Editorial: Reality TV is Not True Reality

Caroline Glus, Reporter

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Reality television is attributing to cosmetic surgery procedures, according to Medical Procedure News, with more than 9.2 million procedures performed as a result of people watching these “reality” TV shows. Society’s ideas of what is attractive have been deeply influenced by these shows. Teenagers who view these shows see the celebrities in them as role models. Looking up to public figures such as these cause a false sense of reality and create unrealistic self expectations, which teenagers often place upon themselves. 

The messages that pop culture sends to younger generations about success and failure as communicated through the unreality of “reality” TV are particularly destructive. Success is defined by the false reality these TV shows promote. Wealth and fame are believed to be the key to happiness and success when in reality there are many other ways to achieve happiness in life.

TV channels such as Discovery have steered away from their original, realistic content. History channels have started to talk more about aliens and science fiction rather than proven historical content. Although channels such as Discovery aren’t truly reality TV, they still exhibit similar traits. 

Reality TV is also detrimental to romantic relationships. Shows such as The Bachelor or Are You the One promote unhealthy and untrue ideals that you must compete among others to find happiness in a romantic relationship. When did finding love turn into a competition? When did it turn into artificial feelings and unrealistic expectations? These shows, although entertaining to watch, are not worth the manipulation and distortion of relationships. 

Television companies and producers are only interested in the amount of views they get, not the validity of their content. Their main concern is keeping viewers intrigued so they keep watching the show, spreading popularity and pulling more viewers in. If there is someone of interest or someone who creates drama on the show, producers do occasionally step in and say, Reader’s Digest states, “this person is really good for the show; I don’t want him kicked off just yet.” This compromises the integrity of the show.  

Shows that promote these unhealthy morals are edited, pieced together, and exaggerated with the intention of increasing their amount of views. Promoting these morals creates a society of people who believe that it doesn’t matter what you need to change about yourself as long as people will like you for it. 

The reality in these shows are the reality their producers want you to see. The reality that makes the show interesting. Television shows that claim to be the true version of a person’s life, yet piece clips together, are nothing but a lie. A concise version of the lives they are truly living. 

Click here to contact the Discovery Channel, so true historical content can overcome the false sense of reality.