Is tv dumbing down our youth?
Yes
46.8% (101)
46.8% (101)
No
17.1% (37)
17.1% (37)
Witty third option
32.4% (70)
32.4% (70)
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Poll: Is modern TV dumbing down the youth of today?

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I sold my TV in 2006 and I'm glad I did. Not having to watch idiotic drivel on the airwaves, and better yet not having to pay $42.95 a month for "basic" cable service, it makes me happy.

(only trouble is I know I'm going to have to hook it up again if I get a job sportswriting, and that day fills me with dread because I know my wife is going to watch the moronic true-crime shows she usually downloads, and the only place to put the TV is in the same room I've got my computer.)

Labyrinth:
aving been named a freak on a number of occasions, to my face as well as some sort of insult, I'd be leaning towards the idea that certain characteristics are repressed.

I've seen a similar phenomena in my life as well. Having viewed it from the outside, it was always perplexing what caused such otherwise decent people to become so vicious.

Perhaps your point has more to it then I considered.

*sucks on corncob pipe*

So I would ask you to speak in greater depth about why you believe this comes about, what the motivation is, etc. if you would be so inclined.

This isn't a recent trend. One the most popular shows in the 50's was about a guy who had his car possessed by the ghost of his mother. The Dukes of Hazard came out almost thirty years ago. I think you're looking back too fondly on the shows you used to like.

Also for every good show that doesn't sell well (Wire), there is another bad show that gets canceled (Painkiller Jane).

I'd rather think that it's not TV that's dumbing down society so much, but rather the amount of emphasis and time kids spend on it, that contributes to their lack of learning and getting out that dumbs then down.

So technically, I guess TV is dumbing down society, but not based completely upon what it shows, but more upon how it affects a child's willingness to learn, and explore.

Also, I'd just like to say that it's alright if yo don't like reality TV but it's ignorant to say that it's dumbing me down.

Bad parenting, not bad television.

Labyrinth:

harhol:
No-one is stupid enough to aspire to be like the kids on My Super Sweet 16 or Living on the Edge.

You'd think that, but you'd be wrong.

Really wrong.
I won't use my littler sister as an example, because there are so many better ones.
I have a friend whos sister, for her 'sweet sixteenth' birthday party, sent out as many invites as she could print off without telling her parents, can you honestly look at me with a straight face and say this kind of behavior isn't glorified by people doing it on tv?

And just to point this out, I only picked on MTV because it was the blaringly obvious annoyance at the time. Cartoon shows have become so painfully politicially correct I can't see the point, Sitcoms have become...unfunny. What happened to great shows like the office and the countless other classic british sitcoms. When and how did people allow monty python and fast forward to be replaced by big bite and comedy inc?

It just seems that the whole attitude of the TV media is going the wrong way. The way I remember it was all the cooler characters were heroes, who did good things, and it was uncommon for kids to watch tv that wasn't age appropriate (kids did NOT watch jerry springer at my school) etc and bad behavior was not romantasized.

I'm not suggesting that bad tv is the cause, or that reality TV is to blame (because lets face it, sometimes its straight up good telivision), but the majority of it is surely contributing to negative social trends.

Or mabye I'm just overthinking the whole point of it.

what can i say, "we are the all singing all dancing crap of the world." "working jobs we hate to buy crap we don't need."

Everytime I try to write my opinion on this topic, I can't. I think Television is dumbing us down in many different ways but I have no way to say this. Television might be responsible here.

Wait, I have one. If someone spends all their time listening to others opinions without ever giving their own after a while they will forget their own opinion and chose the one that they listen to. If you spend a lot of your time watching television then after a while you'll start believing what television tells you. Not being able to form your own opinions makes you fairly dumb in my opinion.

Also as Alpha Wolf stated, people spend their time watching television instead of going outside. Meaning that your world is constricted to Television. If TV is stupid then your stupid and unfortunately TV is rather stupid. Most of the popular stuff on TV is fake and has little relevance to the real world. If at has no relevance then it doesn't teach you anything. If you world revolves around not learning anything then you are dumber if your world revolved around learning things. TV isn't necessarily making you dumb but it is stopping you from becoming smarter.

Ironically I am watching Television as I post this. It is the news but still... *sigh*

Imitation Saccharin :

Labyrinth:
We're taught to be stupid, to pay attention to what the face on the screen is telling us.

Then why does this type of TV get the ratings, while shows like The Wire get laughably tiny ratings?

