First Draft

I remember the first time that I watched SpongeBob Squarepants. I was in 2nd grade and I had just gotten off the bus with my two older brothers. In the episode, SpongeBob was teaching Patrick how to blow bubbles (You must know him, he’s the funny starfish with the floral surf shorts who lives under a rock). I remember that SpongeBob blew an elephant shaped bubble and Patrick said: “Look, it’s a giraffe”. My brothers were almost crying of laughter and I remember being extremely confused. Why was that so funny? That is obviously not a giraffe. Are they laughing because Patrick made a mistake? I just didn’t get it. I mean, an elephant shaped bubble is impressive, but I didn’t see what was so funny about it. Maybe I was just too young to grasp the sophisticated humor used by the sponge and his starfish friend. Every episode was full of absurd jokes that made my brothers crack up, but I still didn’t understand why they were so funny. Then one day, it became clear to me; there was absolutely nothing to understand about SpongeBob Squarepants. It was a cartoon that was based on idiotic jokes and irrational concepts… And I loved it. I started binge watching SpongeBob Squarepants with my friends. I remember quoting the TV show at school, at the dinner table and in my sleep. It was stupidly intelligent…
Hi, my name is Miranda Côté and I am a SpongeBob-o-holic.
Throughout my childhood, my brothers and I probably watched more TV then the average child. Blue’s Clues, Sesame Street, Barney and Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood were few of the many shows that we watched on a weekly basis. My parents monitored the time spent and the content that we were exposed to while watching TV. I remember that they were not too fond of us watching Teletubbies as well as SpongeBob Squarepants. One might ask why my parents were not open minded when it came to creatures who had TVs on the bellies or sponges who lived in pineapples under the sea. Well in all honesty, the answer was beyond me…
Many people believe that television shows can have a negative impact on a child’s intelligence. Even though this statement can be somewhat accurate, I believe that there are indeed shows that do not allow children to acquire any type of useful knowledge. However, there are actually many educational television programs that allow the viewers to gain lexical, social, verbal and lifestyle goals. Parents play an important role when it comes to monitoring (442) their children’s exposure, so they cannot blame the TV shows if they are simply putting their kids in front of them without any supervision.
The question that I am trying to answer is whether or not television has an impact on a child’s intelligence.
While going down my Facebook newsfeed the other day, I fell on an article called: SpongeBob Makes You Stupid. Obviously opinionated about the title, I decided to click on it anyways. I read it a few times before realizing that the author was totally right. Shows like Spongebob Squarepants do not allow the viewers to think independtly. As mentioned by Rice in his article, the use of irony and crude humour causes a negative effect on the children’s comprehension skills because they are too young to know the difference between reality and fantasy. Teletubbies is also another example of a children program that uses distorted language that does not allow the children to acquire any type of lexical knowledge. Due to the lack of cognitive stimulation, these shows do not teach children any manners, communication, vocabulary or memory skills.
These shows do not make you stupid. I’m not saying that I’m stupid, or that my brothers are stupid, but I understand how it could eventually have a great impact on a child’s development. If a preschooler watches SpongeBob Squarepants, he will think that everything he sees on the TV show is accurate and intelligent information,so of course he would become less intelligent. Young children are like parrots, they repeat and imitate everything that they see and hear. So, if your 3 year old daughter is acting exactly like Patrick The Star, I would be concerned too. A show that does not require a large amount of mental concentration does not stimulate the brain, which leads to a decrease in intelligence. It is essential for young children to be as cognitively stimulated as possible to develop within the norm. Shows such as, SpongeBob Squarepants and Teletubbies do not allow a child to acquire any new skills, which means that it could technically make children stupid. Of course, there is a lot more too it than simply exposing your child to the TV shows, but for young children, the harmless little sponge and creatures TV screens as bellies could actually be a danger to your child’s intelligence.
However, there are also shows that can be beneficial to a child’s development because they provide them with a stimulating environment. As mentioned in ??? article, children TV shows such a Dora The Explorer and Blue’s allow the viewers to interact with the main characters of the show which can help develop communication skills with the use of playful and education interaction. These shows are educational because their main purpose is to teach their viewers different skills. These type of shows can be beneficial to a child’s development because their content is realistic, and not based on humour and other distorted themes like the previous programs mentioned above.
So the real question is, what TV shows should children watch? And what shows should they avoid. After interviewing a mother of three and a former vice principal in an elementary school I found that…
Before reading response 8: 442
After reading response 8:  957

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