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How does reality television have a negative impact on the viewers' perception of reality?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I think most people that watch reality television realize that the reality is limited. Although there are some shows that are more realistic than others, all of them are edited. Reality is not pretty. In some cases, reality shows exaggerate that and some hide it.

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ask996 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The disturbing thing is that while these shows are touted as reality, there is very little realism to them. Scenes are shot and shot again for better effect. Editing is performed to get the best angles and sound bites. Actors participating in these shows are frequently urged to act as outrageously as possible for ratings. This gives not only a warped sense of reality, but it mutates the understanding of what is socially acceptable for those impressionable minds viewing the show.

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clairewait eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I'm going to speak to the desensitization that happens as a result of the media taking anything and over emphasizing it in the name of entertainment.  Reality TV (and therefore MTV) might be singly responsible for starting the downward spiral of appropriateness on TV.  Perhaps the thought is that if people are doing these things in "real life" why can't they be fictionalized, dramatized, made fun of, or exaggerated on non-reality TV?

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lrwilliams eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I would agree with the above post in that "reality television" gives some people a false perception of what is actually real. There are some people that believe all that they see and expect their lives to be similar to what they see on television.

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besure77 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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"Reality" television is not really reality. Unfortunately, many people think that it is. Reality television draws millions of viewers because it is entertaining. If it was not entertaining then people would not watch. With this being said, I believe that reality television has a negative effect on those who truly believe what the are watching is real. The viewer may see exciting things happening to people in these shows and then compare those things that are happening to their "normal" lives.

 

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mwestwood eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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As if people are not passive enough, they now can experience vicariously all the "drama" of dating, marrying, and other interpersonal relationships as well as searching for a house, learning new things, etc. without exerting any energy or without threatening...

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jess1999 | Student

Mist reality television is scripted and makes it seem like so many unbelievable things happen yet it's planned. It makes has a negative impact because it'll make people think that these thing s will actually happen in real life. Actually sometimes it's reality as it says in the name but most of the time it's not.

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alysha_w13 | Student

Reality TV is what people believe to be exactly like real life but what you can watch but if that were true then they wouldn't be very popular as we would be living as opposed to watching reality tv. These shows cut out a lot of what actually is real and fit it into an hour long slot. Not only that but those who have reality shows are generally people who aren't regular people or have some strange and interesting situation in their lives such as Keeping Up with the Kardashians and 16 and Pregnant. Despite this, it still tricks us into believing that this is what our lives should be like, especially the young and impressionable, so we react to situations differently as our instincts adapt to what society is telling us through these programs almost to believe that what we're doing is the normal thing when it could be very unhealthy such as drinking/smoking or how we behave in romantic relationships. Overall, reality television is tainting the world that we live in.

jojo56 | Student

I find reality shows very disturbing. I don't enjoy the overt or implicit violence and I am disgusted at how tightly the director's control what we see.

On a larger scale, they do seem to be in keeping with the US's history of entertainment during rough economic times. In many ways, reality shows remind me of the old film, "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"

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