What value does reality TV have for society?What value does reality TV have for society?

10 Answers | Add Yours

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

A lot of reality TV is garbage, but there is some benefit to the other shows. I am referring not the game shows but the documentary-like shows. These can educate and inform, and make people aware of lifestyles and facets of our lives that we could not know otherwise.
ask996's profile pic

ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

My experience with most reality shows is: 1)They devalue by setting unrealistic standards or by rewarding behavior that is socially unacceptable by a large portion of society. 2)They aren't true reality. They are edited for sound bites. They are refilmed to meet certain standards. The are even scripted sometimes for more exciting programming. The only value most of these shows have is to line the pockets of advertisers and television executives.

clairewait's profile pic

clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Generally speaking, I cannot stand reality TV for exactly the reasons post #2 stated.  So many people have thought "Hey, I should do that," that the market has become saturated with ignorance and suddenly there is no limit to what is appropriate.  We've invited the personal lives of complete strangers into our living rooms and announced to the world that there is absolutely nothing sacred, no subject worth protecting, anymore.  Shame on us.

This is not all reality TV.  Just most of it.  I also think about shows like Extreme Makeover or Undercover Boss.  To indulge in the positive side of reality TV for a moment, it has been a really pleasant change from the reality of negative national news to see some shows "reporting" positive stories about the lives of ordinary people.  This kind of reality TV succeeds in connecting, inspiring, or at the very least, emotionally moving people, all in the name of entertainment.

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

There is a passage in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men in which the alienated character Crooks says that his aloneness is terrible because there is no one against whom he can measure himself.  Years ago when the TV show Married with Children debuted, people enjoyed watching it as a switch from the shows in which perfect families were portrayed.  With Al and Peg Bundy, viewers could feel better about themselves because the Bundy's were such a dyfunctional family.

So, perhaps reality TV provides the viewer some vindication in his/her life for behaviors that are similar.  Also, people can vicariously experience the excitement of the participants of certain reality TV shows without the challenges (or the financial cost). In any case, such television shows are not beneficial, except for the networks who use them to save money.

kapokkid's profile pic

kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I was going to say that I find no value in it, but I do admit that I can at least enjoy shows like Ice Road Truckers.  Perhaps there is some value in seeing things that you will never see in your normal travels or experiences, but it is marginal at best.

And perhaps it is outweighed by the negative effect of the other types of reality shows that are really abhorrent.

brettd's profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

It's not that reality TV can't be valuable, it's just that it so often isn't.  Shows like Survivor and The Amazing Race are basically just entertainment, often contain manufactured conflict and many times are demeaning in some way.  Don't even get me started on Who Wants to Marry A Millionaire?

Other shows, however, like Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Truckers show real people doing real jobs that are both dangerous and interesting.  If those shows have done nothing else, they have convinced me I don't want to drive a truck in Alaska or fish for crab in the Bering Sea.

lrwilliams's profile pic

lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

To be quite honest I see absolutely no value to reality TV in regards to society. The reality TV I have watched generally appears to be scripted and usually not very real life, at least to my area of the country.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In my opinion, if reality shows on TV are valuable at all, it is because they give people a way to dream.  They allow people to imagine that it is possible for them, too, to become rich and famous.

When we watch football, for example, or movies, we have a very hard time (once we are past the age of 18 or so) imagining that we can ever become rich or famous in that way.  Those things are completely beyond us.  But reality TV is not beyond anyone.  Those are, for the most part, pretty regular people and there they are becoming famous (and maybe rich) just like we want to.

So reality TV gives people a way of fantasizing that is perhaps more realistic and seemingly attainable than most other fantasies.

karnikak's profile pic

karnikak | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

In my opinion, if reality shows on TV are valuable at all, it is because they give people a way to dream.  They allow people to imagine that it is possible for them, too, to become rich and famous.

When we watch football, for example, or movies, we have a very hard time (once we are past the age of 18 or so) imagining that we can ever become rich or famous in that way.  Those things are completely beyond us.  But reality TV is not beyond anyone.  Those are, for the most part, pretty regular people and there they are becoming famous (and maybe rich) just like we want to.

So reality TV gives people a way of fantasizing that is perhaps more realistic and seemingly attainable than most other fantasies.

this is really good......helped me a looot!!!!!

thankyou soo much,even though i really dnt knw  hu  u r!

thanks !

 

dalcinaye's profile pic

dalcinaye | High School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

Reality TV has no value for society.  I stopped watching television programming over 10 years ago because of the onslaught of this ridiculous form of entertainment!  It simply further reinforces some sort of 1 in a million hope for our youth that they will become rich and famous.  It doesn't examine the upside or downsides of being famous.  Reality TV is just another form of the devolution of our society.  Generation after generation, Americans value more and more that which requires no effort, no thinking, no cause/effect or problem-solving skills.  The work of many is being done by so few, because everyone wants a free and easy ride in this country.  Reality TV is absolutely abhorrent!

We’ve answered 318,915 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question