The Idiot Box Or A Mental Trainer Essay

The Idiot Box Or A Mental Trainer Essay

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An Idiot Box or a Mental Trainer
Television was an invention designed to entertain and inform. Created in the 1920s by John Logie Baird, TV has become an indispensable piece of furniture in most American dwellings. Every child, at least once in their lives have heard their mothers tell them that spending long periods of time in front of a screen will damage their brain. Two opposite arguments question all mothers’ hypothesis. Steven Johnson in “Watching TV Makes You Smarter” claims that over the years TV has become more complex. He considers that this complexity forces the brain to work. Dana Stevens in “Thinking Outside the Idiot Box” argues that there are many cons in the issue and that watching TV does not make anybody smarter. Instead, TV has become more indispensable and harmful. However, Stevens does not disagree with the point that watching TV is a smart activity. Nevertheless, she believes that everything in excess is harmful. While Johnson tries to demonstrate that watching TV is a mental trainer, Stevens finds some components that Johnson does not acknowledge about watching TV. Their arguments cover televised culture, multi-threading, and commercials.
Generalizations are promoted for many TV programs today, and at the same time it has become a considerable problem in society. The image that TV gives to the world is not accurate which then is transformed into a generalization. Johnson recognizes that stereotypes have been nurtured by TV, but he pays more attention to the structure that can make a human more intelligent (278-279). He believes that TV’s demand has increased because of its complexity. He thinks that the masses have broken the common thought that says, “[T]he “masses” want dumb” (278). Instead, the demand of...


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...ware of what is being shown. They only know that if their parents can buy whatever is in the TV, they can influence them to buy the products. Stevens is aware of the danger that commercials cause in children, but Johnson does not recognize that commercials have an impact on viewers.
In conclusion, televised culture, multi-threading, and commercials are some of the points in which Stevens differs from Johnson. Nonetheless, both of them agree with the fact that watching TV is a smart activity, but Stevens does not base her arguments on the structure like Johnson. Stevens looks father and focuses more in how watching TV affects the society. On the contrary, Johnson is more concerned about the faculties that can train the brain. For Johnson the clue of the mental trainer is the complexity shown in televised programming, while for Stevens it is the “enduming” trainer.

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