Reality TV is often taken out of context so the subjects are seen as heroes and are dubbed as “celebrities,” when in fact they are nothing more than people who have decided to trade-in respect and ambition for exposure and a fist full of sweaty cash. What would you do on your day of judgment to find out you no longer possess the key to the promise land, the one thing you need for eternal happiness, the one divine thing entrusted to you on earth because you sold it? The choice was yours, Mike the Situation, and you chose to trade 15 minutes of earthly pleasures for your heavenly soul. Ok, well I’m sure it’s really not that bad, especially considering that the “Situation” is a cockroach and will never die, thereby bypassing God’s final judgment.
We scare our kids into good behavior with so many other overdramatic lies such as, “Your face will freeze if you vote Independent” or “Sit too close to the TV and Sara Palin will shoot your dog.” This one works especially well if you are currently watching “Sara Palin’s Alaska,” because by just watching the opening credits to that show the kids know she would do it.
Reality TV does not have to be boycotted, why deprive yourself of your human need to watch people suffering as a form of entertainment? It’s like having a ticket to the Roman Coliseum from the comfort of your own home. When watching reality TV with your kids, it’s important to frame the people on the show as the jokes they are, instead of heroes or “celebrities.” Use “Jersey Shore” as an example of what happens when you don’t have any athletic ability and use steroids. That’s right, you end up sharing a small house with a bunch of loud Italians that have to film their lives in order to support their body glitter budget.
Instead of your daughter watching “The Bachlorette” and saying “Wow, all those guys want to marry her!” Tell your little angel that the girl had to come on the show because nobody wanted to marry her because she makes annoying decisions like agreeing to do a TV show looking for someone to marry.
In all fairness, the media has done nothing more than deliver what the people want. Profits drive programming, programming is profitable from advertising, and advertising only works if it’s seen. Don’t watch these shows and they go away. Of course, these shows are around because people like them. Media is the gun, the content is the bullets and you are pulling the trigger, be responsible and no one gets hurt.