We LIKE being talked down to. We like vapid, dumb airheads. We aren't taught anything. We ASKED for this.

Not necessarily true. You need to understand something about television, radio, newspapers, and every other one-way mass medium: they are all fundamentally based around advertising. If that ad space wasn't sold, your TV show wouldn't be on. And since that ad space is worth more money if more people are watching, the networks need to make the stuff between the commercial breaks appeal to as many people as possible - this is what is actually meant by "appealing to the lowest common denominator." It doesn't mean that they're appealing to stupid people, it means that they're appealing to the most common aspects of people that watch TV. Crap TV gets the ratings because it has found some regrettable aspect of human nature to capitalize on.

Ever wondered why, on every shitty comedy ever made, whenever there's a sight gag where someone gets injured or falls or something like that, you always hear them shout "I'M OK!"? It's because people from the American Midwest watch the most TV of anyone in the world, and focus group testing revealed that they assumed that the character who fell over had died. In order to make these programs more palatable for the single largest section of the television audience, they made a change that is now pretty much universal.

Everybody should keep in mind that media is paid for by advertising. Television don't sell ad space, they sell audiences; the ad space is just the windows of opportunity for the product (audiences) to be delivered to the customer (advertisers). The primary operating concern for any media outlet that supports itself on advertising revenue is advertising. We like to think of newspapers as being a classy, reliable source of news; what most people don't know is that the advertising gets placed on the page before the stories, which are placed in the left over "news holes" once all of the advertising is in place. If the stories are too long to fit in the news holes, they're simply truncated.

Labyrinth:

harhol:
No-one is stupid enough to aspire to be like the kids on My Super Sweet 16 or Living on the Edge.

You'd think that, but you'd be wrong.

And I might take a look at that book, but from the synopses I'll disagree with a lot of it. I for one see a great deal of forced conformity in the iconic media image of platinum blond bombshells, and I also know that an awful lot of people aspire towards that. All I need to do is wander through the mall and see Supre. It's an individuality of convenience. "Feel free to be unique within these boundaries" style of thing. Having been named a freak on a number of occasions, to my face as well as some sort of insult, I'd be leaning towards the idea that certain characteristics are repressed.

Read it; it's one of the best books I've read in years. Your platinum blonde comment is actually part of the book's argument. Basically, it's saying that, even though everybody has this idea that mass society and consumerism promote a faceless, identical mass of people, since everybody already knows that, we all take pains to avoid being part of the mass. Instead of consuming toward conformity, we consume toward distinction, and that's where the real money is. The platinum blonde isn't part of the mass; she's something different, more beautiful, more "real," and that's why people want to be like her.

Not so much TV in general, but MTV specifically... But yes. I believe it is...

harhol:

Hunde Des Krieg:
Reality TV is dumbing down culture because it has no depth and zero thought-provoking material.

Since when has culture been influenced by television?

Television is a reflection of culture.

Like when everyone cut their hair like jennifer aniston in friends? or when oprah said she didn't eat red meat and all the sheeple who watch her show stopped eating it as well?

TV is a reflection of society but there are far to many stupid people in society who do things because tv said so.

I was talking to a co-worker about global warming the other day and he seriously thought that the earths temperature rose by 2-3 degrees celcius a year and that in 10 years we were going to be having 60+ degree (celcius) days. Because the TV told him that the polar icecaps were going to be gone in 5 years and we will all be fucked.

The problem is mainly that people do not question the information they get from tv. So maybe people are just dumber and TV can take more liberties than they could in the past.

sakegirl14:
No, the schools are.

You've got a point there. Notice how schools, at least in my region, are losing funding? We seem to be churning out idiots and ineffective members of society. As said before, the media is a reflection of our society, so it's not that TV is making people stupid, it's that people are making TV stupid.

Imitation Saccharin :

Labyrinth:
aving been named a freak on a number of occasions, to my face as well as some sort of insult, I'd be leaning towards the idea that certain characteristics are repressed.

I've seen a similar phenomena in my life as well. Having viewed it from the outside, it was always perplexing what caused such otherwise decent people to become so vicious.

Perhaps your point has more to it then I considered.

*sucks on corncob pipe*

So I would ask you to speak in greater depth about why you believe this comes about, what the motivation is, etc. if you would be so inclined.

Motivation for what, the label of 'freak' or my general tendency towards alternative ideals?

