Persuasion Essay - The True Reality of Reality Television
The television was originally invented for communication purposes as well as education, so it is doubtful that Philo Farnsworth imagined his invention showing people eating bugs, finding husbands based on votes from viewers, or living on deserted islands. The newest fad in television programming is reality television and is evidently dominating the airwaves, appearing on many channels, every night of the week. The ratings constantly increase as the popularity of reality television continues to grow and consequently, producers become extremely wealthy by fueling the addiction. Reality television is built upon the foundation of exposing human emotions, despite the social, psychological, and ethical issues involved which negatively impact the lives of its viewers. All television shows engage in ideological teaching and reality television is no different. The first social consequence of reality television is the misguided message placed upon the importance of competition. Shows such as Survivor or The Bachelor reinforce the idea that life is nothing but a constant competition where only one person is awarded materially, interpersonally, etc. The increased value placed on competition eventually leads to invasions of foreign countries that otherwise pose no threat or cutthroat businesses that cause mergers and acquisitions which lead to a shrinking workforce. A more dangerous message of reality television is that education is unnecessary in order to be successful. Consequently, teenagers may begin to view education as less desirable and much too effortful that will not benefit them nearly as much as participating in a reality show and becoming instantly famous and possibly rich. These messages only demonstrate the lack of authenticity of reality television where viewers develop twisted views of what is fact. There is an extreme misrepresentation of various racial backgrounds for contestants on television...
Cited: Andrejevic, M. 2002. The Kinder, Gentler Gaze of Big Brother: Reality TV in the Era of Digital Capitalism. New media & society. 4: 251-270. Coleman, R. 2008. The Becoming of Bodies: Girls, media effects, and body image. Feminist Media Studies. 8: 163-179. Plato. The Republic. Book X. “Media Portrayals of Ethnic and Visible Minorities.” Media Stereotyping. Media Awareness Network, 2010. Web. 30 March 2010. “Reality Television.” MARS Survey. 2003. Web. 4 April 2010.
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