Why is reality television so popular, and how has it impacted the viewing public?

Posted: August 7th, 2013





Popularity of Reality Television and its Impact on Viewers

The increasing numbers of reality shows on American television are evidence of their popularity among American viewers. There are many different types of reality shows on American television, each of them dealing with different things. Some shows are dedicated to cooking, while others are interested in family life. Some of the reality shows deal with fashion, while others are concerned with music and dance. Other categories of reality shows include adventure, travel, teen pregnancy, and drug and substance addiction among others. The wide variety of reality shows make it appealing to a wide audience and this increases the numbers of viewers who watch the shows. Most of the shows are for entertainment purposes only. This is especially the case with shows dealing with music and dance. Other shows provide training and opportunities for people in different professions, such as cooking, business, and fashion shows. Some of the shows do not seem to have any purpose, but they still manage to find an audience.

Most of the reality shows interest people because of all the drama involved. The cast usually finds ways of interesting and engaging the audience, even in the most unlikely of situations. For instance, someone would expect a cooking show to be just about the culinary skills of the people involved. However, such shows are filled with arguments, shouting, and conflict, which are meant to interest the viewers. Most people are attracted to reality television because it involves ordinary people. The people on these shows do not have to be perfect, and neither do they depend on a script and rehearsed lines. The viewers see as they make mistakes, and they identify with them. The viewers can relate to the situations that most of the cast goes through, and this interests the people more. Other viewers watch the shows because they make them feel superior. They feel good about the cast imperfections, lack of morality, unintelligence, and lack of creativity that the cast portray. This makes people feel good about themselves.

Reality television fills people with possibilities. When the viewers see ordinary people on television, they are filled with the hope that they too, can become famous. Before reality television, television was a preserve for the few. It was for those who were skilled in acting, or had positive physical attributes that made them appealing. Reality television enables people to dream and to fantasize on the possibility of becoming famous, and perhaps gaining some fortune. The coming of reality television revolutionized the television industry, since it meant that any person, whether or not the person is beautiful or skilled in acting, could appear on television. Many of the shows portray the case in an unfavorable way, and this interests the audience.

Reality television is a reflection of American society. Some shows are of a competitive nature. They usually include a cash reward for the person who wins at the end of the show. Such shows tend to interest people who are competitive in nature. The participants will do everything they can, including cheating, backstabbing, and forming temporary alliances to ensure that they win. Other shows reflect the morality levels, or decadence within the society. Reality shows reflect the competitive nature and vengeful spirit within people. They reflect the society’s level of morality and the people’s desire for ambition and glory. In some cases, they represent the arrogance and need for recognition among people.

Television has a big influence on the viewer. The more people watch television, the more they are compelled to act and live the way they see the characters on television do. They are compelled to behave, talk, and even dress like them. Television can influence people’s perception about their world. It leads the viewers to treat others the way they see the characters on television do. Children are especially vulnerable audience because they lack the maturity to understand what to imitate, and what to ignore from television. Adolescents and young adults are also vulnerable groups because they tend to be influenced more by peer pressure. They idolize people quickly, and this can determine their character and personality later in life.

One of the differences between reality shows and scripted television shows is that the latter has sections where they show the consequences of taking a particular action. For instance, most scripted television shows show the lessons that the characters have learnt because of the actions they took and the decisions they made. They learn that crime does not pay, and one will always be punished in the end. They learn that bitterness and vengeance does not benefit a person, and that person ends up living a miserable life. The shows display how the person who perseveres until the end, and who plays the game fairly ends up winning. Reality television denies the participants and the audience the possibility of learning.

It denies them the chance to see the consequence of their actions. Since most of the shows are aired as they happen, the participants have no chance to rectify their mistakes or learn from their failures. They have no time to reflect or think about what they have done. They move on to the next scene, and some of them never come to realize the mess they have done. Reality television has made people portray their private lives more publicly. People are no longer conscious of the things they portray to the public. In come cases, children no longer consider it strange to shout at their parents and disrespect them, because that is what reality television has taught them. Parents no longer consider it a big deal to display their problems in front of their children, or in front of other people. They have seen worse situations on reality television, and they think that they can live in such a world. When the reality of the situation hits people, it becomes hard for them to take it in and deal with it, and some end up having depression and other psychological problems.

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