When reality television first started becoming a big part of the regular programming and taking over our media, I wasn’t very interested in it. I never really considered it “reality.” I see similar themes in almost all the shows aired today; money, partying, sex, fighting, and nothing but drama.
These shows don’t really provide me any interesting “outlook” on life or a sense of appreciation for how the other half lives. Even the shows that are supposed to be aimed at the inside world of different people such as women who are married to basketball players or the wives of mob related husbands and families, have the same themes. Rich stuck up women who do nothing but argue and bring each other down who spend their time shopping, drinking, and spending money. The more “reality” shows I watch the more I am amazed that this kind of “entertainment” is beginning to take over television programming.
They give nothing of any real value to their viewers. They are seemingly glorifying behaviors that a I hope a majority of people realize is not real life and not how we should as a society function. Then they take these participants in the shows and with the help of us, the public, make these people famous! These people become some sort of icon to the public, someone to stand behind, to get on social media and declare our love for them, defend them on their feeds, and some look up to these “stars” as a role model.
One show in particular that I think is harming our young viewers is “16 and Pregnant”, and “Teen Mom”. If I’m correct, I believe this show’s intent was was to be a documentary series where watch the journey of several young teenage girls who find themselves pregnant and embarking on motherhood. It was supposed to be educational and show it’s young viewers the struggles of teen pregnancy. It was supposed to show girls that is a very serious matter, its hard, its emotional, it could happen to anyone, and it is very challenging. It was supposed to get them thinking and to use good judgement when it came to safe sex. What I know see in turn is these girls becoming FAMOUS. They’re all over television, magazines, newspapers, and are household names. I then see that this second installment they call Teen Mom is way to keep these girls on television as long as possible. Its now what we call a “reality” show. We are following these girls who have ultimately become famous for their mistakes, and are continuing to make more and more mistakes which are being aired for all the young world to see. How many teenage girls are at home right now thinking, “if I get pregnant I can just go on T.V and get rich and famous.” Might seem a little extreme, but unfortunately their are a lot of uneducated young people in society right now.
I worry what damage these shows will have on society in the future. What will happen to our younger generation today, who is growing up in this era of social media, gluttony, and fame. This is the stuff they are being born into and being exposed to from day one. What happens as they get older? Are the values and messages expressed in these shows going to have an impact on people as a whole?
Unfortunately I believe these shows and what they represent send a message to people on how they should behave so they too can get on a show, get rich, and get famous for really doing nothing. This instant gratification lifestyle, I can only assume, will negatively impact the world we once knew.