Reality TV: Harmless Entertainment or Commercial Poisoning? THESIS: Reality television is certainly entertaining, informative, and in some instances even educational, but this form of media considered by many to be just “harmless entertainment” is poisoning the minds of our youth. I. Pros of watching reality shows
A. Reality shows expose children to a new world by broadening their perception of life and the world around them, directly contributing to cognitive development. B. There is certainly no argument that most reality shows are indeed entertaining. C. According to Neilsens ratings, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo a reality program on TLC debuted in August of 2012, with a staggering 2.2 million viewers watching. Ratings eclipsed those of Fox’s coverage of the Republican National Convention, airing in the same time slot.
II. Cons of watching reality shows
A. Youths are exposed to negative influences such as promiscuity, teen pregnancy, and romantic rivalry. B. Development of values can be lead astray by focusing on characters who portray emphasis on material items, and worship of beauty. C. A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics concluded that teens in this country have the highest pregnancy rates in the world, more than half of all high school seniors are sexually active, and a quarter of those have had more than 4 partners.
III. What parents can do to guide and protect their children
A. Limit your child’s exposure to the media by monitoring and scheduling time for television and internet activities. B. Be aware of which programs and websites your child views. C. According to Amy Nathanson, Ph.D, the best advice is to watch tv with your kids so that if inappropriate activity occurs you can change the channel or explain the inappropriate behavior.
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