that TV story lines have increased in complexity and ambiguity over the years, Johnson argues that watching modern shows like 24 and The Sopranos challenges our minds to track multiple threads and stimulates our thought processes to connect the dots between story lines. In other words, vegging in front of a TV screen has now become an intellectually stimulating activity because keeping track of modern plot lines requires mental expenditure. However, I think Johnson is mistaken because he fails to adequately acknowledge that modern TV has dulled our minds to the increasing violence and gore, lowered our standards of right and wrong, and encouraged an addiction-like obsession to the gripping
In Steven Johnson's persuasive essay “Watching Tv Makes You Smarter,” he defies what our culture teaches us about television. Our society teaches that television is making our youth “dumb” and that our culture enjoys the “simple pleasures” so that is what the media companies are feeding us with. But, Johnson states that based on what the show “24” suggests, the “exact opposite is happening: the culture is getting more cognitively demanding, not less” (1). The growing interest of TV programs with complex mental faculties involves three primary elements: multiple threading, flashing arrows and social networks (2).
The main claim is that television is beneficial on a more social level. By following the intricate storylines, television viewers are able to learn how to decipher social cues, while honing analytical skills in order to keep track of what’s happening. The cognitive labor of television, according to Johnson, is why it’s so alluring for the viewer. The mental progression of society is marked in the complexity of the shows we watch. An example given is the difference between I Love Lucy and Friends. The former is all about short, uncomplicated humor, while the latter calls on the necessity for rapid informational recall. Old fashioned comedies relay their jokes within the span of thirty seconds, whereas modern comedies are a series of inside jokes within the show, illusions to other things, pop culture references, as we as puns and sarcasm. The social complexities change with the mental level of the viewers. Television is all about collateral learning, rather than the actual content of the program; much like gaming. We have to trach quick time happenings, social connections, and other such important ideals that we need to have a handle on to operate smoothly in social situations. Johnson is suggesting that not only does television watching progress our mental prowess, it benefits our social conduct and understanding as
Today, Film and Television are among the most internationally supported commodities. Financially, their contributions are enormous: both industries are responsible for the circulation of billions of dollars each year. Since their respective explosions into the new media markets during the mid-twentieth century, film and television have produced consistently growing numbers of viewers and critics alike. Sparking debate over the nature of their viewing, film and television are now being questioned in social, political, and moral arenas for their potential impact on an audience. Critics claim that watching films or television is a passive activity in which the viewer becomes subconsciously
Over the last forty to fifty years, television has been a major topic of discussion. Specifically, many debate societal benefits to television watching. One widely accepted opinion is that watching TV makes people dumber. People have referred to it with terms like the “idiot box” and do not feel that watching TV has any benefit at all. They feel that it is a waste of time and people need to spend their hours more wisely. Others are of the opinion that TV is actually has societal benefits. From this perspective, they claim that the development of the structure of the programs now requires one to intellectually participate in watching television. Essentially, the argument is whether TV is a beneficial societal force or is it simply a