It’s 2:00 A.M. and the impending early morning hovers over your latest Netflix binge. The latest season of ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ is in cue and ready to stream. Should you watch one more episode? Today, most Americans are suckers for reality television. In fact, reality shows such as ‘The Bachelor’ gain nearly 8 million viewers per week to watch 30 women fight for one man’s heart. Is it the drama that keep viewers tuned in? Is it the glitz and glamour? It is safe to say, reality television is popular in this digital world.
Reality Television is a Distraction
You spend countless hours a week waiting to see who will receive the final rose. You tune in on Sundays to invest in the latest Kardashian family feud. Reality television is popular because of a nosey desire to intrude on other people’s private, scandalous and embarrassing moments. It serves as a distraction from your own life including your own intimate moments. The less connected you want to feel to your own life, the more you may seek the drama of reality television. Individuals find comfort in viewing disaster from their favorite reality shows. Reality television allows viewers to live vicariously through the private moments of show participants. Ultimately, it’s a much-needed escape.
Living in a Material World
Additionally, Americans love luxury. It’s a reality that this is a materialistic country. People make social comparisons between each other due to the brands printed on your handbag or car. Reality television is popular because it provides a bird’s eye view to some of the wealthiest stars. Viewers come back every week to see what Louis Vuitton shoe Kim Kardashian has added to her closet or Dior dress Lisa Vanderpump wore to an event. People are impressed and often times, astonished at the luxuries of reality stars.
But, reality isn’t always reality!
Although people are obsessed with reality television, the shows aren’t always authentic. Most reality shows have writers who produce the drama and encourage emotional storylines. What is seen on reality television is used to bait you as a viewer and keep you watching week after week.
Ultimately, reality television is alluring. They hook you in and provide distraction. They influence your materialist desires. Reality television, however, provides a false sense of reality as well. So keep watching the Kardashians or Pilot Pete find true love but remember, your life isn’t a television show.