There are many pro (for) and con (cheat) when it comes to reality TV
There are many pro (for) and con (cheat) when it comes to reality TV. Audiences all around the world have many different opinions of reality TV today. Many think that reality TV is just a form of entertainment to watch every night and others think that it is a waste of time. In New Media class, we have been looking at both sides and deciding whether or not we are pro or con.
Some people think that reality TV is a wonderful form of entertainment. Over the years, we as an audience have watched Real World, Road Rules, Survivor, Big Brother, etc. and now every season there are new shows such as Who Wants To Marry a Millionare?, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Mole, etc. that are drawing audiences of all ages in every night for at least an hour.
Survivor is one of those shows that people love to watch, because they enjoy watching these 16 cast members suffer and they love as an audience to guess who will be voted off next. This season, Survivor is taking place in the Pearl Islands, and by watching this show, some audience members are learning about parts of the world that they never knew before. This show also offers an insight into human relationships that will never been seen in a normal sitcom, because there is no script. To film shows like Survivor, or Real World, they are supposedly "cheaper than fiction". Many people call these shows "dramalities", a mix between drama and reality television. Reality television also has the ability to represent certain groups of people.
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As many pros that there might be about reality television, there are many downsides to it as well. Shows like these incourage things such as cheating, lying, and stealing .. all to be rewarded with money. A perfect example of this was on the first episode of this seasons Survivor. One group left their shoes in their raft while they went off to buy items in the village. Without realizing, they had also left their stuff near another group, so of course the group took their shoes and went to sell them, so they could get more stuff. In the end of this show, one of these people from one of the two teams will be rewarded with money. Does this seem right?
Others hate reality television because they believe that the "people are treated as animals". But reality television has the greatest effect among its audience, and that bothers people the most. A lot of people hate that by watching these shows they will end up believing that they are involved with the cast members. I know personally that by watching The Real World I learn to love and hate characters as if I was there with them or even as if I knew them personally.
As shown in an article with statistics about these television shows, reality television is viewed mainly by females and males ages 12-19. These shows have a humongous impact on their viewers. Many girls especially look at reality TV and they look at the females on the show. They decide that they want to look like them, be like them but that impact isn't always from reality TV, it’s also from the media in general. This is because audiences form emotional attachments (as mentioned earlier) to the characters on the show.
As you can see, reality television has a huge impact on people all over. By looking at all of these reality TV shows in class and at home, I have learned a lot about the industry of television and how the producers think when they are making their decisions on what to air on television for audiences. Right now I can only help but think, what would our world be like if we didn't have reality television, because it's true. It seems like all that is on television lately, is reality television is that a good thing? Or a bad thing? No one really knows
What's Good and Bad About TV?
Chances are that when you were a kid, television was limited to a few hours a week of shows like Sesame Street and Saturday morning cartoons. With the advent of channels like The Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, kids can watch TV 24-7. With all of these options, today's parents have a much tougher job than ours did. The question for most parents isn't Should we or shouldn't we? But how much is too much and how guilty should I feel? Here are the pros and cons of television and how to make peace with it in your house.
What's good about TV
- TV can encourage reading. On shows like Sesame Street, books are heavily promoted, notes Daniel Anderson, PhD, professor of psychology at University of Massachusetts. Plus, a child gets interested in a character like Arthur, and he wants to read books about him too.
- Kids who watch educational shows may do better in school. One study found that kids who watched Sesame Street in the '80s did better academically in high school than kids who didn't. Anderson speculates that these kids entered first grade with some basic knowledge, which made them enthusiastic and confident about school. Getting off to a good start had a positive effect on their entire academic experience.
- TV provides a window into world. For example, if your child has never seen an elephant or a lion, watching a nature show about wild animals is a very effective way of learning about them, notes Anderson.
What's bad about TV
- It stifles creativity. Kids who watch too much TV are less able to use their own mind to create something out of nothing, says Jane Healy, PhD, author of Endangered Minds: Why Children Don't Think -- and What We Can Do About It. When they play make-believe, the play tends to be based on their favorite shows.
- It inhibits (slow down/ reduce) language development. Even the better shows rely on visuals at the expense of talk, says Healy. When kids start school, they're expected to pay attention and process information without the benefit of dancing Muppets. Kids who are used to TV may have a hard time making the transition.
- TV is addictive. The average American child watches three hours a day of TV. Time spent watching TV is time robbed from other important activities like reading, make-believe play, and interacting with parents.
- The things kids learn on TV do not translate into academic success. Frank Vespe, executive director of the TV Turn Off Network, points out that according to a study conducted by the National Association of Educational Programs, kids who watched the least TV did the best on standardized tests in fourth grade.