The Examination Of Reality Television And Its Effect On People

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From the very beginning of television there has been a dramatic change on the content that is being aired. In the beginning of television most programming considered “explicit” was aired laterat night and shows that did not contain such content were aired at primetime where the family could comfortably watch TV without worrying as much. From my experience I believe that there are talk shows, cartoons, and channels that are supposed to be family oriented that are not suitable for younger audiences to watch, much less children. There is no censor with what is now a big craze that is reality TV, people have no filters on what they do or say on tv to get some airtime. Such reality TV has given people an unrealistic, false reality of what real life situations and expectations are, people of all ages are affected by what they see on television, children are at a very vulnerable age that everything they see and hear has a developmental impact on how they will form into adult hood. People on these reality TV shows don’t realize the impact they have on the young followers who watch their shows, they are flooding the airway with sexuality, violence, and unattainable life styles. I believe we are in a state of decadence when it comes to this new generation and the wave it has brought with the changes on what we are watching on TV.

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Reality television shows are giving people a sense of a false, glamourous lifestyle. They appear on TV showing off their money and prized possessions making people feel that it’s ok to not work and make fast money. They see their favorite reality tv personalities doing it every day, so it has become common and ok to follow these people and look up to them. Making children and young adults feel they can attain those same lifestyles by doing moronic things, and “jokes” to get a few likes, longing to be part of some reality tv show, in the hopes of getting famous and making a lot of money. What most of regular people fail to realize is that they get you by showing you all the glitz and glamour that comes with life in the spotlight so that you as an individual want to follow the most recent trends and go spend your money on what products they endorse with the intention of them making millions off people who follow them. People lose the sense and value of what hard work really is because reality TV makes it seem easy, as in encouraging the masses to get on tv say and do a few tasteless jokes or acts and POW… your famous! If things really were as easy as they make them out to be, I think we would all opt for reality tv careers, but there is much more life and substance to working hard for whatever things you may want to achieve in this life. Most people who participate in reality TV come off ignorant, lacking substance, life goals, and basic human morals. Making them the least suitable models for younger audiences, yet such individuals are often held in high social regard and are even considered celebrities holding influence upon the millions of viewers that follow these brash, distasteful forms of entertainment, the majority of whom are young children and pre-teens. Reality TV can range from real life people in unsafe or foolish situations, celebrities, dating, and the popular teen pregnancy shows. For example, if you look at how much time the average individual spends watching these shows and the time, they spend doing productive things such as spending quality time with family, teaching something productive to someone younger, going out for a walk, reading a book. Most people turn on the TV for their children without supervision with the hopes of entertaining them and keeping them quiet for a while, but fail to realize that by letting them watch tv with no restriction children are vulnerable to have their self-esteem hindered because they cannot perceive the true nature behind what they are watching. Young teens watching teen pregnancy shows with young mothers making it seem like beinga young mother is “cool”. They appear on these shows with their babies well dressed, going on vacation and enjoying things that sadly most pregnant teens can only dream of, making other young teens think that that it is acceptable and empowering to be a teen parent. Yet they fail to truly examine the real cost of being a young parent and of having the very real task of caring for another living being. They have no education, little to no money, and often no place to live because they are young parents with no experience. Most of these teens make money by participating in the show but not all young teen parents are fortunate to be able to make it to these shows and provide accordingly.

Nowadays it has become more apparent than ever that everyone wants to shove their ideas, and ways of life on others. I believe in mutual respect and in the essential freedoms of everyone, but that does not mean that I must accept everything that is being presented to me. People are so infatuated with making othersaccept their ideas that they will go to any lengths to make you believe a distorted reality. By watching reality TV, you as a person are accepting and encouraging the stupidity that people inflict on to themselves and others. People being violent towards one another, jealousy, spite, lies, sex, and drugs are the most prevalent ingredients of reality tv, and the list goes on because there are no boundaries that are being set to what is being aired on these reality tv shows. Being relatively unregulated allows these programmers to flood the airwaves with dozens of these shows seemingly at will, making such programming grow in demand and popularity being shown in nearly every major channel.

I remember when Jersey Shore came out making everyone think that being at the Jersey Shore was the “cool” thing do, being drunk, belligerent, and tacky was a recipe for success for the cast of Jersey Shore proving yet again that ignorance has a magnet effect, yet people are unable to look away. It is as if people are drawn into the lives of these reality stars and the reckless lives they portray. The effects of reality tv have seeped through the ranks from influencing your common man and even many stars and athletes who are also opting to star on reality tv shows.Another example would be the “Kardashians”, a family who built their name by parading their personal lives to the public, having many younger viewers specially girls idolizing them wanting to look, sound, and act like them. It seems like now a day everyone on social media looks like a “Kardashian”, some even following in the steps of these so-called reality TV stars. If you have a young child, I don’t think that watching people who made their family name famous by scandals is a good example for a child or anyone in that matter. The family has pushed their ideas on how people should look, dress and sound like via their reality tv show, and other social media.The power of reality tv does not stop there its influence spreads like a virus going as far as changing the pillars of society itself, making people hollow and superficial by making people believe that looks or a willingness to be humiliated are a viable way of making it in the real world. As well as bombarding them with constant reminders that one can never look or be good enough putting more value into meaningless and mundane things, as well as putting everyone in a constant state of competition. Never satisfying or fulfilling the individual and always wanting to outdo one another, it is this shallow mentality that’s a direct cause of people becoming more selfish and only looking to their own gain. Ignorance has replaced the voice of reason and unnatural behaviors and what’s often considered taboo is now becoming normalized and being praisedas empowering.

In conclusion, the examination of reality TV is important as its effects are felt by people of all walks of life and social standing, it is a growing tumor in our society and it’s only getting worse. Reality TV will not be eliminated, or done for overnight but in the end, it is up to the individual to determine what they see and what they allow to exert influence over them, and most importantly their children. Common sense and a bit of taste are all it takes to not be sucked into the funnel of ignorance. At the end of it all a person is only what they know and project. 

16 August 2021

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