Reality Gone Wild by Evan Young

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Are you sick of seeing the same repetitive themes of reality shows? I know I am whether it’s American Idol, Jersey Shore, Bad Girls Club, Survivor, or Basketball Wives, the list goes on forever. They are all over publicized and straying America away from what is really important in the world. More people can name all three judges on American Idol than a senator or another elected official, which I find a mockery of our priorities in this country. If we wanted to watch “Average Joes” why wouldn’t we film ourselves and our friends?  Much of the news and talk on social media are about these shows that should not be given the time of day.  Often times these reality shows portray people in the most unrealistic and stereotypical manner.  A lot of the time on these shows is spent on physically and verbally fighting with people usually over senseless things.  For example, on Jersey Shore Season 4, when Mike “The Situation” gets into a fight with Ronnie in Italy over Ronnie and Sam arguing over stupidity.  Punches were thrown and out of mental anguish, or probably because it was scripted, Mike jumped into the wall head first and ended up with a concussion.  Pointless television like this is doing a disservice to our youth by subjecting them to these kinds of behaviors on TV.  Younger people emulate what they see on TV and schools are increasingly having problems controlling behavior and bullying has spiraled out of control.  We can’t directly correlate watching of reality shows with an increase of violence and bullying, but we definitely can’t dismiss it as a factor.  We’ve all seen cases where a younger person acts out their favorite television character, so TV is a relevant stimulus to our thoughts and behaviors. Although, not all reality TV is detrimental to society some of it provides uplifting messages, such as shows like ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition, which renovates homes for people who are experiencing hard times and gives them renewed hope for the future.  These types of reality shows expose viewers to empathy and compassion that may be able to create better schema and morals in the world.

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