Reality Television Has Negative Effects on Society

Last updated: February 23, 2017

Is Reality Television rubbish? Does it have a negative effect on society? Should it be banned?

Reality Television Has Negative Effects on Society
Yes because...

Reality shows are bad, lazy television. They mostly show ordinary people with no special talents do...

Reality shows are bad, lazy television. They mostly show ordinary people with no special talents doing very little. If they have to sing or dance, then they do it badly – which doesn’t make for good entertainment. TV bosses like them because they are cheap compared to putting out shows with proper scripts, actors, musicians, etc. Even if they are popular, that doesn’t make them good programmes. It just means that some people have no taste and will watch any old rubbish. Broadcasters should be aiming at excellence, giving their viewers quality programmes which expand their cultural horizons.
No because...
Reality television programmes are very popular with audiences of all ages and types. They may not be high culture but most people do not want that from television. Most viewers want to be entertained and to escape for a while from the worries and boredom of their everyday life. There is no harm in giving the people what they want – that is what the free market is all about. Reality shows are also popular because they exploit new technology so that millions of people can participate in the programme – typically by voting.

Reality Television Has Negative Effects on Society
Yes because...

Reality TV is dishonest – it pretends to show “reality” but it actually distorts the truth to suit t...

Reality TV is dishonest – it pretends to show “reality” but it actually distorts the truth to suit the programme makers. The shows are not really “real” – they are carefully cast to get a mix of “characters” who are not at all typical. Mostly they show a bunch of young, good-looking self-publicists, who will do anything to get on TV. Usually the programme makers try to ensure excitement by picking people who are likely to clash with each other. They then place them in unnatural situations, such as the Big Brother house or the Survivor island, and give them strange challenges in order to provoke them into behaving oddly. Finally the makers film their victims for hundreds of hours from all angles, but only show the most dramatic parts. Selective editing may be used to create “storylines” and so further manipulate the truth of what happened.
No because...
Reality TV actually has a lot of value to our society. Humans are endlessly different and endlessly interesting to other humans. In these programmes we see people like us faced with unusual situations. That makes us think about what we would do in their place, and about what principles should govern human behaviour. It also shows us people who look very different from us, and helps us see that actually we have a lot in common with them.

Reality Television Has Negative Effects on Society
Yes because...

Reality shows send a bad message and help to create a cult of instant celebrity. These programmes s...

Reality shows send a bad message and help to create a cult of instant celebrity. These programmes suggest that anyone can become famous just by getting on TV and “being themselves”, without working hard or having any particular talent. Kids who watch these shows will get the idea that they don’t need to study hard in school, or train hard for a regular job.
No because...
Reality TV provides an important social glue. Once upon a time there were only a few television channels, and everybody watched the same few programmes. The sense of a shared experience helped to bind people together, giving them common things to talk about at work and school the next day – “water cooler moments”. As the number of channels increased hugely, this sense of shared experience was lost and our sense of community went with it. Big reality TV programmes have brought that sense of shared experience back, as viewers from all social groups follow the twists and turns of each series together.

Reality Television Has Negative Effects on Society
Yes because...

Reality shows are corrupting as they rely on humiliation and conflict to create excitement. The pro...

Reality shows are corrupting as they rely on humiliation and conflict to create excitement. The programmes are full of swearing, crying and argument, and often violence, drunkenness and sex. This sends a message to people that this is normal behaviour and helps to create a crude, selfish society.
No because...
Reality TV programmes are not corrupting. They do reflect our society, which isn’t always perfect, but we should face up to these issues rather than censor television in order to hide them. On the other hand, reality TV can be very educational. Programmes such as “The Apprentice” have made people think about business. Jamie Oliver has raised issues of youth unemployment and poor diet, and “Fit Club” has got people thinking about health and fitness.

Reality Television Has Negative Effects on Society
Yes because...

Reality shows are driving out other sorts of programmes, so that often there is nothing else to watc...

Reality shows are driving out other sorts of programmes, so that often there is nothing else to watch. Reality TV is cheap and series can go on for months on end, providing hundreds of hours of viewing to fill schedules. TV bosses like this and are cutting back on comedy, music, drama and current affairs in favour of wall to wall reality rubbish. This is even worse when reality shows crowd the schedules of public service broadcasters. Stations such as the BBC in the UK, France Télévisions, or Rai in Italy have a duty to inform and educate the public. They should be made to meet that responsibility – as Rai has by saying it won’t have any more reality shows.
No because...
Television provides a wide mixture of programmes, including reality television. For those who want it, there is high quality drama such as “The Sopranos” or “Pride and Prejudice”. The BBC and other international broadcasters cover news and current affairs in great depth. Wildlife programmes bring the wonders of the natural world into our living rooms. More sports are covered in more detail than ever before. So reality shows have not ruined television as a whole. Indeed, because they make a lot of money for broadcasters to spend on other types of programmes, they are actually good for television.

Reality Television Has Negative Effects on Society
Yes because...

Reality TV is actually getting worse as the audience becomes more and more used to the genre. In a ...

Reality TV is actually getting worse as the audience becomes more and more used to the genre. In a search for ratings and media coverage, shows are becoming ever more vulgar and offensive, trying to find new ways to shock. Already some “Big Brother” programmes have shown men and women having sex on live TV. Others have involved fights and racist bullying. Do we let things continue until someone has to die on TV to boost the ratings?
No because...
Some reality programmes are bad, exploiting people in nasty ways, but many are good. This is true of all kinds of television, from soap operas, to comedy and new shows. It is wrong to label the whole genre as bad just because of a few shows.


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DrWolf

reality TV is trash because it encourages young people to partake in attention seeking behavior and seek validation. People traditionally frown upon these types of behavior as they are core symptoms of Narcissism and so thus encourage their fans that Validation seeking behavior is the “new norm” when it never as been to start with.

khush

some reality shows are scripted then why are they called reality show????

Yoelna

Reality TV usually presents bad influences for the public.
Despite the fact that some kinds of reality shows are just made to entertain the audience, now more and more shows have an inappropriate content. People on that programs show inappropriate behaviours, adult content (in any hour of the day), violence, degradation of participants and human/animal rights. Not to mention that most of them are fake. The content of each episode is prearranged, including the winners. So they are no “Reality Shows”. However a person behaves after watching a reality show is entirely up to them. Some copy the good traits and some copy the bad. Reality television is basically to provide guidance for those who watch it but now days when people are in trouble they just copy what is done in reality shows and blame them afterwards if the idea fails. Anyway it completely destroys the person’s identity and individuality. It turns them into senseless zombies.





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