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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kailsar:

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.

I did pick up on that. Brian Blessed, perhaps the loudest man in existence, wouldn't exactly make the best judge of Zen, truth be told.

Sorry Mr Jack and kailsar, but BRIAN BLESSED needs to be in bold and caps. ;)

The_root_of_all_evil:
Sorry Mr Jack and kailsar, but BRIAN BLESSED needs to be in bold and caps. ;)

My humble apologies. Did you see him on Have I Got News For You? He was definitely in bold and caps on that.

kailsar:

The_root_of_all_evil:
Sorry Mr Jack and kailsar, but BRIAN BLESSED needs to be in bold and caps. ;)

My humble apologies. Did you see him on Have I Got News For You? He was definitely in bold and caps on that.

He's a legend in his own shouting. :)

DND Judgement:

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.......

Please explain this post. I'm not sure if it's directed at me, my point or the TV show in question. Anyone who watches The Hills regularly will know that it strikes a perfect balance between entertainment and comedy.

You spend half the time wondering if Lauren and Audrina will ever be friends again and half the time laughing at the absurdity of the whole setup: how can such uneducated and clueless morons lead such extraordinarily privileged lives and yet be completely oblivious to the whole situation? How can a completely incompetent intern at Teen Vogue afford to live in a $3,000/month apartment in downtown LA and go to plush cocktail bars every weekday? Do these people actually exist or are they controlled by a sentient AI?

The show never ceases to amaze me. Each episode is like a Bunuel short written by Sigmund Freud and directed by Paris Hilton.

On a related note, why is everyone so afraid of light entertainment?

I think TV does make people stupid. Or... not stupid, but...hmmmm...Ok, stupid. The stupidest thing I've seen on TV is a reality school for people who were gonna be on reality-TV.
Think of that! A school for grown up people that wants to learn how to act like real people.
And all reality-TV is just cliche. In my school there's people who talks loudly in the classroom and yells things like "Look at me! Here I am! Hey, look what I can do!"
Obviously They're just doing it to get attention. And those people I'm talking about watches shows TV all the time, and talks about reality-TV at school. I don't watch TV anymore, except for certain shows. So my conclusion is that TV makes people stupid. Mostly Reality shows.

I'm so glad I don't watch tv anymore lol. Stopped watching when Virgin decided not to pay Sky to show Sky One, I still miss 24 sometimes, I don't miss Lost anymore, the piece of shit show it was.

But on the off chance of finding myself in front of the tv I always end up facepalming at the stupidity of people on shows. I especially get angry at the kids as well as the parents whenever I'm forced to watch "My Sweet 16", the kids need to learn some frigging respect and the parents need to grow a backbone and actually raise their kids properly so that they're not spoilt brats who appreciate nothing, both parties need to be whacked upside the head with a shovel imo.

Personally, I stopped watching TV on a regular basis about 3 or 4 years ago and I haven't felt like I missed anything either.
TV might not be dumbing down todays youth, but it certainly isn't helping.
I sometimes get the feeling that the average persons they aim some of those newer shows at have to be either brain-dead or under the influence of various narcotics.
Most of what I do watch on TV (at irregular intervals) are documentaries, or the occasional movie with a little BBC comedy mixed in (QI, Have I got News for You, etc), but that's about it. The rest is usually to horrible to even consider.
(and I know I'm generalising, but you get the idea)

falcontwin:

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.

There is a difference between society and culture. I agree that TV has exerted a negative influence upon certain parts of society--in particular the upper middle class--but I reject the idea that it has adversely affected culture. There more are meta-narratives now than ever before.

