Watching TV Makes You Smarter


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Steven Johnson’s argument in “Watching TV Makes you Smarter” that television increases intellectual and enhances our cognitive faculties, therefore making us smarter Johnson’s states that, “For decades, we’ve worked under the assumption that mass culture follows a path declining steadily toward lowest-common- denominator standards, presumably because the “masses” want dumb, simple pleasures and big media companies try to give the masses what they want. But as that 24 episode suggests, the exact opposite is happening: culture is getting more cognitively demanding, not less” (278). This growing complexity involves three primary elements: multiple threading, flashing arrows, and social networks (280). One element the Jonson reports as his primary elements is “multiple threading” as the most celebrated structural feature of modern television drama” (289).


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According to Johnson, can be described as when, “you focus on the plot, and in focusing you’re exercising parts of your brain that map social networks, that fill in missing information that connect multiple narrative threads” (292). He argues that is important for people to choose the shows that will make them engage and immerse themselves in the plot even though they are violent, tasteless, or even if they contain foul language and the true test in knowing if the show is making you smarter if the given show engages or sedates the mind. I agree with Johnson in a sense that the “right” TV will increase brain activity and make people think while they are watching TV. Children and adolescents need to be exposed to television good or bad the choice is theirs, because it will help them learn about social issues as they go through life. Watching TV can make anyone smarter.


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Glee gives you examples of the lives of high school students and conflicts between them and also how music plays a big role in their schools. How there are many teen moms and the struggles they go through especially if they are single parents. And let us not forget about the children that between Caillou, Dora the Explorer, and PBS shows are all educational for them. These shows help children to read, learn languages, and write. I agree that watching TV can make a person smarter and be more aware of their social surrounding if they choose the appropriate TV shows to watch.


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