UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | November 11, 2022

Reality TV presents grim idols for next generation

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Reality television is becoming a real problem for today’s society.

The phrase “reality television” conjures an assortment of images, some positive, some not so positive. 

Unfortunately, reality television has become an integral part of our society, with young adults worshipping the girls in “Teen Mom” and aspiring to be like Snooki.

The participants in reality television can be classified as the stereotypical fame mongers, doing anything and everything for their 15 minutes in the spotlight. They agree to do these staged things that are generally competitive, violent, or highly sexualized.

This promotes nothing good for the future generation. I’ve heard multiple elementary-aged children tell people they want to be just like JWoww or Snooki from “Jersey Shore.” When a generation looks up to people who do practically nothing but fight and do drugs, how can we say reality television is a good thing?

Many people will argue that shows like “Survivor” aren’t a huge deal. Maybe they aren’t. However, shows like these aren’t what dominate every channel in this age. 

The shows that dominate, the ones that everyone talks about, are “Jersey Shore,” “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”and “16 and Pregnant.” While shows like “Cake Boss,” “Say Yes to the Dress” and “Extreme Makeover” exist, these aren’t the shows the younger generation idolizes.

Since 1992’s “Real World,” reality TV has invaded the homes of every person with a television. It has been criticized for its over-the-top dramatics, somewhat scripted events, and negative effects on the generation. Unfortunately, it’s here to stay. 

Rather than watch the trashy reality TV shows that everyone seems to be so caught up in, try watching other television shows, the ones that offer no delusions as to what reality actually is.

Even better, watch news programs or read a book. I feel that we, as a generation, should take more into consideration when we determine what we watch.

I’m not saying that I watch what could be considered wholesome family television, but what I watch doesn’t pretend to be real. It’s scripted, obviously fake, and actually has a plot that doesn’t specifically revolve around alcohol and sex. 

The shows I watch tend to have underlying values like loyalty and overcoming obstacles. Shows like this, no matter how scripted, are ten times better than the shows that claim to be real and only show young people partying.