I'd say the 'freak' label came from the fact that I was wandering around with calf-high John Fluevog Angel boots up around the bottom of a pair of black cargo pants, a Rammstein shirt, waist long dead straight hair, a leather coat and eyeliner. Oh, and the fact that the person who called me that was a 'trendy' teenybopper. One of the most dispicable species ever to exist. It's also annoying the way that when confronted about the topic, the person came out with some televised drivel about how metal music is perverting kids and whatever else. Another favourite stab is 'emo', a misguided label from many mainstream people towards anyone with a taste for black and a cynical outlook. The bastards.

My tendency towards alternative ideas is because they seem to be so much more interesting. There's something about avant-garde that just calls to me. Insert pomposity here.

stompy:

sakegirl14:
No, the schools are.

You've got a point there. Notice how schools, at least in my region, are losing funding? We seem to be churning out idiots and ineffective members of society. As said before, the media is a reflection of our society, so it's not that TV is making people stupid, it's that people are making TV stupid.

Schools being underfunded is just increasing the problem. It's like turning to teachers and saying "Okay, so you're going to be a major part of our children's development, so we're going to underpay you, question your morals, ethics and integrity at every term and present you with crap facilities to work in." That just pisses me off no end.

Bored Tomatoe:
We need to ban all reality shows and destroy all evidence of them ever existing.....I HATE reality shows....they are pointlessly shallow drivel....

Thankfully, here in Australia, Channel Ten has axed that Big Brother dribble.

Whilst television is not really dumbing down our generation, it serves as an excellent medium for spreading social conformity (think Paris Hilton clones) and funding corporate greed (McDonalds exploiting children (look up "McLibel")).

Labyrinth:

Schools being underfunded is just increasing the problem. It's like turning to teachers and saying "Okay, so you're going to be a major part of our children's development, so we're going to underpay you, question your morals, ethics and integrity at every term and present you with crap facilities to work in." That just pisses me off no end.

Don't forget that "we're going to place you within a structure where touching any of the kids means you are facing court cases, but you must come under fire from parents and children daily."

And Labyrinth...sounds far more goth than emo to me. Come and join our dark place. ;)

Funny, I got called a 'freak' a little while back, but for a completely different reason.

I was also called that by one of those ditzy girls, and upon hearing that, I turned around and said this:

"Which is more freakish? Me or your equestrian face?"

Coldest thing I've ever said, and the girl didn't get it anyway.

But the people around us did.

EDIT: To be more on-topic, I will also say that our schools are dumbing us down. It's mainly because they expect us to be stupid and sheltered in the first place.

They treat us like five-year-olds, and without any good reason. And, in my state, they've blocked every useful site except Google and Wikipedia.

The youth of today is something of a sham. One of the main reasons, I fear, is due to lack of respect, as well as many various labels and icons.

In my experiance, respect is difficult to come by with kids nowadays. They are actually more clever then you would expect. They know that Teachers and authoritarian figures at schools cannot do anything to them. At worst, a detention that the kid can just as easily not attend. This then leads onto the children doing more and more "naughty" things, so instead of swearing in a lesson, they are throwing bricks at windows and beating the shit out of other, weedier kids.
A perfect example of this I can remember. One of the "baddass" kids in the school, despite being thick as a brick, beats the crap out of a smaller, cleverer kid, breaking his nose. Guess what that kid got for doing that.
Nothing.
Due to "family issues".
I can understand that many people and thier parents go through rough times, domestic violence and whatnot, but that hardly gave that kid the right to go and scar a clever kid for life, both psycholgically and literally. The "badass" kid knew exactly what he was doing, and was laughing as he did so. Worse still, most of the children at the school sided with the "badass" kid, some which could have become intelligent additons to society, now drop down to the level of the stupid kids. Worse even more still, the teachers at that school side with the "badass" kid, sharing jokes. What kind of impression does that give the clever kid?
This is amplified by TV, where dumb, althletic kids are shown to be icons that everybody loves.

There you go. Society in these days have lost the fear factor with children, and that only encourages them to do more and more "naughty" things. I also read a shocking interview the other day, when questioning a child about why he threw a brick through a window.
"I was bored"
...this society is falling to shambles.

Also, social "labels" don't help as well. Chav, Emo, Goth and Gangsta's all have negative effects on the children of today. They are brought up to treat authority and the law as thier enemies, and this worsens as they grow up. Hence the overpopulation of the Jails.

Bring back the fear-you bring back order.

I think some of the stuff that was on 20/30 years ago was frankly weird. Ever seen "Rainbow"?

harhol:

I notice you refer to MTV and "spoiled, unintelligent brats" so I assume you're ranting about The Hills? The editing and production on that show is genius--it's one half counter-cultural satire, one half absurd melodrama.

