Essay On Mass Culture

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In today’s society, people often look at mass culture in inquisitive, often condescending and disdainful ways. Activities such as playing videogames and watching TV are severely frowned upon, to the point where, as it is presented in popular mass media, they are considered wholly damaging. In Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter, Steven Johnson makes an attempt at changing this way of thinking by presenting the subject of mass culture from a different perspective. In his book, Johnson talks about the Sleeper Curve and how people are mistaking the effects of mass culture activities as being completely negative. He states that these activities are, in fact, far more beneficial than popular…show more content…
[...] the culture is getting more intellectually demanding, not less.” (Paragraph 17) “I believe that the Sleeper Curve is the single most important new force altering the mental development of young people today, and I believe it is largely a force for good: enhancing our cognitive faculties, not dumbing them down.” (Paragraph 23) From my point of view, Johnson is making a very good observation. Popular mass media has indeed put TV shows and video games under negative light. This has spread from person to person, eventually reaching the point were any amount time spent on these activities is considered wasted at best, if not damaging to the person involved in them. The increase in the complexity of popular culture witnessed throughout the previous decades stands as proof to the fact that popular culture does not dumb down the people who choose to involve themselves with it. “Despite claims to the contrary, popular culture has grown increasingly complex over the past thirty years. Complexity, in this case, is defined as the amount of cognitive work the audience is asked to perform in order to comprehend the work in question. This growing complexity is easiest to see in videogames, but is also occurring in
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