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Cartoons not a necessity for quality childhood

By Savannah Christian
On October 20, 2011

Did you know that apparently in order to have a "good" childhood it is necessary to watch cartoons?  I suppose that is probably a common thought, but it is one I do not follow.  I always knew it was "different" that I did not like cartoons as a child, but I had never been told it was actually bad – until yesterday.

It has never affected me in any way, good or bad, that I didn't watch the "Rugrats" or "Ninja Turtles" at any point in my life.  But, when my fellow staff members at The East Texan heard about this earlier in the week, they were astonished and appalled at my lack of cartoon knowledge.  I tried to explain to them the reasons for this absence of knowledge, but they were way too busy freaking out to listen. 

I do not feel as though I missed out on my childhood or lost knowledge because I chose not to watch cartoons or children's television networks when I was young. To be honest, I just thought they were stupid.  I don't mean that to be snooty or rude; that was simply what I thought.

It was not as if I never watched a single children's show in my childhood years.  I liked Barney and Mr. Rogers and a few of those somewhat educational shows.  However, Cinderella and her fellow princesses and creatures like Winnie the Pooh with all of their cuteness had no appeal to me.  I had a strong dislike for anything girly as a child, which directly ruled out all Disney movies except for "Beauty and the Beast" and "Toy Story."

The truth is I didn't spend much time in front of the television at all. If I was watching shows, it was likely something stimulating that I could learn from.  My mom will tell you that I started watching the Spanish channel on our television at a very young age.  I was fascinated by the language and would stare at the screen in awe as I tried to figure out what the actors were saying.  I was a nerd.  What am I saying?  I AM a nerd. 

So, aside from a select few shows, I was either rolling around in some dirt, playing anything involving a ball, writing stories or teaching class to my imaginary students.  I was extremely active as a child and didn't really find watching television to be fun. My favorite times to watch shows were when my sister would be watching one of her teenager shows like "Dawson's Creek" or "Saved by the Bell." She is seven years older than me and has always been my biggest role model.  I looked up to her in everything I did as a child and wanted to be just like her.  As a result, I grew up a little quicker than most as I tried to be seven years older than I was.

Despite my lack of cartoon history, I have turned out to be quite normal, whatever "normal" is.  I make good grades, I hold down jobs and I can take care of myself quite well.  I wouldn't say there are any major character deficiencies in me, and if there are, they most certainly did not root from cartoon absence.

So, for all of you readers out there who didn't watch "kid shows" when you were a kid or who have a child who maybe doesn't like to watch them, I assure you, it will not because of a flaw in your character nor will it ruin your child's future. And if there is something wrong with you or your child's future, I am fairly certain it is not from a lack of cartoon watching.

 In my opinion, the youth of society is actually far too consumed with the internet, video games, smart phones and shows. It would do those kids some good to go play outdoors or do something different for a change.

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