reality television

To what extent can reality television be dis-empowering for students

September 13, 2018

For the past years, reality television programming has seen uprising levels in the television market with increasing viewers every single day. It has come to believe that whatever play or airs in the shows are reality and thus identifying some of the differences between reality television and reality is different with every adolescent or children. Therefore, to what extent can reality television be disempowering for students?

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It is evident that since the invention of the television, there has been a general interest with the shows that air in the TV. This has brought addiction as every single house globally is tuned to it and cannot live without it. Television has long been used as a source of information for viewers on many related topics such as watching the news or getting information that relates to personal health but moreover, it has been used as a source of entertainment with content ranging from different genres i.e. drama, sitcoms, reality etc.  It is however not possible to understand whether that kind of information communicates a positive message to viewers.

Reality shows are always placed among the highest ranked in terms of the huge success and the amount of ratings they receive from their viewers which has seen many TV critics lambasted for elevating money, fame, and beauty above all other human qualities that do not promote any education other than casual sex, alcohol abuse, and bad language for people to watch. Media literacy education has shown promising results in counteracting the negative impact of some television programming, however, little is done to continue promoting most of these shows.

It is known that humans love the element of surprise and when practiced properly can yield a whole lot of views. It is evident that the reality television universe is becoming a reality and continues to grow a lot in popularity but sadly not in the best way. Reality television has an adverse effect on the behavior of many young children in the society and many youths are easily influenced because they try copying the behaviors portrayed on television by practicing them in real life.  A study conducted at the University of Wisconsin surveyed 145 students based on their consumption of average television to which it concluded that many of the students did believe the behaviors that were being portrayed on television shows and saw them as normal today. In the year 2008, a similar study was conducted, and researchers gathered 34 participants in groups of four to discuss some of the effects that reality television brings to the youth. The response got revealed that many of the students had different perceptions of what was moral or immoral and thus making it difficult to explain about it.

Reality television influences viewers of these programs because they often get deeply involved in any situation that they see. Most of these reality shows are based on topics that do not have any concept or thought. One should, however, note that not all the shows display negative content, but most try and display content which viewers can learn from and apply to their daily lives like learning more about teamwork thus becoming motivated to achieving your goals by chasing your own dream.

Youths who constantly watch reality television become addicted to and it needs to be noted that most of the content is always scripted and thus not true distorting the truth to suit the program makers. Program makers strive to bring excitement to these shows by selecting people who are likely to clash with each other. It is then when they place them in odd situations and give them challenges required to provoke them into behaving oddly.

Filmmakers ensure that they record the incidents of their victims for hundreds of hours from all angles highlighting and showing the most dramatic parts that the audience would be excited about. Selective editing is an approach used by many filmmakers, however, it is known to further manipulate the truth of what happened. One can have different views about whether reality television disempowers students, but the true reality is that they offer a negative opinion over the positives.