"Thinking Outside the Idiot Box" by Dana Stevens vs. “Watching TV Makes You Smarter” by Steven Johnson

1128 Words Feb 18th, 2014 5 Pages
Jessica Tursi
English Comp I
TV Does Not Make You Smarter 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
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Stevens’ continues to go on about the show 24 and says, “24 is the perfect example of a TV show that challenges its audience’s cognitive faculties with intricate plotlines and rapid-fire information while actively discouraging them from thinking too much about the vigilante ethic it portrays. It’s really good at teaching you to think… about future episodes of 24” (296). Thus, going back to what she said earlier about television only teaching us to watch more television. This is a good example of the “sugar-coated mindless garbage” that the picture is portraying. While the show is constantly making the viewer ponder about what is going to happen next, the negative representation of Muslims and the endorsement of torture is just complete nonsense. Also contrasting Johnsons argument, Stevens discusses TV Turnoff Week. TV Turnoff Week is an annual event that is nation wide where children, families, schools and communities are encouraged to turn off screens and "turn on life." Instead of relying on television programming for entertainment, participators read books, explore and enjoy nature, and spent time with family and friends. Over 300 million people participate every year. Stevens says that grown men and women should know to

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