Xiado:
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)

I would call foul when video games are compared to TV, because video games are
1.) Heavily censored, with no possible adult rating (I'm australian)
2.) Thought provoking, even the most basic of fighters requires you to plan out and think about your next move, learn combos etc
3.) because video games are user controlled and take a lot more effort to play (compared to watching tv) and always involved fictional characters it remains a lot more detached than tv, Reality videogames wouldn't work. Video games, while they are able to have a villanous protagonist, still fail to have the influence of tv. More people emulate Paris Hilton than Nikko Belic, and its no coincidence, the very nature of niko makes him hard to impersonate, children are not encouraged to play his games (in fact young girls have little interest, so 50% are disenterested straight off generally), compared to the B list celebrities and reality heroes who are celebrated among kids.
Just all round is an unfair comparison imo.

The youth got dummer, TV had to adapt to ensure that they still had an audience.

Dys:
I would call foul when video games are compared to TV, because video games are
1.) Heavily censored, with no possible adult rating (I'm australian)
2.) Thought provoking, even the most basic of fighters requires you to plan out and think about your next move, learn combos etc
3.) because video games are user controlled and take a lot more effort to play (compared to watching tv) and always involved fictional characters it remains a lot more detached than tv, Reality videogames wouldn't work. Video games, while they are able to have a villanous protagonist, still fail to have the influence of tv. More people emulate Paris Hilton than Nikko Belic, and its no coincidence, the very nature of niko makes him hard to impersonate, children are not encouraged to play his games (in fact young girls have little interest, so 50% are disenterested straight off generally), compared to the B list celebrities and reality heroes who are celebrated among kids.
Just all round is an unfair comparison imo.

I'm not an anti-game sort of person, but I really have to take issue with this.

1. Many video games are oriented around near-constant violence; the formula of most games is that you enter an area, kill everyone there, maybe watch a cutscene, and move on to the next area. Additionally, the violence in video games is much bloodier and more visceral while simultaneously less emphasized, emotional, and negative than it is on television.

2. While it could be argued in that fashion that video games are "thought provoking," you really can't argue that the majority of video games promote deep cultural or social thought.

3. Because the user controls at least one character on the screen, there is great encouragement for the player to identify with that character. In that way, any antisocial or unpalatable messages encouraged by the game are encouraged more than they are on television.

Obviously, playing video games isn't going to turn the average person into a killer, but gamers seem very willing to bury their heads in the sand and completely ignore the possibility that video games have any adverse psychological or social effects, and that seems like a very dangerous and ill-advised orientation to me. Like it or not, video games and television are comparable in many ways in psychological terms.

Well, seeing as the majority of my guild in WoW don't know what the words "irony", "excaserbate", or "decaffinated" mean, and they spend most of thier non-WoW time in front of the TV, I'd say yes.

Here in the good 'ole USA, I wouldn't say that it's primary function is to dumb them down, but to teach them to be vicious killers, people who can solve mysteries in an hour (44min w/o commercials), and how to waste hours on end watching programs with no plot, i.e. The Hills, Rock of Love, Paris Hilton: The Search for My...whatever, lost my train of thought...oh well, I'm gonna go watch TV...

I wrote a couple of paragraphs but I've decided to keep this simple. Television doesn't create stupidity but it reflects and propagates the view of western culture. Unfortunately, western culture seems to encourage stupidity.
To quote the late Bill Hicks: "...go back to bed America, here's American Gladiators...you are free to do as we tell you..."

Good morning blues:

Dys:
I would call foul when video games are compared to TV, because video games are
1.) Heavily censored, with no possible adult rating (I'm australian)
2.) Thought provoking, even the most basic of fighters requires you to plan out and think about your next move, learn combos etc
3.) because video games are user controlled and take a lot more effort to play (compared to watching tv) and always involved fictional characters it remains a lot more detached than tv, Reality videogames wouldn't work. Video games, while they are able to have a villanous protagonist, still fail to have the influence of tv. More people emulate Paris Hilton than Nikko Belic, and its no coincidence, the very nature of niko makes him hard to impersonate, children are not encouraged to play his games (in fact young girls have little interest, so 50% are disenterested straight off generally), compared to the B list celebrities and reality heroes who are celebrated among kids.
Just all round is an unfair comparison imo.

I'm not an anti-game sort of person, but I really have to take issue with this.

