Essay about The Reality Of Reality Television

Essay about The Reality Of Reality Television

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Reality television is a very popular form of entertainment these days. Something about watching seemingly normal people make friends, make enemies, and fight on television really pulls the average American in. However, this could actually be very terrible. Researchers say that watching these reality television shows could actually be teaching people to overreact in reaction to normal, everyday occurrences. In fact, if this love of reality television keeps up, the nation may be facing a huge problem: people will actually start to believe that overreacting is the norm. So, is reality television actually teaching people to overreact?
Being able to stay calm under pressure is generally considered to be an attribute to ones’ demeanor. Or is it? Lately, being calm under pressure has actually become something to be criticized. Rather than seeing calmness, people are craving to see anger. Sharon Jayson, author of “Entertaining emotions: TV may be teaching us to overreact”, brings up this point in her article, mainly focusing on how president Barak Obama was criticized “for not displaying enough anger at BP’s failure to stop the gushing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.” Apparently, people wanted to see him get angry over something so horrible, and he did not satisfy them. Why is it that people wanted to see him overreact in the first place? In her article, Jayson reveals that “…there’s definitely research that suggests when people display anger and it’s perceived as appropriate, the person is perceived as more competent and more in charge.” Perhaps people felt that, because he was not angry enough, Obama would not actually do anything to fix the problem.
Reality TV today is really heavy on aggressive thoughts and actions. Co-author of the...


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...s predict. Sara Booker, a collaborator in a content analysis of the five most popular reality shows and the five top scripted dramas and comedies, has said “Imagine this concept…using reality television to actually improve reality.” Perhaps, in the future, reality television will not be used only to make people believe that overreacting is the only way to express their feelings. As of right now, there are shows in the makes that will actually be extremely beneficial. For example, one show is looming right on the horizon which is to be called “The Scholar”, in which ten very talented and financially needy high-school students compete for a full scholarship. If reality television was always used for those kind of purposes, perhaps it would actually be very beneficial to people and society, rather than teaching them that overreacting is the new norm and way to behave.

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