The Dumbing Down of America

A new reality show premiered on FYI last night.  It is yet another step toward the collapse of civilization as we know it.

Married at First Sight pairs up several couples, people who are complete strangers, and marries them without any courtship whatsoever.  Literally, the participants meet their spouses for the first time at the altar.  Then a camera crew follows them around for five weeks to see how the relationship develops.  At the end of that period, the couple either decides to stay married or get divorced.

When I think of some of the bizarre reality show concepts that have made it to the airwaves in recent years, I’m reminded of the apostle Paul’s reference to people who “invent new ways of sinning.” (Romans 1:30)  The whole point seems to be to come up with as perverted an idea as possible.  The more irreverent and nontraditional, the better.

What strikes me is the low opinion the creators of these shows have of the intelligence of the American people.  We’ve been hearing about the dumbing down of our culture for years.  At this point it’s no longer a theory.  For example, we have television shows like Married at First Sight that garner millions of viewers, but at the same time:

• One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.

• 42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.

• 80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.

• 70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.*

I’ve never been a television basher.  I’m not one of those people who says you can’t be a real Christian if you like television.  In fact, I am convinced that if Jack Bauer was president, we could finally get this country straightened out.

At the same time, what you do with television in your home will help determine whether you and your family will be dumbed down.

Let me suggest that you not watch (or let your kids watch) shows that play to the lowest common denominator in humanity…shows that are written and produced for, yes, I’ll say it…dumb people.  You might think they’re harmless and amusing, but are they really the best use of your time and, more importantly, your brain?

I had a business owner tell me not long ago that he has a hard time finding sharp people to hire.  He said young people nowadays come slouching into his workplace with baggy pants that are falling down, baseball caps on backward, and tattoos all up and down their arms.  But they can’t sit up straight in a chair or write a coherent sentence or carry on a professional-level conversation.

You can’t keep America from being dumbed down, but you can keep yourself and your family members from turning into mental vegetables.  Turn off Married at First Sight and pick up a book.

*Mental Floss article 27590 by Ransom Riggs



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10 Responses to The Dumbing Down of America

  1. Bob Tremblay says:

    So true Mark..If people had the intelligence of a gnat,we wouldn’t have the politicians in office that we have now.
    This country is getting dumb & dumberer (to quote a movie title),and moving away from God.
    We are going the way of the Roman empire..

  2. Robert Malkemes says:

    Mark- I have to respond to this!! Chris and I actually watched this last night- yes, that is my monthly confessional…but at least it is to a Pastor! At some point in the show I turned to Chris and said something like….” And we’re watching this because?”
    She mumbled something about are these people for real?? But we didn’t turn it off- it was like they sucked us into this whirlpool of absurd- and we made no effort to get out- but when I went to bed I had already forgotten it-
    Your right- we could have done something so much better with our time… I have no idea how we even got into this channel!!! Anyway- smiled at your comments- agreed with all of them. Would write more, but Am reading a good book right now– Bob

  3. Rosan says:

    I only saw the advertisement and I was already not amused, or even the least bit interested. Yes, we are a country, a people going down hill on a daily basis. May God help us. You are spot on regarding the younger folks walking into a place of business, their dress mode and their whole demenor just turn your stomach. Thanks Mark.

  4. Jason Raines says:

    You are so right! Last night I was channel surfing and saw an advert for a show called “Naked Dating” or something to that effect. They had to blur the pictures on the promotional teaser. One can guess the IQ level of the audience they are shooting for with that one.

    As an avid reader, I appreciate the statistics you list. However, the one about not setting foot in a bookstore may be misleading. Many people are turning to ebooks and online purchasing (myself included). In fact, my small town does not have a store dedicated to books any more, although we do sport a library, and have book sections in some big box retailers. Area thrift stores also have used book sections.

    • Mark says:

      Thanks, Jason. I agree with you about that one stat. It might be a little off. On the other hand, I think a lot of people who buy ebooks still also go to bookstores. Like myself, for example. I buy both, but sometimes I go to a bookstore to see what’s out and then go buy it on my iPad to save money.

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  6. aloma2day says:

    Awesome! You hit it the nail right on the head! I, for one, will never watch those types of reality shows for the very reason you mentioned. I’m NOT DUMB and I don’t want to be subjected to those who are. It sickens me at times to see the types of “so-called reality” shows. Reality is far from what is happening but that’s a whole other subject. Thank-you for your insightful comments on a growing problem in our nation.

  7. Dave Robinson says:

    Anything that cheapens marriage serves no one. Although I have not been a perfect husband, I took an oath on the alter before God. People who consider this sort of thing entertaining are just plain twisted. And no, I won’t watch it even once.

    Thanks for your Ministry!

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