Reality TV Ruins Relationships, in my humble opinion. Your first instinct might be to argue that no one forces anyone to watch these programs, and I agree – but they do, and we as a race are influenced by the things we see. Check out your TV Guide – it just so happens that we see a LOT of “reality” TV. None of it has any basis in reality, of course, but nevertheless, there are many ways in which reality TV ruins relationships. Chick flicks used to do it, but now you don’t even have to buy a movie ticket! For all the ways reality TV ruins relationships, just keep reading!
1. Unrealistic Expectations
One of the main ways reality TV ruins relationships are through unrealistic expectations. Everything about reality TV is completely uncharacteristic. You can fall in love with a woman in six weeks – even if she’s in a group of fifteen, and you really only see her for an hour or so every couple of days? Honestly? Because, sorry, how many Bachelor/Bachelorette contestants are still together?
2. Fools Rush in
Speaking of which, that’s just one of the problems with reality TV. JWoww falls in love with a new guy approximately 15 minutes after breaking up with her long term boyfriend, Sam and Ron fell in lust within about 10 minutes and have continued on their trainwreck for five seasons now, Real World participants are constantly hooking up, and there are naïve watchers out there who think that rushing into a relationship really does make everything passionate and heated.
3. Group Love
Reality TV ruins relationships by encouraging this whole group grope mentality as well. So many reality shows feature cast mates who jump from one partner to the next that cliques of kids now think it’s a really good idea. There’s a rumor floating around right now that every member of Jersey Shore has herpes – what happens when groups of kids in high school start sharing STDs?
4. Crazy Characterization
Reality TV also perpetuations certain stereotypes, but audience members never realize that. One of the primary reasons so many reality relationships end is because one or both of the participants continue acting like their character once the show is over. People don’t believe they’re acting; boys start thinking that acting like Spencer Pratt or The Situation will totally get them hot girls.
5. Putting on a Show
Another reason reality TV ruins relationships is because it is all a show. Yet, certain people who watch it believe it really is realistic. They start thinking it’s completely realistic to, say, have over half a dozen babies, to treat your husband like crap and your wife like a drudge, and then get a divorce. A guy may say to himself, “Hey. My wife says and does some of the things Kate Gosselin does … she’s going to turn into a harpy! I’m going to leave her! I feel just like Jon!” and never thinks to himself, hey, are they playing a good cop/bad cop role?
6. The Unreality in Reality TV
Which brings me to this: the complete lack of reality in reality TV ruins relationships as well. These shows create crazy ideals that influence the people who watch them. I envision the day when stereotypical New Jersey mentalities really do invade the entire world.
7. The Glamorization of Violence
Violence really does get glamorized on television, which may be the most important way reality TV ruins relationships. Whether it’s Ronnie and Sam on Jersey Shore or Amber and Gary on Teen Mom, violence between couples is shown routinely with few consequences. We had to wait an entire season to see what happened to Amber for nearly pushing Gary down the stairs in front of her child. What kind of message does the seeming lack of consequences send to young couples?
Reality TV ruins relationships because, primarily, the expectations are totally unrealistic. There are poor little tweens and teens out there right now who think Sammi Sweetheart and Ronnie were meant to be together, and may even be getting the impression that this kind of behavior details a passionate relationship. Think I’m exaggerating? Go visit Tumblr; some of the blogs you find on there define all the ways reality TV ruins relationships better than I ever could. Sure, most people know better than to think any of this is a good example … but others don’t. Do you think reality TV ruins relationships? Let me know how!
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