Balance is a universal idea that works across the board. It seems that there is lack in balance between the positive and negative research that is associated with television. The predominate myth is that when the television is turned on our brains turn off. Daniel Anderson, a professor at the University of Massachusetts, would wholeheartedly disagree. Anderson has done numerous studies that show that younger children actually are engaged in programming on an educational level when the “idiot box”, as some call it, is turned on. Anderson can be credited with helping with the popular children programs Blue’s Clues and Dora The Explorer. These programs are known for getting their audience involved with what was happening onscreen.
This broke many norms that educational television shows had come to be known for. Even though, many of my peers were a bit above the age to actually be fully engaged in Blue Clue’s many would say at some point they had been entranced by the show. Strategic usage of television programming can actually benefit young children rather than hurt them like many have come to believe. The blame always has to fall somewhere and television does seem like an easy target with some of the questionable programming allowed these days. But Anderson found that if children are exposed to smart programming at a young age it can actually help them in their adolescent years as well. High School students who were followed throughout their whole lives that had been exposed to certain educational programming actually showed positive signs of growth.
There are a ton of studies that can prove that there are many negative aspects of too much television as there is with anything else. But since the use of television and online use is growing every year it might be smart to stop pointing the finger and use research like Daniel Anderson’s to positively cultivate young children’s minds.