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TV Makes People Dumber - Essay Example

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This essay generally believes that TV is bad for the youth. TV makes people dumber because it teaches racial prejudice and discrimination, it may boost memory, but not critical thinking skills, and it may be too complex for their cognitive and emotional levels, thereby limiting their ability to maximize potential learning from it. TV shows, even those with complex narratives, contains ideas that promote racial prejudice. Steven Johnson, in his essay, “Watching TV Makes You Smarter,” maintains that TV is good for people’s brains because many shows, including bad ones, have complex narratives with multiple-occurring plots. The complexity of TV stories compels people to think deeply, and this thinking makes them smarter. This paper opposes this argument because 24 may have a complex narrative, but it promotes racial stereotypes about Arabs and Muslims. It turns race into a literal black-and-white plot of morality, disabling people from realizing that TV is just a story, not a valid generalization of racial identities. Furthermore, some reality TV shows suggest that racial prejudice is fun and entertaining. Scholastic Scope explores the dangers of watching reality TV shows in “Is Reality TV Making You Stupid?” ...
ho are negatively portrayed on TV and movies, such as what Dana Stevens highlights in “Thinking outside the Idiot Box.” Teenagers might think that racism is nothing serious and become discriminatory to minorities. Moreover, Reality TV might be making people stupid because it portrays negative values and conduct. It teaches selfishness. Most shows are about “me” than about “we.” In addition, reality TV teaches materialism. Shows such as My Super Sweet 16 underscore the negative effects of TV on the young mind. They might learn that materialism is good for their lives. Aside from potentially forming negative conduct, TV may improve memory, but not critical thinking skills. Susan Smith presents some evidence that TV is good for the brain in “TV Makes You Smart.” She mentions a study which provides findings that watching TV, especially comedy, can enhance memory. Johnson agrees with Smith and says that TV is a memory-booster because people have to memorize plots and characters to understand what they are watching. However, this essay argues that comedy and complex dramatic narratives might be good for the memory, but they are not true cognitive workouts as Johnson claims. It may produce short-term memory enhancement, but it does not train young minds to challenge what they watch. Moreover, watching TV makes people want to watch more TV only because it captures attention. Stevens believe that instead of making people smarter, TV merely conditions people to watch more. Watching more TV, if it does not make people smarter and can even make them dumber, will only make matters worse for people’s ability to think critically. In addition, watching TV trains people to be sensitive to changing actions and social relationships, but not how to question these ...Show more


The power of TV in making people smarter or dumber introduces a fresh new line of scientific inquiry. Some commentators and scholars assert that TV helps develop memory and attention, thereby enhancing the intelligence of people…
Author : susanna27
TV Makes People Dumber
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