Can it be true that a hyperactive talking sponge can influence children in a negative way? The University of Virginia says yes! Studies show that children, fewer than 4 years old, that watch SpongeBob or similar programs rather than educational programs are more prone to misbehavior and lack of attention. Why? If every day you were subjected to a specific type of behavior don’t you think that eventually you might start to imitate it? For example when I was a little girl my parents made me stop watching Rugrats for a while because I began to reflect one of the girls’ spoiled, bratty attitude. Once I was detoxed from this unacceptable conduct I resumed my normal behavior.
A study of 60 kids was taken. The kids were randomly assigned to either watch SpongeBob Squarepants, or the slower paced Caillou, or to draw pictures. After doing the assignments for nine minutes the kids took mental function tests. The kids who watched Spongebob did measurably worse than those who didn’t watch Spongebob. The children who watched SpongeBob picked up on the characters’ high-energy and rule-free lifestyle. Plus, after half an hour of being in unrealistic mind set, don’t you think it’s hard to come back to the real world right away? There are not many things you can control about kids but what they watch on TV is one of them.
-By Ellesse Thompson and Dana Dutton