OK, so you guys are on a roll this week! 49% of you were right on target – the moat surrounding the castle holds approximately 3.37 million gallons of water. Wow, that’s a lot of water!
It’s amazing what random, and somewhat useful, statistics you can find on the Internet. The reported average price of a bottle of water (according to the International Bottled Water Association and as of February 24, 2012) is …
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In the essay, “What’s the Matter with Kids Today?” Amy Goldwasser’s argument is that parents of today’s generation of teenagers are fearful of the power that the Internet holds over their children’s capabilities. Parents don’t trust the Internet because it is something they didn’t grow up with, therefore they don’t understand or approve of their kids fervent use of the it. They just don’t get why “the average teen chooses to spend an average of 16.7 hours per week reading and writing online” (Goldwasser 4).
What parents truly are unable to comprehend is that blogging, IM’ing, emailing, texting, sharing, liking, and re-posting are forms of self-expression for today’s teen. “The Internet has turned teenagers into honest documentarians of their own lives–reporters embedded in their homes, their schools, their own heads” (Goldwasser 2).
Teenagers don’t view these methods as evil or heinous because (A) they grew up with them and (B) everyone else uses them. They have been the taught the dangers of the Internet and the importance of privacy, thus they think that through repeated use and experience, we are experts and couldn’t possibly fathom not using the Internet for everyday use. “They’re connected, they’re collaborative, they’re used to writing about themselves. In fact, they choose to write about themselves, on their own time, rather than its being a forced labor when a paper’s due in school. Regularly, often late at night, their generating a body intimate written work” (Goldwasser 2). Parents should stop fretting about their kids’ ‘addiction’ to the Internet; it has freed up space in teenagers’ brain. Once their brains were cluttered with dates and historical facts that can now be found on the Internet . “Twenty-plus years ago, high school students didn’t have the Internet to store their trivia. Now they know that the specific dates and what-was-that-prince’s-name will always be there; they can free their brains to go a little deeper into the concepts instead of the copyrights, step back and consider what Atticus and Scout* were really fighting for” (Goldwasser 3). “*Scout and Atticus: characters in Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel “o Kill a Mockingbird. [Editor’s Note]” (Goldwasser 3).
“Teenagers today read and write for fun; it’s part of their social lives. We need to start celebrating this unprecedented surge, incorporating it as an educational tool instead of meeting it with punishing pop quizzes and suspicion” (Goldwasser 4).
In Johnson’s essay, “Watching TV Makes You Smarter” his argument is not the title, but that watching the proper kind of TV can make you slightly smarter. Johnson does not mean that watching reality TV shows like “Jersey Shore”, “Real World,” or “the Bachelor” because this sort of fluff does not improve your cognitive skills, their plot-lines are not complex nor do they challenge you. TV shows like “Lost,” “Alias,” “The West Wing,” and “The Sopranos” are shows Johnson encourages viewers to watch not for their content, but because there are multiple plots in one episode to follow. Watchers are constantly relying on their knowledge from previous episodes to understand the plot lines of the current episode. Complexity is essential in modern television shows, for intelligent viewers, otherwise they loose interest. “Texture is all the arcane verbiage provided to convince the viewer that they’re watching Actual Doctors at Work; substance is the material planted amid the background texture that the viewer needs to make sense of the plot” (286). The smarter the viewer, or the smarter the show being watched, the more easily substance can be discerned between the texture by the viewer. “Conventionally, narratives demarcate the line between texture and substance by inserting that flag or translate the important data” (287). However, the smarter the viewer, the less flags need to be inserted, because they can differentiate between the texture and the substance on their own. In general, there is less hand-holding between the viewer and the writers; the script speaks for itself. Viewers today want to watch TV shows that are varied. This distinction exemplifies the growth of viewers preferences compared to TV shows from the 1970s like “Starsky and Hutch” that had only one plot line, whereas, today viewers demand for variation, like in “Lost” a show with multiple plot-lines.