The fake influence of reality TV

Like baseball and apple pie, reality television has become synonymous with the American way of life.
Shows like Jersey Shore, Kate Plus 8, and Keeping Up With the Kardashians have captivated the hearts and eyes of millions.

However, this shouldn’t be a cause for celebration.
Frankly, I believe many of these shows are lessening the integrity and intelligence of our society.
My reasoning lies in the fact that all too many of them promote and glorify bad behavior.
Just take a look at Jersey Shore.
Here, the entertainment lies in the various drunken brawls and frequent arrests of Snookie, Ronnie, and other cast members.
Another example: Bridezillas.
The show features pampered, self-entitled women who steamroll their families, friends and husbands-to-be on their way to achieving their dream weddings.
I admit that this show has been a guilty pleasure of mine. So, like the average American, I too find some sick fascination with reality television.
It’s like watching a freeway accident. Though you know it’ll cause traffic, you can’t help but slow down to catch a glimpse of the wreckage. The reason why many reality shows suck us in is because they appeal to our basic human
instincts.
This can be harmful if the viewers of these shows decide to idolize or emulate the characters they see. For this reason, others like me are worried.
“Reality television has more negatives than positives,” said freshman Marcus Nuaimi. “The way they [the characters] ‘live’ their lives is unrealistic. Some people that watch these shows take them seriously.”

Nuaimi and other CSUSB students provided me with a list of their choices for worst reality television shows. At the top of the list was Jersey Shore, Bad Girls Club, Teen Mom, and Skins were also mentioned.

Now, unlike the characters in these shows, many of us probably aren’t the trash-talking, bar-fighting, law-breaking sort. Even for those who are, the reasons why probably run deeper than simply watching television.
However, just like a house filled with physical trash will become polluted so will our minds if we fill them with mental trash.
Really, what good will come from watching shows whose characters do nothing except drink, party, and have sex? Notice how the word “character” is repeated in this article.

Another thing to note is that much of reality television isn’t real. Much of it is scripted, at least to some degree.

Of course, the guys and gals on Jersey Shore may already be prone to drunken lawlessness. However, being outrageous 24/7 is a difficult job even for the shadiest of characters.

However, whether or not these shows are depicting reality isn’t the problem. The real issue lies with the lasting impression these shows leave upon our minds.

By depicting the worst of our culture, reality television has become nothing more than a destructive force in society. An unneeded force that we should learn to do without.

Reality TV Cartoon

Cagle Cartoons | Special to the Chronicle

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