Reality Television It’s Sunday night, the work is done and you are ready to sit down and relax. You walk down the stairs, make some popcorn, cuddle up on the couch, and flip on your favorite reality television show. On that Sunday evening you will not only have one reality show to choose from but many because reality television is becoming commonplace. These shows range from competitions to find your future spouse to episodes documenting the life of celebrities. What each show has in common is that is highlights interpersonal relationships.
While most parents are stealing the remote o prevent their children from watching reality television, they should be doing the opposite. Even though many believe these shows destroy society, more evidence indicates that the shows benefit and assist people, encouraging them to strengthen their own relationships and make smart decisions within them. Due to reality television becoming more popular it is important to understand its true effects. Reality television shows benefit relationships by providing positive tips, lessons, and examples of what a healthy and positive relationship should be.
One type of interpersonal relationships is romantic relationships, which are often expressed on reality dating shows. The heart of dating reality television is Abs’s The Bachelor. Every season is about a single, handsome, and successful man that is introduced to 25 stunning women in hopes that one of them will be his future wife. Week by week he sends one of the women packing back to her home. At the end of the six-week period he will have one dream woman remaining to whom he will propose. The Bachelor is a great example off program that positively benefits the relationships of viewers.
Dana Cloud, a Communication Studies professor, studies their investment and influence that is the result of their attachment and commitment. She disputes that the viewers’ emotional investment in the show stirs trouble in their own personal relationships. Cloud believes the overload of viewers’ attachment in the show is obvious by social media comments. On twitter one user tweeted twice in one day about the program and her opinions; these users help verify the attachment of many viewers (Roth). While Cloud argues their investment is negative, psychology suggests the viewers are benefiting from it.
Tiffany Brewer argues, “The general premise of the social cognitive theory is that people learn from observing others’ actions and attitudes and the consequences they face as a result. This process is known as modeling and is a core premise of entertainment education” (12). The theory implies that viewers are going to apply the positive behavior to their own personal romantic relationships and learn what not to do from the negative behavior by investing themselves in the reality programs. The Bachelor not only benefits the viewers but also many of the participants.
Many of the couples that became engaged at the end of the season have moved on past the show and created families. Ryan Suttee the winner of Triad’s heart from season one of The Bachelors tweeted, “Beautiful day to spend with my beautiful wife and kids. So grateful! ” Him and Tristan have been married for over ten years now and have children. Another example off beneficial relationship is Jason and Molly another chance. Jason, who had a kid from a previous marriage, is now married to Molly and they have a newborn baby. Molly posted a tweet after her baby was born eying, “Thank you everyone for all of the well wishes!
Riley is such a dream and couldn’t be more perfect! We are so happy and in love!!!! #Erlenmeyer’s. ” Both of these tweets suggest that the show has benefited couples from The Bachelor. Dating shows are not the only types of reality television shows that affect relationships. In addition to romantic relationships reality television involving competitions, such as The Amazing Race, improve existing relationships between friends and family. The Amazing Race is a reality game show, which typically eleven teams of two race around the world.
These partners range from husband and wife to mother and her son racing roughly twelve legs interspersed with physical and mental challenges. Critics have argued reality games shows bring out the worse sides of the contestants, but actually most contestants seem to have really positive experiences. Terry Gross, the host of Philadelphia public radio, offered contestants his opinion that shows like The Amazing Race “are designed to bring out the worst in people because you have to be brutally competitive, incredibly aggressive, and honest in the cruelest sense.
While Gross is arguing these game shows are punishing relationships, CBS offers elimination interviews of the contestants that imply the opposite. One team, Jessica and John, stated, “[a]after running around the world and having your view expanded it makes it more clear than ever how fortunate all of us are. ” For Jessica and John The Amazing Race offered the insight to appreciate one another in order to strengthen their relationship. Many other couples agree that the show has been beneficial. Another couple Pam and Winnie commented, “we would do it again in a heartbeat.