1. Many video games are oriented around near-constant violence; the formula of most games is that you enter an area, kill everyone there, maybe watch a cutscene, and move on to the next area. Additionally, the violence in video games is much bloodier and more visceral while simultaneously less emphasized, emotional, and negative than it is on television.

2. While it could be argued in that fashion that video games are "thought provoking," you really can't argue that the majority of video games promote deep cultural or social thought.

3. Because the user controls at least one character on the screen, there is great encouragement for the player to identify with that character. In that way, any antisocial or unpalatable messages encouraged by the game are encouraged more than they are on television.

Obviously, playing video games isn't going to turn the average person into a killer, but gamers seem very willing to bury their heads in the sand and completely ignore the possibility that video games have any adverse psychological or social effects, and that seems like a very dangerous and ill-advised orientation to me. Like it or not, video games and television are comparable in many ways in psychological terms.

Ah, I seem to have misrepresented what I think.
1.)
While people are encouraged to, on some level at least, relate to the protagonist in a video game, it isn't really an easy goal to accomplish and society is very clear on its rules about killing people...even the weakest parent in the world wouldn't be able to let a homicidal child do as they please, and in that sense it is harder to imitate (as oppose to glorified brats on tv getting what they want).
I would straight out disagree that violence in video games is less detached and emotional that that in your average action movie, which is what you'd relate to a violent shooting game. Neither veiw 'enemies' as people, I've not bothered to count but the amount of people killed in films like james bond or saving private ryan would be substancial. In fact, because video games are, well, in most cases ridiculas (halo, team fortress, half life etc etc) I would think that the killing is less...influential (best word I can think of :S) as it is almost comedic (like say die hard/james bond violence as opposed to the complete brutality of films like saw (even though they emphasize the victims) and the killing of nazi's in every ww2 film I've ever seen.
2.)
When I claimed that video games encouraged thought, I certianly did not mean on a social level, I meant in the sense that there was some effort involved in playing, some clear cut thought pattern or strategy thus making it less of a background influence (reading back I can see how badly that thought was put across).

Even acknowledging how potentially damaging video games are, with the way they are inforced and regulated and the very nature of what they are makes them less of a social threat in my eyes, I'm yet to see a game that has the effect on people that 'jackass' did.

By and large, yes.
I grew up with barely any TV at all. ("That's right, when I was your age, TV was called books!") Not because it wasn't around, simply because my parents chose to not have it in the house. My brother and I entertained ourselves with... yes, wait for it... Books. We were both thought of as being quite smart. Hell, we still are. To this day I'm not sure how much of our intelligence is inherited and how much is determined by environment, but I'm convinced that legions of my friends and classmates could have done better by far if they'd been better readers. They weren't better readers, though, and that's mostly because they preferred TV.

I think modern tv makes the youth dumber in the same way soft silks made the Romans dumb, weak and soft according to Cato.

Try watching The Hills for 3mins(the pain!) and you'll get your answer!

Of course I learned alot moer from discovery channel then i ever will in high school

Yes, TV, magazines, hell even radio is contributing to the dumbing-down process when I hear the third FUCKING person in my class listening to that FUCKING Linken Park song for the 3rd FUCKING time on their mobile phones... sorry gone off topic (again). It's the fault of the parents for inflicting TV, trailer trash magazines and shitty music on their kids because they don't have time to raise them, is stupidity a genetic thing though? I retreated to the internet because I grew bored of the crap, repetitive shows and annoying ads, then I found you guys which made me very happy indeed.

The only things I watch anymore is Vh1 Classic (Just music videos from the 60's, 70's, 80's, and some 90's, for the most part.) and some movie channels if something decent is on.

Back on topic, I think the fact that more people vote on some reality TV shows than people vote in a presidental election

I chose the "dem pikshurs dun come alive!" option.

Modern youth today are dumbing down the youth of today. The bastards.

