Reality TV: Why Do We Watch It?


Reality TV has become a social norm. People love them. They are avidly watched and streamed/live-tweeted/heavily discussed on social media because of the drama and entertainment factor it brings.

Why do people watch The Bachelor or My Sweet 16 or any other show of that sort? If these shows are so horrid and badly display people’s natural emotions, why are they captivating?

These not-so realistic reality TV shows do something most other shows don’t. They glorify the “ordinary”. People are captivated by the idea that boring or ordinary humans can act dramatically and be praised because of it.

“Two of the most commonly repeated “truths” about reality TV viewers are that they watch in order to talk with friends and coworkers about the show, and that they are not as smart as other viewers…But that’s not true…

The message of reality television is that ordinary people can become so important that millions will watch them. And the secret thrill of many of those viewers is the thought that perhaps next time, the new celebrities might be them.” —Psychology Today

I’m not a big fan personally of shows like Keeping Up With the Kardashians or something else like that. But I am curious and surprised by how many people who love it. People love the drama. They love seeing people fight and how “unscripted” it is because it could happen anywhere.

071715-kim-kardashian0cry-face1The idea that people with these personalities exist is mind-blowing and people love that. They love to be surprised. It’s this new and certain type of viewer that brings in viewership and money to large companies so they continue to make shows like these.

It creates a view of society that everyone is privileged and Americans are rude but people LIVE for that stuff. People say it’s their guilty pleasure, but why? They say it’s so bad it’s good.

But one student told me that they loved Reality TV because they get to watch people who have so much worse lives than they do. It’s their escape from their own lives and in the end it makes them feel good about themselves.

Some shows can be interesting like Deadliest Catch but not to the point where I am consumed by it. I personally feel like the fascination with Reality TV is very astonishing and different. if you like it, props to you! It’s just such a new.different type of style to watch and has so many different reasons as to why people are attracted to it!


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