Is Reality TV Detrimental to Society?

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Reality TV has unseen effects and is detrimental to society. Reality TV is the current trend on TV that has brought back the buzz to television, but it also has unforeseen effects on its viewers. Some examples of Reality TV shows include: American Idol, The Bachelorette, Americas next top model, fear factor, etc… These shows range from singing talents, overcome their fears, to looks and beauty. Reality TV brings drama and voyeurism to its viewers by making its viewers too involved, taking them away from more important matters, and by wasting valuable resources on pointless entertainment.

It has been said that the viewers that watch these shows on a regular basis tend to be psychologically effected by the shows by becoming obsessive, overly opinioned, and take things personally. Some Reality TV shows have taken the initiative to put voting features on their show and in doing so allowed its viewers to play a little roll in how the show will be carried out. Although this is an effective way to get the audience more attracted to the show, it also allows viewers to cast out someone they do not like and get a since of revenge or play favoritism towards a certain character in the show.

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Elizabeth Larkin argues In “Reality TV: Should We Really Watch” how Reality TV is detrimental. She Explains how Reality TV uses humiliation as entertainment by using “Schandenfreude, a German word used to describe peoples delight and entertainment at the failings and problems of others. ” Larkin also states that Reality TV isn’t as real as it is put out to be, by having set characters (Drama Queen, Muscle Head, Small Town Girl etc…) She argues that reality TV shows are as true as they seem.

Larkin concludes her statement by telling us about the increased lawsuits against reality TV shows by people who have been emotionally scarred, and she wonders where the moral responsibility is? Reality TV can bring families together, but it does not strengthen the relationships of its members. Now days you can picture a family spending time around a favorite show, but they are making no progress in bonding the family. Some shows like American Idol or Top Chef, have been known to push the concentration away from other addressing issues, family being one, but there are plenty of better ways to bring a family together.

Viewers could be participating in a family activities. Viewers could also be addressing their health by exercising or eating right. They could socialize with friends or study to open the door for new opportunities. Needless to say there are many more beneficial progressions to do than to sit and waste hours on a Reality TV show. Financially, Reality TV makes the majority of the money that goes into television. From relocating a group of people, to stage props, air time and grand prizes, Investors spend a large sum of money that could be going to a better cause.

Often on these shows you will see money spent for a useless cause; “Pranked” being a example, where producers spend money to set up artificial pranks on celebrities. It doesn’t serve any beneficial purpose other than to get a small laugh out of the prank. The producers of these shows could be donating the money to help the ones less fortunate than us. They could also invest their money into a Reality TV show that helps people overcome their challenges.

An example of a Reality TV show that is beneficial would be “Biggest Loser. ” The producers of that show have invested their money into the sole purpose of making obese people healthier. Not only does this show help its contestants lose weight but it also helps its viewer get out and be healthier. “Biggest Looser,” kills two birds with one stone and helps move to a greater cause at the same time. Unfortunately most Reality TV shows will leave their garbage behind for someone else to pick up.

There is an increasing rate of lawsuits against these shows that have left emotional scars on the participants. People who have been cast out of certain Show have to be rehabilitated after being in the show. One woman, Paula Goodspeed, committed suicide, after being rejected from American Idol. The judges Simon, Paula, and Jerry didn’t agree that the girl’s singing skill were good enough for the show; therefore after criticizing her Paula went and ended her life near one of the judge’s homes.

Some people disagree with Reality TV being detrimental. In “The Case for Reality TV” Michael Hirschorn argues why Reality TV is beneficial to society. He begins by saying more people had watched American Idol, the previous week than the state of the union address on the broad cast networks combined. Hirschorn states that Reality TV is the liveliest genre on the set right now and has addressed a visceral need for a different kind of television at a time when the Web has made more traditionally produced video seem as stagey as Moliere.

That Reality TV shows can leave behind the story structure and pacing of scripted television and also filter out the canned plots and characters. He also argues that Reality TV can place real people in artificial surrounding designed for maximum emotional impact, and at the same time bring the buzz back to television. He closed his argument by stating “The resistance to Reality TV ultimately comes down to snobbery, usually of the generational variety.

People under 30, in my experience, tend to embrace this programming: there happy to be entertained, never mind the purity of conception. ” In conclusion many do not see the negative image Reality TV puts into society. People do not have to completely stray away from these shows, but it is not recommended to revolve your free time around them. Reality TV may be the hit on the television but can be detrimental to society due to its effects on its viewers, some being obsessive, taking time away from important matters, or simply wasting money.

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Is Reality TV Detrimental to Society?. (2017, Mar 04). Retrieved from

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