I don't know if you're serious but I fully agree, it's entertaining to the point of me not caring that the people it's revolves around a groundbreakingly unlikeable.

Also, I didn't vote, because I'm really not sure, since the kids who are affected negatively by watching that sort of TV are likely to have been affected in the same way by other media.

harhol:
TV is better now than it's ever been, both in terms of entertainment and factual content. At least it is where I live.

I notice you refer to MTV and "spoiled, unintelligent brats" so I assume you're ranting about The Hills? The editing and production on that show is genius--it's one half counter-cultural satire, one half absurd melodrama. Other than The Wire I'd say it's the best show on TV at the moment.

the prime example of the youth that are being dumbed down.......

The reality is that they can tell everyone we are being invaded by pink fluff from Saturn that eat brains and as long as its on television someone will believe it. Some people are far to impressionable and can't seem to think for themselves.....its just as common in the behavior of adults as it is children.

Its not just T.V. I think you need to blame either our disregard for natural selection or the fact that some people just aren't fit to be parents.

I would like to ask all people young or old to not allow yourself to be spoon fed and to question everything.

Upon further reflection, this topic, in my opinion, will be forever discussed on internet forums until their is no longer such a thing as the internet, it is fastly becoming a more prominent problem as the years pass.

Dys:

...And just to point this out, I only picked on MTV because it was the blaringly obvious annoyance at the time. Cartoon shows have become so painfully politicially correct I can't see the point, Sitcoms have become...unfunny. What happened to great shows like the office and the countless other classic british sitcoms. When and how did people allow monty python and fast forward to be replaced by big bite and comedy inc?

It just seems that the whole attitude of the TV media is going the wrong way. The way I remember it was all the cooler characters were heroes, who did good things, and it was uncommon for kids to watch tv that wasn't age appropriate (kids did NOT watch jerry springer at my school) etc and bad behavior was not romantasized.

A lot of what you wrote here struck some chords with me, Dys. Particularly when all the cooler characters/heroes actually being HEROES. I'm very weary of the "antihero" protagonist.

But then, I have to admit, I'm probably not the best program critic. I stopped watching a lot of TV when I left for China in 2003. With everything in Mandarin or Cantonese, I didn't get a lot out of it. Of course, there were shows imported from Hong Kong's English-speaking ATV World and TVB Pearl, but not everything there was a lock for me either.

The few shows that grabbed me were Survivor (okay, I confess I was a junkie) and Jericho (the first season.) They were the only reasons they were on.

And so far, ATV isn't carrying Survivor now, and Jericho's played its last episode. So now the TV's off.

And frankly, the junk that's being pumped out by the networks doesn't do anything for me.
When I want to watch something on screen, I don't hit the TV. I hit older stuff on YouTube. If I had my own children, I think I'd take a cue from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:

"Never, never, never let
Them near a television set
Or better still, just don't install
The idiotic thing at all."

The way the world of raising children has gotten, though, I'm not sure if I'd bother having my own kids in the first place. :-(

Aye, it's all the reality TVs fault. It's not just the kids it's dumbing down though, it's anyone of any age. There are some who go straight from their pointless reality crap to some glossy magazine with z-list attention seeking hacks.

Too many people have nothing better to do that find out what diet plan some rake-model is on, who another one is shagging and who was caught doing what in some strip-club. Don't care, bring me real news - I'd rather watch a half hour program about kids who saves cats and old ladies in their neighbourhood before watching some staged, rigged reality wank.

EDIT: Just to add, whether you say it is or not, this wave of reality crap IS changing people. The young all aspire to be either some socialite whore with 15 mins of fame or some corporate whore for 15 minutes. If it wasn't for them there wouldn't be the waste of paper that is the glossy gossip magazine industry.

Watching reality crap + following it all up in a glossy mag = stupidity on it's way, if not already there! As well as encouraging the stations to stop spending money on actual shows when you're going to watch it AND text in, costing them next to nothing. Go you clever bitch!

One movie that pretty much sums up the shitty state our society is in is that horrible movie "House Bunny" it basicly says, "Oh, your different? Wow you must be horribly unhappy and miserable because of it, here let me fix you so your suitable for the rest of society."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVL5Mfgw7Pw

every time i see this trailer I feel like I have to do something to save the sheeple from their own stupidity, by punching them in the face multiple times.

I refuse to watch most TV, so the licence is almost useless. Most TV shows are, well, immature crap.

