When I spotted this Psychology Today headline, (“Does Reality TV Make Us Stupid?”), I almost spat my coffee all across the keyboard of my computer.
My initial reaction? That would be a bemused, muttered “Ya think?”
Well, now, having thought it through, I would have to say it depends on which of the plethora of faux “real life” shows you subject your brain cells to enduring. I suspect more than a few shows will some day be proven to have a negative and measurable impact on I.Q.
Psychology Today seems particularly ready to put the producers and “stars” of the New Jersey-based people-behaving-stupidly shows — i.e., “Housewives of New Jersey,” “Jersey Shore,” “Jerseylicious” — on the counseling couch. (If they did, wanna bet just how exhiliarated psychotherapists would be to say, “Your hour is UP!”)
And really, how long could anyone watch the Kardashian sisters or the latest TV freak show episode of “Hoarders” (will they ever find that dead cat under all those clothes, knicknacks, food fragments and boxes of assort detritus?) and not have some gray matter turn to pulp?
Tempted to click in to the latest morally-bankrupt, socially inept, self-centered train wrecks of those poor folks in Jersey? First, remember poor Charly Gordon, and how his rise from a bakery gofer with an I.Q. of 68 to uber-genius ended with descent to a cognitive level even lower than where he started — and institutionalization.
Charly was probably watching one of those Jersey shows. Or, maybe the Kardashians flitting about in their unreal world of riches.
I submit the, ahem, final word on all this is in the Bible (well, with a rather serious stretch of hermeneutics):
“The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.” (Proverbs 3:35 KJV).