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Reality TV: Not All That And A Bag Of Potato Chips

Reality tvOver a decade ago,  several tv shows made their way to Prime time slots, which subsequently paved the way for future programming and has created a major impact on today’s generation. In 2000, there were nearly 4 reality television shows, by 2010 there were more than 320 reality shows. Programs like Survivor and The Amazing Race helped cultivate the reality television phenomenon. But today, reality television has become more twisted and catapults everyday people into the not so bright spotlight. Although reality television can be very entertaining, it has been proven to have a negative impact on young girls behavior. The Girl Scout Research Institute surveyed girls who regularly watch reality TV and those who don’t. Reality television viewing has transformed into an addiction and has been linked especially to young girls. Some teen and pre-teen reality TV watchers are allowing these TV-like elements to invade relationships with their friends and families. In no way does this mean that we should not be allowed to watch shows like The Real Housewives, Keeping Up With The Kardashian, and even Bad Girls Club. Instead, we should take into consideration that some of the behavior that we see on these shows is not the behavior we should emulate in real life.

Reality TV Addiction

Most teenagers (60 percent) spend on average 20 hours per week in front of television and computer screens. Some research suggests that all this time watching TV, whether it’s on the traditional television, laptop, or smartphone may have negative impact our health. One study found that for every hour spent watching TV, our life expectancy decreases by 22 minutes. This is in relation to the unhealthy habits that come along with watching television like being sedentary for hours on end, little physical activity, snacking on junk food, and not getting enough sleep. When you chose to stay home and watch TV instead of going out with your friends; that may be a sign that you are a bit to dedicated to your favorite shows. One study that analyzed over 30 years worth of data found those who watched the least amount of TV reported being happier than other people. Kids and adults who limit their TV time are also more likely to socialize and participate in outdoor activity more than those stuck in front of the tube.

Monkey See Monkey Do

Many Reality TV shows focus on young people living together or being placed in temporary group settings that instigate violence, especially amongst women. Shows like The Real Housewives, The Real World, and TeenMom are packed with violent verbal and physical abuse that plays out on camera for the younger generation to learn from. A group of 1,100 girls ages 11 to 17 year olds were surveyed and found that regular reality TV viewers accept a higher level of drama, aggression and bullying in their lives. This is a problem when there are over 100,000 students staying home every day because of being bullied. Studies have shown that girls who watch these violent realty TV shows have a higher incidence of bullying, cyber bullying and other bad behavior than girls that do not. This behavior on television has to be clearly defined as entertainment and not how to act in real life. The belief that this behavior allows people to be featured TV is not the right message!

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