Reality television has been around for decades now. It seems to have started with the Real World on MTV and it just blew up from there.
Today, we have reality shows such as Keeping up with the Kardashians, the recently-cancelled Honey Boo Boo, Duck Dynasty, and tons more.
It doesn’t just stop at celebrity-based reality either.
There are also game show-esque reality shows such as America’s Got Talent, The Voice, and Pawn Stars. There’s no denying that these shows pull millions of people in on a weekly basis.
The ratings are typically phenomenal and there’s an enormous amount of reality shows on the horizon as well. The problem with that isn’t the question of whether the content is questionable. It certainly is.
But the problem is the influence it has on its audience.
Ask a pre-teen what he or she wants to be when they grow up, and you just may hear “a reality star.”
What does that even mean?
Kim Kardashian became famous by publically humiliating herself with a “leaked” sex tape. Paris Hilton became a reality show success by the same means.
Why does it take something so debased to bring national attention to it? It’s similar with most reality shows. You’ve more than likely heard about the controversy surrounding Duck Dynasty with intolerant views on homosexuality.
The show Storage Wars became a success and was shortly determined to be misleading in how storage auctions truly work, and so there was an enormous amount of controversy surrounding that.
Controversy builds reality television, because that’s what its key demographic appears to be drawn to.
Essentially, its what we’re all drawn to. But some of us are more keen to ignore it than others.
Let me be clear: There’s nothing wrong with watching reality television.
If you really enjoy House Hunters, then by all means, enjoy it. There is nothing wrong with that. I do too ( guilty pleasure 🙂 )
The problem only comes with how we find influence in these subjects of so-called reality.
Nobody should idolize the behavior of a Kardashian.
Nobody should watch American Idol and tell themselves, “The only way I’ll ever be a successful artist is if I get on that show.”
There are better idols in the entertainment industry and there are a lot better ways of becoming a famous singer.
Where reality television primarily fails is that it rewards bad behavior with a spotlight.
Viewers see the dreadful attitudes of these men and women who have cameras on them at all times and they assume that this personality type is perfectly reasonable. It could maybe to some extent be related to the selfie trend.
More importantly, these stars are primarily influencing kids and teenagers.
We should not enable bad attitudes and poor life decisions, but we should turn to real men and women who fight everyday to make the world a safer place.
Let’s bring back Cops, which was a reality show that promoted good behavior and upstanding morals.
Maybe then, when you ask a kid what he or she wants to be when they grow up, their answer just might surprise you. In a good way this time.