1 December 2008
Knowledge Gained from Television
Complaints about “the surge in sex and violence on TV” (Johnson, 62-63) have become common amongst concerned family members. In regards to the children who are viewing such television programs like The Sopranos or watching channels like MTV or BET daily where there is the constant playing of sexual-oriented music videos, family members tend to worry about the effects television programming has on children today. In Everything Bad is Good for You, Steven Johnson argues that “popular television shows…have increased the cognitive work they demand from their audience” (Johnson, 62) causing them to engage in using their intellect rather than just watching and gaining only entertainment. Shows are now forcing viewers to use their minds more, particularly in teenage television shows, which cause them to “engage in a social group that explores new literacies and crosses media boundaries” (Mackey, 389). Johnson believes that shows have “increased the cognitive work they demand from their audience” (Johnson, 62), improving the minds of the viewers. In particular, teenage television shows are causing viewers to explore new media areas like books. Further explained than Johnson, viewers are developing “the knowledge, skills, and attitudes” (Mackey, 389) needed to keep up with the changes occurring in the world and the classroom. Not only are viewers deciphering television shows, but they are also crossing different mediums in order to decipher such shows. Television shows, accompanied by books, have begun to positively impact viewers, both becoming more integrated within the classroom.
Felicity is a show in which certain social lessons are incorporated within the plot (Mackey, 391), it contains characters that are “warm-hearted, well-meaning, and articulate” (Mackey, 391). The show follows Felicity, a college student in New York City, who has moved “from California...