Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?


Reality TV… friend or foe?

Being part of society today can sometimes make you feel like you’re watching a video game and everyone is being controlled virtually by social media or reality television – sometimes these two go hand in hand. I have already written about (and vented) social media and what impact it has had on people in the last 10 years or so, but another pet hate of mine is Reality TV.

reality tv
There are so many reality shows in circulation. Making it easy for viewers to become addicted.

Reality TV is “essentially unscripted programming that doesn’t employ actors and focuses on footage of real events or situations. Reality shows also often use a host to run the show or a narrator to tell the story or set the stage of events that are about to unfold”.[1] There are so many reality shows in circulation in the UK alone (my guess is around 150) so it’s no wonder we have become a nation obsessed with basically watching other people do exactly what we’re doing, or what we want to do. Reality TV sets the younger generation (not that I’m old) unattainable goals and unrealistic standards of living, particularly at a young age. The shows that are the most popular now are Geordie Shore, Made in Chelsea, The Only Way is Essex and Keeping Up with The Kardashians.

It is absolutely scandalous, in my opinion, that so many people enjoy watching trash like the latter program. These people have no talent whatsoever, yet they are multi-millionaires and it’s as if they get paid for breathing, yet I can barely afford one holiday a year! Such an injustice. The youth of today have such unrealistic goals for the future and think they are hard done by when in reality they have never had it easier. Many girls want to

Is this someone to look up to?

be and live like Kim Kardashian – someone who became famous through a sex tape! Is this really what we want our future generations aspiring to be?! I bet the answer is no, so stop buying 15 year olds bloody Mac make up, low cut dresses and push up bras!!!

It’s hard to put a tag on target audiences for Reality TV shows as there is a wide range of them such as talk shows, game shows, home improvement shows, talent shows and the infamous soap opera style shows which have increased hugely in popularity in the last ten years. When I was 14/15 the ultimate show to watch was Big Brother, now they just have Z list celebrities on there who no one has ever heard of and the contestants will do anything to make a comeback or to become a household name. It is just disgraceful what people do for 15 minutes of fame.

Reality TV is aimed at anyone who loves a bit of trashy TV, unfortunately a lot of children have access to these shows now as parents are more lenient with boundaries at bedtime, they have social media accounts and most children aged 10 or over have their own tablets. Many of these programs are about sex and then making a living from either having sex with someone famous or even worse, having sex on TV. It’s just teaching children and teenagers to be lazy and not to go out and earn anything for themselves.

I find that Reality shows are ironically named as most of them are staged for the benefit of the viewers. However, even though many viewers recognize this, they still become enthralled in the storylines and the stars and end up following them on social media to delve deeper into their lives. Many aspire to look like them by copying their style, looks and how they live their lives. This is unhealthy as their perception of reality becomes warped and life seems boring and mundane

reality-tv 2
We are a nation of TV addicts.

leaving people feeling unfulfilled and on a constant search for happiness. This is a problem for young, influential girls in particular as they will grow up believing these lifestyles are something to aim for and being educated and having real interests other than make-up and hair become unimportant. I realise that when you are growing up you only want to fit in, but the older you, you realise finding yourself and following your heart are the most important things you can do. Reading and travelling are the two things that open the mind and broaden your horizons. I pray these young girls realise this before they are completely sucked into a reality programmed world and completely lose who they truly are.

A few weeks ago I went to Amsterdam and whilst there, I went to a Body Works Expo[2] and there was a section there completely dedicated to happiness and our never ending search to finding it. There was a plaque on the wall stating that 40% of our entire DNAhappiness is down to the activities we part-take and contributes nearly as much as our genes. Unless many people realise that our happiness is down to doing what makes us happy, but not through living someone else’s life, there is no hope for that person ever feeling truly happy. We have to follow our hearts and realise what we watch on TV is just for entertainment and that it is not a true life goal. They will forever be in a cycle of misery and being unfulfilled.



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