Skip to main content

Sponge Bob...Thoughts on a study about the cartoon.


 
Sponge Bob

 My apologies if this comes out as a little bit of a rant. Recently, I was talking to another mother of young children. While we were talking, she was telling me about how she read a study that reported how children who watched  Sponge Bob were severely mentally affected by it. After reading about the study myself, I learned that specifically very young children, after watching the cartoon, have pointedly shorter attention spans and levels of patience. Additionally, the children who take a test after watching the show for fifteen minutes score significantly lower.

I am not intending to bully Sponge Bob here. I have never liked the cartoon. It is because of my own preferences though. I have never had the slightest interest in gross humor, and the cartoon embraces the disgusting. In the article that I read about the study, it explains that the test subjects were four-year-old children, so I smile and thank goodness that kept the kids away from Bob when they were really little. They loved PBS. We watched the channel almost exclusively until they outgrew it, which breaks my heart. I wish that they were airing programing for older children.

I was thinking about Sponge Bob though, after looking at the study. The character has a voice that is incredibly abrasive, for that matter all of the characters do. Sponge Bob himself, and especially his unfortunate starfish friend, are unintelligent and highly ignorant. Even the colors of the animation are just a little too neon. They seem to be put together purposely so that they will clash. It is not really visually appealing to look at. When I consider all of these elements no wonder that watching the cartoon coaxes children into shutting off their minds a little. They may be trying to protect their tiny brains.

The larger question behind all of this is why are we putting up with it. Our children are honestly getting the shaft. They have terrible options to choose from on the television. Education in extra-curricular activities (sports, dance, defense, art, and music) is so unaffordable to the average family in our country that it is honestly shameful. The safe spaces in our communities are growing smaller and smaller as we attempt to shelter our kids from all of the predators out there. They now control the streets that we used to play on fearlessly as children. It’s disgusting, and unacceptable.

I work hard to find good resources for learning and cultivating creativity in my children. We recently, finally, became members of 4-H. We are in a Lego robotics club and it is amazing. Not only does the club teach about physics and robotics, but it also teaches cooperation, leadership, patience, service, loyalty…the list goes on. I love it! It inspires me to want to start sharing my skill set with kids. I’m really not any good at physics, but I’m a good teacher and I can cook up a storm. So maybe I should be teaching kids, aside from my own, to cook…for free…because it’s important.

I have been considering this for a while. There are specifics to be figured out, of course. Cooking involves knives and heat and I need to make sure that I don’t get sued while trying to do a good thing for others. It is a really amazing idea to consider though. I know lots of people who have lots of awesome skills. I know people who could teach kids how to play sports, an instrument…or even how to fix things around the house, or build. Maybe, for instance, if you give the neighbor kids singing lessons, their parents can teach your kids the art of karate.

Because we all know that truly, Sponge Bob might not be all that damaging, but it is certainly not ideal. Our kids are being forced indoors more and more. We all need to be out there seeking alternatives to them sitting in front of the television. We can all be diligent and insist that electronics are turned off for the majority of the day, but we still need to be seeking out the best alternatives that we can find. We also need to constantly remind our kids that being interested in learning makes them cool. I am sick and tired of stupidity being popular; it’s ridiculous…exactly like Sponge Bob.

Here’s a story about the study if you are interested: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/09/12/spongebob-is-bad-for-smal_n_958410.html


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

20 Things…you learn after moving to Florida.

20 Things…you learn after moving to Florida.
1.There is a big difference between a roach and a palmetto bug. Real roaches are the guys from New York. They infest, they are spooky smart, they are dirty and nasty, and you have to work really hard to get rid of them. Palmetto bugs however, are big and creepy and dumb. You usually see them outside at night and they will fly right at your face. They don’t infest because they are native and they can’t survive in our AC temps. 2.Every public indoor place will always be frigid. Most of your friend’s houses will be as well. I take a sweater with me almost everywhere that I go, and if I forget to I regret it. 3.Outside of weather emergencies, weathermen are superfluous. In the rainy season, which is most of the time, there is an eighty percent chance of rain, every single day. The weather man has no idea what time it will rain, how hard, or for how long, and there is no way for him to predict it. You just have to go out there with your fingers cr…

Christmas in Florida

Christmas in Florida
December tenth today and I swam my thirty laps in the pool. It’s pretty chilly, but I don’t really feel it after the second lap. I am so grateful that I am able to keep swimming this late into the season. My body responds much better to swimming than it does to running, and I still get a great cardio work out.
This is our seventh or eighth Christmas in Florida now. To be honest, it wasn’t much of an adjustment for me. I have lived in climates where we got tons of snow. I even graduated from high school in Northern Michigan, but I really don’t miss it. I am a worrier, so snow just makes me think of bad roads and car accidents. I think snow is absolutely gorgeous, but I don’t like the cold. I would be perfectly happy if snow stayed on mountains. I would visit it to ski.
I finally convinced my husband for the first time this year that we really did not need a tree. He is partial to real ones, and I have no real love for artificial trees. Not once in all of the years…

Phineas and Ferb...the positive cartoon.

Phineas and Ferb
I wrote a story previously that went into my dislike of Sponge Bob; so to be fair I will go into my love of the cartoon Phineas and Ferb. I had been adverse to it before I watched it, because I believed that it was probably like everything else that is geared towards kids of the same age group. It is not. The cartoon is completely unique, and as all great cartoons, it is equally enjoyable for children and adults.
The first thing that caught my attention was the unbridled creativity, and innocent intelligence that the two main characters possess. The boys can do anything; the sky is the limit. I believe that this is such a wonderful message for children. We, as parents, limit our own children more than we think. When I first took my kids to their 4H Lego Robotics club, I was completely blown away. I had no idea that my kids could put some blocks together, plug them into a computer, program them, and create a moving robot. An example of kids who can accomplish anything…