We loved the Race so much. We would do it again even if there was no prize money. ” Their quote also provides evidence on how The Amazing Race gave them an opportunity of a lifetime that they were able to experience together only helped make them closer. There are many sources that support the the participants arguing the benefits of The Amazing Race. In 2006, National Geographic Magazine published an article declaring, “[I]f anyone can tell you how to travel outside your comfort zone, embrace risk, and come back alive, it’s the… Winners of TV’s The Amazing Race” (Whiners).
The contestants are facing these risky challenges gather and are experiencing these challenges together, making them stronger. While The Amazing Race takes people to exotic locations, 16 & Pregnant is reality television revealing people in their day-to-day life. Mats hit show affects both the viewers and reality stars. 16 & Pregnant focuses much more on the relationships between parent and child not only with the newborn, but also with the ten’s parent as well. The show follows the lives of pregnant teenagers and films the struggles with teen pregnancy. 6 & Pregnant has shown positive correlations with one of the main issues in The United States, teen pregnancy. MET paired with The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy to help reduce the rates of teen pregnancy. The campaign published an article revealing facts about teen pregnancy and noted that in 2006 when the rates spiked about 164 out of 1,000 teens became pregnant. The article confirms that MET is working with the campaign to help viewers understand the fundamental problems of teen pregnancy. In 2009, the first read that “[a]approximately 39 births and 72 pregnancies occur per 1,000 girls age 15-19” (Fast Facts).
This evidence suggests that 16 & Pregnant has led to a decrease in teen pregnancy. After viewing the negative effects of teen pregnancy on the show, teenagers are making better decisions when it comes to their sexual involvement. A research was done to help understand the effects of the program. The paper read: Teenagers are being positively reinforced by watching 16 and Pregnant. Through the use of ads during the show and through the struggles each teen mom encounters, MET is teaching the audience a very valuable lesson: that waiting to have sex and practicing safe sex are the best ways to avoid becoming pregnant as a teenager. Understanding 3) This article lays out partnership formed with MET and advertising nannies as an effort to reduce teen pregnancy. The shows sole purpose, according to MET, is to educate teens and encourage smart decisions within their relationships. 16 and Pregnant captures the building of relationships between not only the teenager and her child but also the teenager and her parent. By observing the behaviors presented on television, viewers are learning how to make smart decisions to help create healthy relationships.
Even though many of the examples of behavior shown on television are negative, viewers can still learn by observing according to the theory presented by Tiffany Brewer. Her study on teenagers provides additional evidence that indicates the positive effect of the reality program. She surveyed a group of teenage viewers to bring to the light the lesson they are learning through watching 16 & Pregnant each week, after she was done surveying, the most common response was people thought more about the consequences of their actions.
The balancing of financial costs, schoolwork, social activities, and a child can be a hassle. The episodes display the legitimate challenges and how a teenager should approach handling the situation. The relationships grow and develop with onscreen inversion and while viewers watch the interactions they will grasp tips and ideas on how to reach out to communicate with their own family members. This exposure will open up conversation about sexual behaviors between parents and their children. It will provide a comforting stance for families to be more open with one another.
By making a reality television show center on the issue of teen pregnancy, they are raising awareness in young people and influencing them to make intelligent decisions within their relationship. (Session) 16 & Pregnant is not the only show that MET has produced to raise awareness for an issue. The series Catfish is another example off reality television show that affects the audience by opening their eyes to a controversy. Catfish is a television series on MET that is based off of the original documentary about a young man named Yanks Coalman who had a strange experience with online dating.
He discovered that the person he had been talking to was actually an older woman faking her identity as a youthful, beautiful girl. Yanks created the series to help others in society who are dealing with similar situations. While some believe Catfish is only boosting the amount of fake online identities, the program similar to 16 & Pregnant, addresses the issue and makes viewers aware of the stranger dangers lurking online. Providing knowledge of the mishaps can be used as a guide and relationships (Calendar).
While many of society’s immediate thoughts are that reality television shows have a negative effect on relationships, there is more evidence to support their broadcasting. Reality television has increasing become more popular within the past 10 years and it is important that society knows the effects of watching it. Reality television is benefiting real life relationships of stars and those who tune in to watch t every evening by providing with great experiences and both positive and negative examples of relationships.