How Reality Shows Affect Our Lives and Society - Deepstash
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7 Days of Inspiration

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Key Takeaways

Key Takeaways

  • People are often drawn to reality TV because they enjoy the drama and relate to difficult decision-making.
  • The theme of self-interest vs. self-sacrifice runs through many reality shows.
  • Reality shows often lead people to reflect on what they might do in a similar situation, which can be a good exercise in values exploration.


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The Effect Of Reality Shows

The Effect Of Reality Shows

Millions of people around the world tune in to reality shows and have been watching for decades. What started out as an experiment has turned into mainstream programming and as a culture, we can’t get enough of it.

Is there any personal or societal cost to our ongoing fascination with reality shows? While opinions certainly differ on the topic, it comes down to a few factors:

  • The malleability of your values
  • Your commitment to behaving in ways that reflect your values


44 reads

The Impact On Culture

The Impact On Culture

Television and all other forms of media have an impact on our thoughts, opinions, and behaviours. There is no doubt that what we take in for entertainment and information influences the way we think about the world around us. Our minds are designed to synthesize boatloads of information every day, from our interactions with others to the books we read and the entertainment we seek out. We make sense of the world through these pieces of information we gather, and this impacts how we live our lives every day.


32 reads

Fake Reality, Real Consequences

Fake Reality, Real Consequences

Beyond the daily information we absorb, we are also influenced by our prior life experiences, our family of origin, the environment we are raised in and a slew of other cultural and genetic factors. These interpersonal and direct influences are more likely to impact our values and behaviours than reality shows. Does this mean that we should be unconcerned about the ways in which reality show trends impact us? No, we definitely need to pay attention to the underlying messages in these shows and explore why they appeal to us so much.


24 reads

The Pull Factor

Reality shows keep us coming back, week after week. We want to know who said what to whom, which person betrayed another or who compromised their alliances or made a shady decision that influenced other people. It’s all about the best and worst of human behaviour; it is an observational psychology class without lectures or exams.

Often reality shows cause us to reflect on what we might do in a similar situation, which can be a good exercise in values exploration. The basic question of self-interest versus self-sacrifice is a theme that runs through most reality shows.


25 reads

Reconsidering Giving Our Time To Fake Reality

Reconsidering Giving Our Time To Fake Reality

As we indulge in our favourite reality shows, we can ask ourselves:

  • What do I enjoy about this show and what emotions does it elicit?
  • What appeals to me about these characters and their role in the show?
  • Would I make different choices than these characters? If so, why?

Reality shows are ironically named because they are often far from realistic scenarios. Even though these programs are guilty pleasures for so many, we can use them as good conversation starters with friends and as food for thought within our own minds as we consider our values and how to live in ways that demonstrate those values.


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