The Effects of reality TV in today’s society

Reality TV shows are entertaining to watch but in what ways does it affect us in our everyday lives? Could reality tv have a negative impact on society? (Photo courtesy of Samiyah Hargrove)

Why are people so interested in reality tv? What keeps people so interested in the lives of actors, artists, doctors, chefs, dancers, basketball players, etc.? Watching reality tv gives people an alternate universe to temporarily escape to. Reality television allows you to live through other people. The reason people watch reality TV is so they can escape into someone else’s life, deflecting from their own. It’s the feeling of enjoyment people get from seeing other peoples problems that makes reality tv so intriguing. It makes regular people feel better about themselves. “Seeing someone struggling more than you, will most likely make you feel better about yourself, if you really think about it, it relieves stress because you’re thinking about how your life isn’t as hectic as the person who is on tv” said Samantha Hargrove, reality TV enthusiast. 

“My favorite reality tv show is Braxton Family Values and my fav character is the youngest sister because she’s a drama queen, she’s the most successful out of all of her sisters, and she makes a lot of trendy facial expressions that are funny,” said Nyla Ross,Leesville Road HS sophomore. Reality tv shows are solely based on the cast members with their larger than life personalities. 

Reality tv producers target all types of audiences. The wide variety of reality show themes allows a broader audience. There isn’t one certain thing that is constantly focused on with reality tv shows. This is why almost anyone could say they like reality tv because everyone has certain interests that have been documented on a show in some way, shape, or form. 

Is reality tv even reality? Mike Fleiss, creator of “The Bachelor” said that “70 to 80 percent of reality TV is scripted” in an interview at the Banff World Media Festival. 

So, what is the purpose of having reality shows that are fake? Participants on shows like “The Bachelor” and “Joe Millionaire“  have claimed that their actions and words were taken out of context in misleading ways. In the show “Love and Hip Hop”, tv star Lil Scrappy said that before one of his physical encounters with another cast member the producers gave him drinks, trying to get him drunk before he went to go see the person he went to see. Producers have a lot of control over what gets aired, and what happens on the show. Most producers use an editing system called frankenbiting. Frankenbiting is taking the most relevant parts of a long story and putting them together in the form of a confession or argument. It could be imagined how this is bad, it is probably the cause for most of reality tv’s compelling drama. 

Most shows such as “Love and Hip Hop” have series that can be aired seasonally. Once each season ends a new one begins right after with a different cast from a different state. This means that it is on all the time. You could watch the show every single day if you wanted to. It is important to find how watching television 24/7 affects people mentally. You can have too much of anything but, watching too much television can lead to a much shorter attention span from overcompensation of the brain. This can affect people in all aspects of life such as work settings and school. When we see certain things in the media it automatically goes to the top of our brains, we remember these things and the more we see it the closer we get to doing it ourselves. The media has a large influence on most people’s thoughts and opinions. It makes people very open to doing new things they have never done before, good or bad.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.