For most of my life I thought reality television was ridiculous. I would roll my eyes whenever my mom was in her room watching The Bachelor or when someone at school would mention Keeping Up With The Kardashians. I did not see any entertainment value in the genre because it lacked any sophistication. I did not think there was anything you could get out of it such as valuable information, wit, or thought provoking curiosity. I thought it was a waste of time.
However, this all changed one Monday day my senior year of high school when I came home after a stressful and frustrating day. My mom invited me to sit down to watch The Bachelor with her. Hesitantly, I sat down and began to watch the supermodel-like girls complain about each other and gush over Colton Underwood as they would go on extraordinary dates of bungee jumping and five-star diners. Slowly, I started to become invested in the show. My worries from the day would slip my mind and I would embrace and criticize the troubles of Colton and his twenty-something girlfriends. I was able to internalize the parts of the show with romance and joy and take the angst I felt and project that onto the drama and conflict happening on the screen. While ridiculous, The Bachelor was a sense of comfort for me on that day.
Ever since then Monday nights would be spent with my mom watching The Bachelor. We even expanded to The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, and other reality television dating shows that I discovered. Now, I have had a love-hate relationship with reality television. I always tell myself that the show is completely ridiculous, but in healthy doses reality television is a guilty pleasure of mine. Currently, my roommates and I love to watch 90 Day Fiance Before the 90 Days, another ridiculous dating show that documents the relationships and engagements of couples from different countries who will meet in person for the first time. This is once again, another sense of comfort for me. As this school year has presented us with many difficulties along with the ordinary struggles of college, it is great to come together at the end of a long day to laugh and get caught up in the silly drama amongst the relationships. To focus our energy on something that will bring us simple pleasures.
Of course, watching the news and more thoughtful forms of entertainment is important. However, to take some time out of a rough day to relax your brain and do something for complete pleasure can be important. While looking away from your struggles will not solve anything, taking some time out of your day to escape your troubles and focus on something else makes a difference in your mental health on a day to day level. This does not have to be reality television, it can be anything that brings you just a bit of joy.