Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Benefits of Television for Adults and Children

    In Steven Johnson's article "Television makes us Smarter", the author argues that while many television shows do not contain good moral lessons, they are still beneficial for developing our minds, due to their extensive plots, and their ability to keep us focused on understanding the relationships between different supporting characters. Johnson also mentions the benefits of television for young children, who are exposed to shows with adult situations and therefore force children to develop their minds and start thinking like adults.
    While Johnson talks about how television is beneficial for kids, authors such as Heather L. Kirkorian take an opposing stance on the television debate. In her article "Media and Young Children's Learning'', Kirkorian first states that children under the age of two should not be exposed to television , or if they are, in very limited amounts. This is based on the notion that children learn more from interacting with their parents in real life experiences rather than sitting unsupervised in front of a television. She also states that for children older than two, the television they are exposed to should be monitored by their parents, and that certain educational programs are beneficial for stimulating a young child's mind, while other shows designed purely for entertainment purposes are in fact detrimental to a child's development.
      This argument made by Kirkorian is the complete opposite than the one argued by Steven Johnson. While Kirkorian states that only educational television is good for people, including kids, Johnsons whole article centers around the idea that television shows don't need educational value in order to make someone smarter. His argues that it is not the lessons given that are beneficial anyway, but the cognitive workout obtained through following he shows plot lines.
      For essay #3, I plan on arguing on Steven Johnson's side of the argument, which sates that entertaining television is beneficial for people (including kids), as long as the program is challenging to comprehend. I will use Heather L. Kirkorian as an example of a naysayer, whose argument is more concerned with the content of a show, rather than the degree of difficulty in comprehending it.

MLA Citation:
Kirkorian, Heather L., Ellen A. Wartella, and Daniel R. Anderson. "Media And Young
    Children's Learning." Future Of Children 18.1 (2008): 39-61. Academic Search Complete.Web. 
     23 July 2014. 

The article "Media and Young Children's Learning" argues that young children benefits from limiting the amounts of television they watch an interacting with real people.(


  1. You explain both authors view on the effects/benefits of watching television, but what is your take on watching television? Which author do you agree with?

    1. Johnson. He says it in the last paragraph ;-)

      Great post, Aaron. Looks like you have a scholarly AND naysayer here. Nice.

    2. This seem like a very interesting article based on your summary. which author do you agree with and why?

    3. Johnson! It's right there in the post! He agrees with Johnson!