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

Topics: Television program, Television, Television network Pages: 3 (1114 words) Published: February 4, 2014
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 contrasting Steven Johnsons article, “Watching TV Makes You Smarter.” Television has definitely made a mark on our hearts and has most certainly made an impact on society, but too much of a good thing is never a good thing. The propaganda photo about television that was found on Facebook is a good lens that helps me understand Stevens’ argument better. The photo assisted the understanding of Stevens’ depiction and contradiction of Johnsons writing, her discussion about what these “more complex shows” are actually like, as well as her discussion about the national event TV Turn Off Week. This photo clearly depicts that TV does not enhance or benefit in brain production in any way, however it “destroys” the imagination, or what’s left of it, and in return, it fills the mind with complete nonsense, and therefore numbing the brain. The photo, which is a picture of a television, states, “My job is to help destroy what’s left of your imagination by feeding you endless doses of sugar-coated mindless garbage.” As humans, we are very complex intellectual beings, however television has been captivating our minds and bringing our intelligence down. Although Johnson makes some interesting points about how TV can make you...
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