Is modern youth dumbing down the TV of today?

Unlike videogames, TV is really corrupting our culture. (or 90% of it is anyway) In a videogame, you are in control; if you don't like something, blow it up, do something else, or just shut the game off. TV however starts very young, and it pounds role models and bad ideas into kid's heads. It makes teenage boys into booze-horking idiots, and teenage girls into nymphomaniac tramps. None of these people care about anything, and will probably never mature. Our future is in the hands of this degenerate scum, and the world will probably end.

(Of course there's nothing wrong with a drink or two, and everyone wants and needs sex, so in moderation, perfectly normal)

Lord Krunk:

I was also called that by one of those ditzy girls, and upon hearing that, I turned around and said this:

"Which is more freakish? Me or your equestrian face?"

Coldest thing I've ever said, and the girl didn't get it anyway.

But the people around us did.

EDIT: To be more on-topic, I will also say that our schools are dumbing us down. It's mainly because they expect us to be stupid and sheltered in the first place.

I completely agree on all counts, but personally, I wholeheartedly enjoy insulting people with words they could never hope to comprehend.

`

Nah, society has always been the way it is. People have always been dumb, but the manner in which it shows itself just changes over time. Teenager girls always could be horrible dragons, sweet 16 examples just show them new outlets for such kind of behavior.

I don't think anything was better when I was a teen, and I dare to bet that it wasn't better either when you people were teens.

And about great comedy nowadays; look for little brittain. It is not politically correct (far from it) and very funny.

First of all, I think that the quality of television today is both far higher and far lower than it has ever been, since the quantity of television has increased hugely. There have been some fantastic dramas, including most things that HBO have done; some brilliant comedies, like Spaced and Black Books; and great documentaries, BBC Four has something interesting on most nights. Furthermore, there's far easier access to them than there was in the 80s or 90s, since we can watch most things online, legally or otherwise, and you can pick up DVD box sets with 24 episodes on for twenty quid, whereas back in the day you'd be paying twelve quid for a VHS with 3 episodes on. So if you want to watch good television, then you can.

Likewise, while there's always been shit on the telly, the sheer volume of it nowadays is massive. I've just turned on my TV, and now I could be watching 'World's Scariest Police Chases', 'X Factor', or 'Coach Trip', which seems to be a reality TV show where some people are on a coach trip, and can vote each other off the coach. Come to think of it, a lot of shows sound like they've been conceptualised by a bunch of network execs writing a derivative idea on a piece of paper, then folding over the piece of paper so the next guy can't see it, then hands it round the table, until the last guy reads it out and commissions it.

But I think a bit of mindless drivel does anyone some good. It just takes your mind off things for a while, it requires little or no concentration, and doesn't challenge you in any way. It can be the televisual equivalent of meditation. Hang on, what about 'Buddist Boot Camp'? Britain's unruliest teenagers are flown off to a Buddist temple, where monks teach them the error of their ways. A team of judges - say: Andi Peters, one of the girls from the Human League, and Brian Blessed - judge them on their Zen-ness, and the guttersnipe who's progressed most on the road to nirvana and the renunciation of worldly things wins quarter of a million pounds. Come on, everyone loves Britain's unruliest teenagers (apart from their parents, of course).

Anyhow, while watching a bit of mindless wank on the box doesn't do you any harm, watching it all day would surely turn you in to a moron. But anyone who does that was probably a moron to begin with, and it's therefore a good thing that they're being kept occupied, out of the way of busy young go-getters such as myself.

MTV is evil. Come on, in what sane society could people like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton ACTUALLY be more popular than things that actually matter? Kids these days know and care more about their favorite pop star than they do about shit like Darfur. It's awful.

EDIT: And reality TV is just garbage. Nothing else to be said about it. Utter garbage.

kailsar:
A team of judges - say: Andi Peters, one of the girls from the Human League, and Brian Blessed - judge them on their Zen-ness, and the guttersnipe who's progressed most on the road to nirvana and the renunciation of worldly things wins quarter of a million pounds.

Surely giving all that money to the one who now rejects worldliness is rather strange?

Mr Jack:

kailsar:
A team of judges - say: Andi Peters, one of the girls from the Human League, and Brian Blessed - judge them on their Zen-ness, and the guttersnipe who's progressed most on the road to nirvana and the renunciation of worldly things wins quarter of a million pounds.

Surely giving all that money to the one who now rejects worldliness is rather strange?

Yeah, it was meant to be ironic.

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