Most of us have watched dumb TV and have probably joked about how what we watched actually is making us dumber. Well, turns out that not a joke! Norwegian researchers studied the IQ of people over a decade based on their TV viewing habits. Those who most commonly watched cable TV over the course of a decade lost an average of 1.8 IQ points. Not only that, but those who primarily watched cable TV shows, showed less civic and charitable engagement, including becoming less likely vote.
Now, in the age of streaming TV, binge-watching, etc., one has to wonder what the collective effect might be on society. If you’ve wondered if we’re becoming dumber as a country, the old joke about the dumbing down of Americans, it's probably real. I know it’s not the PC thing to say but frankly, the term binge-watching just sounds like the absence of constructive thought. Ironically, I’ve never watched less TV in my life, cable or not. In fact, I don’t even keep it on in the background as I used to when I work on show content and research. Maybe it was an internal mechanism seeking to protect myself from the apparent intellectual decay.
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