Saturday, October 08, 2005

Reality TV or Entertainment TV, You Decide

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The truly educated man is that rare individual who can separate reality from illusion. - Author Unknown

Reality TV Shows.

Are they reality or just entertainment? Are they good for society? Do reality shows enhance culture? Are they a waste of time?

Let's clear up one thing first. Look up reality in the dictionary. It says, "Reality is the quality or state of being actual or true."

Now think about the last time you had your picture taken or were video-taped. You knew the cameras were on and you acted just like you always do, didn't you?


You didn't scratch your backside or pick your nose. You smiled. You became someone other than your real self. I know, I know, sometimes you want to scratch more and pick more because you want to be gross or funny.

Bottom line is, you acted as you thought you were supposed to act. Do you still think any situation shown on a reality TV show is authentic? I vote NO!

Now look up entertainment and you'll learn that, "Entertainment is something that amuses, pleases, or diverts."

For most of us, this is why we watch a reality TV show. We get to see people acting like people. We laugh when they do stupid things. We cry with them when something bad happens. We shake our heads when they act like fools. Reality TV diverts our attention from our own lives and the things that happen around us. That can be either good or bad. Sometimes it's okay to escape from the problems, fears, and pressures of life… for a while.

So in that sense, Reality TV is good for society as long as we remember it's just a simulation of reality. A slice of life portrayed by people acting as they are expected to act. Sequences and scenes are selected by producers, directors, and editors to create the reality defined by the show's premise. The actual reality is, it's an entertainment show that is designed to deliver a certain audience to a certain advertiser. You get entertainment – they get potential customers.

Can a reality TV show enhance our culture?

I believe it can. If we watch the characters of the various reality shows closely we can learn more about ourselves and our society. We get to see the entire range of human interactions and emotions. Greed, lust, love, selfishness, courage, fear, and more, it's all there. We can discover the things we value. We get to see people relating to people. We can learn what makes relationships stronger, and what tears people apart.

If we stay more than semi-conscious while we watch a reality TV show we could learn something. We could. Watched with awareness intact, a reality TV show would not be a waste of our time. Remember that.

At the same time, if a reality show or any TV show is used only to escape from your life then it is a waste of time. Stop living in and through someone's contorted and distorted created reality.

So those are my thoughts on the questions asked earlier. Here's one final suggestion I offer to you.

Turn off the TV. Get out there and experience the reality show called "Your Life." You will be amazed at how interesting and entertaining it can be.

Do you want more than just business-as-usual Entertainment TV or Reality TV?

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