Why I Don’t Watch Reality TV

I’ve never kept up with the Kardashians, and I couldn’t name three of the Bachelors if I gave it my best shot.

            When I ask friends what they love about reality television, they give some pretty good answers: “It’s an escape”, “It’s so ridiculous that it’s funny”, or simply “It’s real people”.  I get it, too. Television so often acts as a way out for us, something that allows us to leave behind our current problems and engage in someone else’s. When a beauty pageant toddler breaks out a comeback sassier than should be possible with a five year-old vocabulary, we laugh. It’s not my toddler, after all. I don’t have to worry about proper discipline to raise a competent, compassionate individual. Which brings me to the last answer: “It’s real”.

            Is it?

            I took the time to do a little research for this article, and I’ve brought with me some evidence.

            I want to live a life of genuity—genuine kindness, genuine heartache, and genuine relationships. What reality TV feeds us is a stream of emotions on steroids, oscillating between magnified highs and melodramatic lows. As viewers, we see caricatures of people’s lives.

            The barbed come-backs decked out before cameras may seem quick-witted at first glance, even impressive. But I don’t want honing that kind of attack to become a personal goal! It does not take a remarkably intelligent person to throw stones. A wise person, however, is marked by their ability to discern between when to respond and when to hold his or her tongue.

            I want to be wise, not cheeky.

            I want to inspire respect, not anxiety.

            My goal is not to shame reality television viewers. That would be silly, as everyone deserves time to treat themselves and should be free to use that time as they please. The collegiate life is already too burdened by its own fair amount of worries and struggles for me to come along scolding TV choices.

            Here’s the point: Don’t aim for the grandiose and high stakes life of reality TV. Don’t fix yourself to the blasé attitudes. It’s not real, but you can be.