Losing touch with reality

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Reality television, for many, serves as personal outlet to escape our own reality and enter another’s. Don’t lie to yourself, with the plethora of reality shows available, I’m sure that everyone has a favorite. In this day and age, too much focus is put into this popular form of entertainment and too many people are in love with these frivolous shows and putting our priorities into disarray.

Think about it for a second. What do most of these reality shows comprise of? Either the “everyday” life of someone, a lonely straggler searching for their significant other, or a contestant partaking in some odd or bizarre task in order to win thousands, possibly millions of dollars. These shows consist of normal people like you and I. However, once the camera goes on, they act idiotic and mindlessly for a couple of episodes in order to receive their 15 minutes of fame.

Ironically, most of these shows don’t even seem like reality shows immediately. A lot of them appear as though they are using actors. Nonetheless, these shows are distracting our minds from what we should really be watching over: actual reality! As people, we are coherently nosey when it comes to others and their personal lives. Easily amused, we therefore love seeing people out of their personal confinements, displayed to us like monkeys in a zoo.

We admire other people’s lives and are curious see to see what they go through. But with numerous other outlets such as books, music, movies–forms of entertainment that can take us anywhere our imagination can go–we’d rather revert to these trashy shows that emphasize that it’s perfectly acceptable to act like an imbecile, as long as you look cool doing it. At times, I feel as though most fiction books bring me closer to reality than most television shows will ever achieve.

Once you’re on a reality show, your standards have already changed and you have quickly decreased the amount of respect that you have for yourself. When we heard of President Bush’s wire-tapping scandal, we felt as though he was invading our privacy. However, it’s the norm for what goes on during the Real World, a show that groups seven strangers into one house and shows the audience clips of how they react with one another. By listening in on their personal phone conversations and watching them have sex through night vision, aren’t we the one’s who are invading their privacy? We call women who choose money over men “gold-diggers,” yet they’re making the right choice if they were on “For Love or Money,” a show in which a woman can choose to either marry a man she’s been on numerous dates with, or ditch him and take the wads of cash. We call people who masticate upon pig intestines soaked in marinara sauce “sick,” but it’s perfectly acceptable if you’re on the show “Fear Factor,” one in which various contestants must perform “death-defying” stunts and consume grotesque articles of food.

When I was young, I remembered watching reality shows that were not only educational, but were quite entertaining at the same time. But looking at our current stance, I doubt that I can say the same. We’re not sending the right message to the youth of America who already have a tough time as it is growing up in this world. By showing our audience these absurd interactions, we’re telling them that it’s ok to follow them. If I can blame Marilyn Manson as the reason why the Columbine tragedy occurred a few years ago, then why can’t I blame “For Love or Money” as the reason why my girlfriend dumped me late last night?

We are in the middle of a war, facing economic problems, and are on the verge of voting for our very next President of the United States, yet we are astonishingly enamored with which dessert-nicknamed women Flava Flav will choose as his next bride to be.