Does Watching Television Really Make You Smarter?
Watching television makes you smarter? Is it preposterous or not? Steven Johnson states that “with the many shows that we associate with “quality” entertainment, the intelligence arrives fully formed in the words and actions of the characters on-screen.”(280) Dana Stevens, on the other hand, is convinced and she states, “If watching television really makes you smarter, then I guess I need to watch a lot more of it.” Do we ask ourselves “how do we know if it works or not,” or do we simply believe the critics.
It may come off as if our generation is being deprived by what we see on television. Many of the things that we watch on television can indeed influence our lives whether we realize it or not. Watching music videos or reality shows that document the lives of today’s stars may influence us as to what kind of life style we want to live and what type of house we want to live in.
Steven Johnson writes an article called, “Watching TV Makes You Smarter,” and he talks about how some reality shows may be nutritional for the younger generation. He argues that people make the assumption that most television shows only promote bad habits. No one really sees the greatness of shows that may promote positive action. For example, “Teen Mom” talks about young teenagers becoming parents at such a young age and show how life can be challenging when you are a young mother or father.
As a person who does indeed sit around and watches a lot of television, I am convinced that it does make you smarter. By smarter I do mean it makes you think. Have you ever notice that certain television shows may have a different way of teaching you different things or life lessons? Take for example the television show “16 and Pregnant.” In this show it shows the everyday life of young teen moms who may have made some poor life decisions. The teens are followed around through-out their pregnancy day-by-day up until the day they deliver.
After the delivery is when they are asked for a follow up show “Teen Mom.” This show shows the long nights and how hard it may be juggling school, a job and a child all at a young age. Seeing that these show would teach some young people a lesson if do believe that it could make you smarter in a way that many people don’t realize it.
Other shows that have a big influence on the brain are “Family Feud” and “Jeopardy”. Based on my personal experience and self-testing, I find it to be not only educational but entertaining. As Dana Stevens would say, it’s not like we are forced to watch it, it’s entertaining so we keep watching it. Even so if some people watch it for the entertainment, many other people see it as educational or feeding your brain.
Dana Stevens makes a statement in response to Steven Johnson’s theory of television makes you smarter. She says, “There couldn’t be a better time to test Steven Johnson’s theory than National Television turn off week- just turn the set off till Sunday and see if you get any dumber.”(298) Being that she said this statement only goes to show that she does not agree with what Steven Johnson is for. Stevens feels that Johnson is very inconclusive on exactly how television makes you smarter.
Seeing this argument from Dana Steven’s side kind of makes you think a little more and deeper on this particular subject. Being that I used many different shows to explain my point of view on the subject let’s look at it the way some other people may think to look at it. Yes, there are some shows that may indeed give life lesson or educate you at best, but what about the shows that people watch that are not educational?
Based on entertainment most shows show violence and drugs which are more demanding because of the thrill that people receive from watching such excitement. But saying this would go back to a conflict occurring because if people had gain an increase in intelligence by watching such shows, how come they don’t feel the same towards educational shows. Most people really don’t want to watch television show to learn something. They do it for the thrill and excitement as to what’s to come in future episodes.
The assumption that watching television makes you smarter may vary from person to person. We all have our different opinions and no one person is absolutely right. Scientifically speaking, unless there have been many test ran, no one person can personally state that watching television make you smarter. My personal beliefs and my views based on certain television shows bring me to the conclusion that it does make you smarter.