Sunday, July 10

Kids and TV

A new study indicates that watching too much television may have an adverse effect not only on children but also on adults who watched too much TV when they were children. I find this study very suspect because it just so happens that I have watched a whole bunch of TV since I was real little and I don't think it has hurt me none.

The study found, for example, that children who have television sets in their rooms scored lower in math tests. But just what kind of math questions did they ask children who are devoted television viewers? Did they bother to ask how many episodes there were in "24"? Or how many children the family in "Eight Is Enough" had? Suppose each of those children appeared in each episode of "24". How many children would that be? I have no idea, but that's beside the point. What if "Two and a Half Men" were on "60 Minutes". How many minutes would that be? See, it's all in how the question is framed.

Another study, looking at 1,000 adults in New Zealand, found lower education levels among 26-year-olds who had watched lots of TV during childhood. Sure, I can see that.


What kind of television programming could they possibly have in New Zealand? "CSI:Auckland"? "Everybody Loves Kiwi"? Come on, what kind of a study of TV viewing is that?

Finally a study of 1,800 U.S. children found that those who watched more than three hours of television daily before age 3 scored worse on intelligence tests at ages 6 and 7 than youngsters who watched less TV. Excuse me, but how do you tell how much television a 3 year old is watching? Do you have them fill out a form or something? Just because you sit them in front of a TV doesn't mean they are watching it. If you sat them in front of a book for 3 hours a day would that mean they were reading it? Would their intelligence tests improve? If they didn't, would that mean reading is bad for kids?

And exactly how do you measure the intelligence of a 6 year old? I have a teenage boy and, College Board or no College Board, I doubt anyone has the ability to measure the intelligence of the typical 16 year old. Unless the answer to every question is “whatever”.

And anyone who is a regular reader of these posts must have wondered if there is any measurable intelligence in a 57 year old man.

So how do you accurately measure the intelligence of a 6 year old? Can Judy color inside the lines? Is Johnny able to recite “Mary Had A Little Lamb” by heart?

Well, Mister Big Time Scientific Education Tester, here is a question that any TV watching 6 year old can answer without thinking. Suppose the answer to this question would determine how intelligent you are. I’m just wondering how you do.

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

1 comment:

suzannaowens said...

I doubt anyone has the ability to measure the intelligence of the typical 16 year old. Unless the answer to every question is “whatever”.

Best line ever.