top-rated free essay

Everything Bad Is Good for You

By waterfeel Nov 19, 2012 518 Words
In Everything Bad Is Good For You, Steven Johnson uses many scientific methods and presents point of view stating that popular culture does not only have negative impacts on us. In the introduction of the television section, he briefly tells us the truth that the complexity of modern TV shows is rising and it also makes people more intelligent. To support his ideas, Johnson divides the content into three parts: Multiple threading, Flashing Arrows, and Social Networks.

Multiple threading is very common in modern television shows but not in past shows. Johnson uses four graphs which clearly show the amount of plot content in relation to the running time of four episodes from different shows, to depict changes of complexity in TV dramas. In one drama, Dragnet, the narrative only focuses on one plotline; a few years later, the numbers of plotline have been increased in another drama called The Sopranos. The evidence strongly supports Johnson’s statement: Multiple threading becomes more complex and abundant in modern television dramas. However, it is not the only reason that makes TV shows more complicated.

Flashing Arrows, which had allowed viewers to follow the plot more easily television shows of the past, disappeared and were transformed in modern soap dramas and sitcoms. TV shows stopped using flashing arrows because audiences have been learned to find the hidden answers in the shows for many years. In soap operas, flashing arrows have been transformed to “texture” and “substance” (p.78), which are used for building up a realistic dramatic situation in the drama. In sitcoms, flashing arrows become a reward of knowing the “in-joke” by attaining extra information outside the shows. Although sitcoms become more complex, they are not the only shows that have changed.

Social networks are mainly used in reality programming and political debates. When audiences watch The Apprentice or Survivor, a reality show, they will use “social intelligence” (p.96) to judge participants’ personalities. Each facial expression and action from the participants provides clues to audiences for the judgment. In political debates, audiences will judge the politicians’ appearances, speech, skin color or actions to decide the votes. “Social intelligence” is a brain activity that people will do it automatically when they try to make decisions. Johnson’s evidence has shown “social intelligence” has been improved by reality shows.

However, social networks do not only represent the network among participants and audiences, but also the social relationships of characters in the TV dramas. The social mapping of 24 clearly shows the complex relationships among all the characters. There are four families being involved in the show, but the relationships are not obvious to the audience. Audiences need to build up the social connections by watching the show. The process is difficult and challenging, but the audience has already gotten used to it by training from the past thirty years. Social networks are also a part of making audiences become smarter.

Basically, Johnson thinks television has become more complex because of multithreading, flashing arrows and social network. These three elements are also important to people’s brain activity which has made them smarter.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Everything Bad Is Good for You (Essay)

    ...The Innovation of Educational Tools Playing video games and watching TV shows are beneficial types of popular culture. Conventional wisdom would argue that new media is a bad influence and that the only way to be intelligent is by reading. In the book Everything Bad is Good For You, author Steven Johnson, argues that even though our popular cu...

    Read More
  • Everything Bad Is Good for You

    ...As our lives are getting better and better, more and more entertainment are found by people. Of course, going to see a movie with friends at weekend is a nice choice. People love movies in this century. People love Titanic because of its romantic; people love Transformers because of its fantasy; people love Fast because of its speed. People love...

    Read More
  • good

    ... “I will come to you in the black of some terrible night and I will bring a pointy reckoning that will shudder you.” Cinematically this direct tone is emphasised by framing Abigail in a close up by herself, reinforcing Miller idea to the audience of her individual authority in using fear against those around her. Miller’s character of Abig...

    Read More
  • Everything

    ...Tramell, a brilliant, bisexual, alleged serial killer, in Basic Instinct (1992).[3] Several actresses at the time turned down the role, mostly because of the nudity required.[8] In the film's most notorious scene, Tramell is being questioned by the police, and she crosses and uncrosses her legs, exposing her genitalia, which are not covered by u...

    Read More
  • Television Summary of Everything Bad Is Good for You seller Everything Bad Is Good For You. Johnson uses tables and graphs, as well as the use of multiple threading, flashing arrows, and social networking to show the reader the difference in viewing a show from the 80’s (such as Starsky and Hutch or Dragnet) and comparing them to shows from todays popular culture (like The Sopranos and Hil...

    Read More
  • are you a good or bad student?

    ...Are You a Good or Bad Student? Being a good student is what everyone wants to believe they are. But in reality we all know that there are bad students. I, myself would like to believe I am a good student but when I looked over the facts it seems that I am not a bad or a good student. The first and foremost important quality of a good student...

    Read More
  • 10 Bad Things That Are Good for You

    ...10 “Bad” Things That Are Actually Good for You Source: 1. Computer Games They isolate children socially and distract them from learning, right? Think again. Researchers have found that kids who clock up regular console time can improve their hand-eye coordination, their gri...

    Read More
  • Are Energy Drinks Bad for You or Good

    ...Are Energy Drinks or Good or Bad for you? When people ask you, “What are energy drinks?” Everybody say drinks that give you energy. They are wrong. Energy drinks are beverages that claim to give an extra boost of energy from caffeine. Energy drinks such as Red Bull or Rock star are good and bad for your bodies. Red Bull (Energy Drink)...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.