The Dora-fication of kids?
For anyone who has had young children in the last decade, you are likely familiar with “Dora the Explorer.” According to wikipedia:
“In every episode, Dora goes on an exploring trip to find something or help somebody. Dora always asks the viewers at home to help her find new ways to get to the places with the help of Map.”
It’s been parodied on Saturday Night Live because Dora doesn’t so much “ask for help” as narrate her every thought and order the audience to stand up or clap or whatever. But Dora’s dictatorial nature isn’t the point to this post. Its the constant narration.
This weekend, my daughter was helping me rake the leaves. To make it fun we had a contest to see who could make the biggest leaf pile. At first, I thought she was trash talking (which was funny from a 6 year old). But then it hit me. She wasn’t trash talking… she was narrating every step before she did it. Just like Dora.
I wonder if the Dora format, which has been copied by many other programs and is intended to make the show more interactive, has actually conditioned our kids to think (and talk) in that way. And, if so, is that a bad thing? Or does it just drive me nuts?