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Television

← Letter To The EditorDoes Size Really Matter →

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Introduction

People all over the world turn on their television sets and watch a few moments of a few hours of TV ever day and it is hard to miss TV. In this case, it is rarely hard to miss a moment of reality show on most channels. Whether TV is bad for us or good for us is argued by two authors; Steven Johnson who is for and Dana Stevens who is against. This essay will discuss both their ideas and make a conclusion about the same.

Steven : TV is good for you

Steven argues that the millions who turn on their television might not know it but few moments of reality TV are used to better themselves on a personal level. Steven’s ideas are that the average person can learn a thing or two from reality TV. Watching reality TV makes a person more aware of his/her everyday occurrences.

Steven’s theory of “the sleeper curve” argues that TV alters the mental development of young people for the better. He talks about TV affecting younger generations in a positive way and helps with personal development.  Using an example of Mary Tyler Moore, cookie cutter, he states that such a show will teach younger generations how to deal with tougher salutations. This can be achieved through harder and more intense television programs that have a way of handling hard situations while knowing that a different outcome would appear.

According to Johnson, he argues that watching TV makes one smarter. His argument is that media has had to get more challenging cognitively to hold viewer’s attention. Thus, evolutionary speaking, attention is the scarce commodity that has created competition and as such driving adaptation in the direction of more social and narrative complexity to hold on to that attention. Johnson argues that the pleasure of watching comes reality shows comes from not watching other people being humiliated but from depositing other people in a complex high pressure environment where no strategies exist.

Dana : TV is bad for you

As per  Dana's "thinking outside of idiot box’’ it is argued that TV doesn’t make one any smarter.he strongly opposes Stevens article that claims watching TV makes you think of the events that take place on the shows when you are watching and thus making you smarter. He believes that Steven ignored some issues,the controversies vary from shows representing the muslim terrorists to how the programs endorse torture. Dana admits that he only watches TV because he is being paid to do so. He says that watching television does not make one more or less intelligent than how one is. In his interpretation of the show 24, he admits that the plot of the program and the information captivate those who are watching but it fails them in that they can hardly think of anything else but what is likely to happen in the future episodes.

He argues that grown men and women should be trusted to judge their own dosages unlike the young children, who are probably the ones with fresh meat for the advertising industry. He states that people chose their favorite programs because they like them and not because they want to force their otherwise helpless cortexes so as to manage resources. He supports his argument by clearly pointing out that turning off the television for a week does not make anyone any dumper.

Dana closes his argument claiming that the show promotes racial profiling and says that with all the excitement that goes on as they watch the show; they fail to notice that the show is about a vigilante and thus cannot make anyone any smarter.

Conclusion

            As per the two, I will support Steven’s argument that TV is good for us. Although it has its negative impacts, overall TV teaches us and helps us to know what is around us.  

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