How Tv Makes You Smarter

Topics: Television, Reality television, Television program Pages: 4 (1539 words) Published: April 17, 2011
How television is making people smarted.

People all over the world turn on their television each night and watch a few moments to a few hours of television and it is hard to miss a reality show which on almost any channel. If they were to pause on one of these shows they might not know it but they would bettering themselves on a personal level. Based on the ideas of Steven Johnson the average person could learn a thing or two from reality TV. In his article called, “Watching TV Makes You Smarter” Johnson 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."(214). Johnson talks explicitly about what a scholar might call the “dumbing down of America”, which in his mind is completely false. Watching reality television in his mind makes a person more aware of the everyday occurrences that happen. The major point first made in Johnsons article is based on his theory called, “The Sleeper Curve”. This theory is about how: “television alters the mental development of young people for the better” (215). Johnson talks about reality TV affecting younger generations in a positive light and helping with personal development. Another major topic discussed is how; “multiple threads in new television episodes are much more complex than old television shows.” In talking about this Johnson refers to the Mary Tyler More show being cookie cutter whereas reality TV today has real life issues. Through this kind of television our younger generation can be taught how to handle tough situations. The third major topic that is brought up in Johnson’s article is about how younger generations are given mindless television that provides them...
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