Effect of reality tv

Topics: Reality television, Mass media, Television Pages: 6 (2131 words) Published: March 8, 2014
1. Introduction

We live in a globalised world were information is king. The technology world as brought the world to our feet by just a click of the button. We are now surrounded by virtual worlds and reality TV. The question is has this brought us to a place were our reality is now blurred? We live in a world were we are surrounded by the mass media portraying air brushed woman, attractive guys, perfect families etc this is in our faces so much that we start to think that this is who we should be and how we should act, the norm of life if you want. The distinction between real life and life represented by the mass media gets blurred and all sense of reality is lost.

Reality television is a relatively new trend that took the television world by storm. Viewers cannot seem to get enough of the torture, embarrassment, temptation, and above all, drama of other regular, everyday people being placed in unrealistic settings and manipulated for the world to see.

Although a relatively new trend, it has shown enormous growth and it seems that every second day a new more outrageous reality show is aired. We are plagued with horrible pictures and gruesome stories of violence and terror every day when turning on the TV, we will take a look at the effect this have on us.

In this assignment we take a look at things like “does shows like real TV blur our reality”. I will attempt to explain this by applying mass media theories and models to the discussion. We also take a look at media ethics in the world today and censorship and gate keeping. This will be done by use of the case study handed out.

The Internet was used as a resource for this assignment as I find the world wide web up to date with the latest information.

2. Reality TV

Reality TV shows are supposed to symbolise the “real world” with events that could actually happen and things that people would actually do. But would people in real life really eat an ostrich brain or cheat on their spouse when we take a look at shows like F.E.A.R and Temptation Island. TV is an influential tool that has one way or the other affected every human being. Each one of us at one stage or other have identified with actors on the TV either in feeling angry, sorry etc. When we take a look at the different age groups that are watching these shows we notice a wide array, from middle to high school children as far up as grown ups.

Kids and teenagers are the ones that can be most influenced because most of them are still searching for who they really are. Most of these shows they like to call “reality”, host sexy woman and men who are always having a good time while smoking, drinking and having sex. These shows are saying that to have fun you have to drink and smoke because that is the scene that is represented on most Reality TV shows. With this in mind we have to wonder why kids are smoking, using drugs and why there are so many teenage pregnancies. This links to the theory of disinhibition were we learn one thing but the television changes our learned social sanctions to something else. We see drinking, smoking and sex on TV so we think it is ok to do it, forgetting our values that we were brought up with.

Reality TV has become so popular because they provide an escape from our everyday lives. They take us away from reality and we can return with the push of a button. And they call it reality shows, ironic isn’t it?

As a result of these reality shows, broadcast and print media have become sensationalized. Viewers want shock, they want conflict and they want drama! This long-lasting key to a successful show works, but is getting out of hand. The series on television today are outrageous and reflect our society because we will watch anything. Reality television not only reflects our society in a negative way, but also affects other elements of the media.

The thing is reality shows aren’t as real as people think they are, the...
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