Is reality TV a bad influence on society? | The Tylt
The first reality show hit the small screen in the '70s and over 40 years later, reality TV is almost impossible to ignore. Fueled by unscripted storylines and a cast of characters willing to play their lives out in front of the camera, reality TV has evolved from guilty pleasure to global phenomenon. But while some say reality TV makes for great entertainment, others argue reality TV gives a platform to narcissists and has a negative impact on society. Everyone wants to be a star, no matter the cost. Is reality TV bad for us?
Is reality TV a bad influence on society?
The NPR staff of "All Things Considered" reported a segment about reality TV and discovered the fighting and arguing that goes frequently goes down on shows can actually make us more aggressive:
That unfriendly behavior is good for TV ratings, but it might be bad news for you, the viewer. A new study led by Bryan Gibson, a psychologist at Central Michigan University, finds watching reality shows with lots of what's called relational aggression — bullying, exclusion and manipulation — can make people more aggressive in their real lives.
But Rachel Cormack of Huffington Post believes these shows can actually be good for us. She argues that dating reality shows can feel nostalgic and drum up old, feel-good emotions.
It's easy to dismiss dating shows as all fluff and no substance, but we can't ignore their power to provoke -- to draw us in and connect with those deeper parts of our psyche.These shows also resonate because they remind us of the fun you have when first dating. They make us nostalgic for the romantic moments past; that preening, gleaming, peacocking scene. You witness the contestants on their best behaviour, charming and wooing their prospective mate. Oh cute, I remember when I wore heels on dates.