Re: Dumbing Us Down--discussion

Teresa Gallagher (
Mon, 30 Mar 1998 21:16:20 -0500

Robin Martin wrote:
> (1) Is the impact of television on kids today really as awful as he depicts
> it???

I haven't read the book, but one of the most serious problems with kid's
TV today is the way everything flashes so quickly before them. The old
cartoons and commercials didn't do that. One significant result is a
reduced attention span. This issue is stressed in almost every ADD
book on the market (not that TV creates ADD, but it doesn't help,
either). There was a cartoon in Japan playing one morning that was so
bad that a bunch of kids came down with seizures and the cartoon episode
can't be shown any more. It was flashing red or something like that.

I have a five year old boy, and we didn't really have too many problems
until we mysteriously started getting the Cartoon Network. Insidious,
this channel is. Ryan used to just watch his videos over and over again,
which I didn't mind. But now, he just begs and begs to watch more
cartoons. We have a one hour time limit, and that is very difficult to
enforce. He'd watch all day if he could. I can see how some kids might
watch a tremendous amount of TV and how that could affect them. The idea
is that the hard wiring of the brain may well be affected, so it could
change the brain for life.