Assignment #2: “The Negative Effects of Reality Television”
Arial T. Adams
ENG 115- English Composition
Professor Amanda Crane
May 1, 2018
There are many types of television programs to watch on TV. One of the most popular kinds of television programs to watch is reality television. Reality television has caught the attention of millions of viewers. The shows are proven to be entertaining to people of all age groups. While entertaining to viewers, these types of shows have had the adverse effects on its audience. Reality television has its negative effects because it is negatively affecting today’s youth and decisions, it influences several behaviors in adults, and it is degrading and reducing the values of the society.
Reality shows are influencing today’s youth in a negative. The younger generations soak up everything because their minds are still in the process of developing, so they are not always capable of making conscious decisions. They see the things the reality cast members do, and they try to mimic those actions. Shows like “Teen Mom” show that unprotected sex and teen pregnancy is acceptable. Instead of trying to steer kids and teens away from this behavior, it is honored on national television.
Also, young females with lower self-esteems consider plastic surgery in hopes to create a false sense of acceptance by looking like their favorite characters. Many cannot afford the procedures, so they go to unlicensed and untrained individuals on the black market to get them done. Those untrained professionals inject foreign substances into their bodies without informing them that it can come with long-term and fatal outcomes. According to the “Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal” (2016), two out of one-hundred thousand surgeries, done by a trained professional, a patient dies from complications. When it comes to unskilled surgeons, the rate of death is one in every eleven thousand, according to Dr. Arthur Perry (2007), author of “Straight Talk about Cosmetic Surgery.”
Secondly, reality television influences some behaviors in adults, as well as teens, too. A vast majority of the shows showcase certain broadcast behaviors like violence, excessive partying and drinking, using drugs, and casual sex. Without realizing the shows are scripted, or fake, they think the fights and party lifestyle comes without consequences. The viewers only see what the producers allow them to see. They only see the fun and entertaining parts, but hardly ever see the police and jail booking, unless it is a part of the episode.
This lifestyle is leading to more promiscuous acts and an increased risk of sexually transmitted disease exposure. There has been a significant increase of std’s since 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Chlamydia rose 4.7%, gonorrhea rose 18.5%, and primary and secondary syphilis rose 27.6% from 2015 to 2016, and it is showing no signs of decreasing. These rates would be higher, but a lot of std cases go untreated because the carrier is embarrassed or do not think it can happen to them. That is one of the main reasons the human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDs) is on the rise. If left untreated, the diseases can cause long-term effects, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and infertility in women, and eye and lung problems in newborns. The ones watching these shows with random hookups and casual sex think it is okay because the shows never mention anything about catching sexually transmitted diseases. They only air the fun and sexy moments. A lot of these moments happen after the cast members have been drinking, using drugs, and partying, so it all goes hand in hand.
Another reason why reality television is negatively affecting its viewers is that the shows are corrupting today’s society in many ways. One way is the shows rely on humiliation and conflict to create excitement. The senseless behaviors shown are not demonstrating the proper ways to handle conflict. These shows are also reducing morals and values within the households in the communities. Instead of working things, the characters are constantly seen stepping outside of their marriages. While doing so, people from other areas are seeing this trend, along with the other shameless things, and figure that is how everyone in that area acts. Without judgment, people need to be able to learn about other people, in order to live around each other (Appiah, 2006).
Although reality television shows cannot be the blame for everything, things have changed since the popularity of the shows has increased over the years. Television watchers crave seeing stupidity, and without knowing the effects, it starts to take a toll on the brains of those watching. The audiences need to start monitoring what is watched and try to find a balance between what is real and what is fake because these shows are not going anywhere soon. Plus, it cost the networks more money to produce shows that lack the swearing, crying, arguments, violence, sex, drugs, drinking, and competition. The networks only care that the drama brings more ratings because they enjoy seeing the ratings (Dove Self-Esteem Project, 2016). At the end of the day, it is not their responsibility to monitor what happens after watching these kinds of shows. It is time to start making wiser decisions and stop letting reality television corrupt the minds of the viewers. Since the rise of reality television shows, children and youth have been affected negatively, certain behaviors in adults have increased, and the values of society have been degraded and reduced.