16 May 2004
Too young for TV - not!
Woman's Hour takes on the debate about the impact TV and new media usage has on the development of language and social skills.
In the programme Ragdoll founder and creative director Anne Wood draws a nice distinction between functional and creative literacy but most of all I was intrigued by her explanation of the controversy surrounding Teletubbies when it first launched:
"The fact that children can have a conversation with the screen that an adult may not understand frightens a lot of people... [With Teletubbies] there was no adult mediating the conversation the programme was having with the child."
(See also my earlier post, Too young for TV.)
I must say, in defence of the panic around the Teletubbies, that the idea of a home with a friendly vacuum cleaner (the Noo-noo) to clean up after you is frankly shocking, and no doubt responsible for the development and adoption of the Roomba ;-)
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Too young for TV - not!:
Hmmmm, investigating this theory further I found a discussion with 152 posts about vacuum fear in infants. Scroll to the bottom of the page for this Roomba plug: "The roomba, its quiet and it vaccuums for you! Its a cute robot vacuum. I think the site is http://roomba.com"
OK, enough nonsense from me now.
Posted by: Foe at 16 May 2004 13:45:10
How wonderful it is that a tv programme can talk with children with "no adult mediating the conversation". How absolutely wonderful that is.
Just the television and the childen.
No adults at all.
Except of course the invisible, culturally transparent, and absolutely unaccountable writers and directors and producers and actors.
You make it sound like the little tubbie presences are real aliens, instead of masks worn by adult men and women, who have agendae and biases and specific moralities of their own.
In the context of an already-accepted mediated reality there is something preciously silly about parents who don't want their kids talking to Teletubbies while Wolf Blitzer talks to them like a more knowledgeable friend discussing current events at dinner. But that's really my point. CNN and the Teletubbies both come from the same group mind; a group mind that pretends it doesn't exist, and seems to have convinced most everyone else to believe it too. Even as it dominates the increasingly artificial world our real children grow up in.
Posted by: Lance Boyle at 12 Jun 2004 20:38:00