-Ricky

I would say censorship is dumbing down the youthier youth (since I might be still considered a youth). Censorship has seen no ends recently more so in the USA than other places. This making swearing and the such taboo and you seem instantly more cool for doing anything taboo because your being the rebel.

Labyrinth:

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.

And I reject it. Fuck that, I can't stand celebrity, and nor can many others. Being schooled to follow television is something I'll never understand. It's pretty much all prolefeed.

I agree 100% on that comment. Some people just don't have anything better to do but wish there famous.

I also agree strongly that MTV and Much And Disney Channel are completly dumbing down are society to think such outrageous things like (hannah montanna) is a good role modle or all of these other disney stars with nose job's and pretty revealing photos.

There was a saying in the paper today:

Every generation always find themselves more intelligent than the previous one and wiser than the next one

I find it disheartening when girls say they would most want to be models, movie stars, footballers wives etc rather than work for and have real jobs instead of being supported by their other(similarily rich)half. Sometimes I think the youth of today live in cuckooland, they want everything now and don't want to work for anything.

How old are we on this thread, 90? You guys sound like stereotypical nursing home cranks. I say stereotypical because most people in nursing homes probably aren't this gloomy about "today's youth."

TV isn't making anyone stupider. Does the modern TV landscape represent a wasteland at times? Certainly. But TV's significance can't be measured in terms of its ability to convey analysis and argument in the traditional sense. TV's power lies in its ability to disseminate images. And in that sense, it is the images to which we must pay attention. Is the Hills a vacuous show about some faux reality? Yes, but it's also a treasure trove of cultural significance.

Instead of complaining about the TV as a sign of cultural decline, we should instead watch all of it, the good and the bad, because in doing so we gain a deeper appreciation for the intricacies of early 21st century culture. And it is this process, more than decrying "frivolous" TV shows, that allows us to contribute to and create a vital and stimulating culture.

"TV and the internet have ruined my imagination and you know it."

The TV shows I watched as a kid were terrible in retrospect (i've seen most of them since). The only exception is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles whose memory remains untarnished. I refuse to watch that show again because I'm not sure I could bear to see just how stupid it really is.

Turn to Nikelodean, or Cartoon Network, Hell Disney channel and you will see how it starts.

I grew up watching.
X-men
Transformers
Spiderman
He-Man
GARGYOLES
hell, Loony toons!
Discovery Channel
Animal Planet
History Channel
Duck Tales

Look at any of the 'cartoons' these kids watched when they watched them...
MY GOD, some of that shit is sooo annoyingly stupid... This is where it starts. Then they feed them a nice big bottle of Reality TV...

I bet you, even at Escapist, barely half of you will know what the sitcom, Married with children is, let alone how awesome it was!
/fshaw.

TomNook:
No, the youth of today is getting dumber. TV is a reflection, not a cause.

oh snap

Dys:
Having just seen the absoloute crap my sister was watching on 'MTV' I feel the urge to ask if the stupid and largely innapropriate content of what kids watch is having a negative effect on kids today (As all the experts call the latest generation the "blame shifters" or some such name).
I think that because TV is constantly showing spoiled, unintelligent brats as role models, kids are following. And I don't just mean MTV, disney channel is worse, the dumbed down american sitcoms actually made my brain cry, I could swear this wasn't the way it was when I was a kid.

Reading back over my post, I'm unsure how clear I've been, and because I couldn't find a like topic to relate it too most of you are probably going to have no clue what I'm ranting about, but still, hit me with some opinions. I want to hear what my fellow escapians thing.

I totally agree with you about MTV. I can't stand to watch it. Every time that i see a dumb show there, i feel the physical need to change the channel or to go away.
I think that the problem is in the choices we make: there are a lot of interesting and smart show on TV, but most of the people prefere watching my sweet 16 or stuff worst than that.
The fact is that if you want to be smart you have to work hard and most people are just plain lazy.

Witty statement disparaging the promiscuity of the opening posters mother and/or sister.
Edit: no offense meant Op, i just could not resist it.

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