Are Reality Shows Enhancing or Declining Family Values?
By: Randy Jones
It seems that over the past fifteen years television has progressed from the old movie days and sitcoms to the era of reality. Reality shows have been around in some form since television was first introduced. Many of the early game shows were telecasted live and over the year’s different genres have taken a roll in what is now considered reality TV.
In the early 1990’s reality television was in its early birth of capturing audiences by recording actual live events as regular everyday people where playing the stars. In late 1999 and into the early part of 2000 reality television finally found the launch pad it needed with the start of shows such as Big Brother and Survivor. Shows such as these set a trend that would soon capture Americans everywhere and start what is now one of the most influential forms of life depicting life as it has never been seen before on public television.
With all the new programming that millions tune into each week and with the parental advisories being raised a little each year what was at one time deemed unacceptable to show for television has now become the normal and the words you were never aloud to speak at home are now duplicated by those ranging four years up to seventeen years old.
I certain aspects it seems that shows such as My Sweet Sixteen and Jackass just to name a few have impacted everything from little girl attitudes to putting teen boys in the local emergency room. Let’s not just throw condemnation at the teen based reality shows though. When you take a look at how many die hard viewers are over the age of 30 and seemingly more dedicated to coming home from work and eating, showering, and getting that last call in before their weekly dose of reality comes on at 9pm this is a far evolvement from about 30 years ago when the family sat down at the dinner table and actually communicated the days events via word of mouth and then while the parents sat a drank coffee or cleaned the dishes the children would finish any home work assignments from school and after all was finished the family could generally set down in one accord and enjoy a good TV episode or weather permitting set outside and enjoy the evening.
I’m not trying to say everything was Mayberry, but it seems that while modern technology has advanced to wonderful and exciting measures, has it become the reason we can no longer see the days of the family unit as it once was? Without kids and parents setting in the same room while each person has everything from a laptop to an iphone to Xbox 360, to occupy the minutes and hours before bedtime or the adults are wrapped up in the world of reality television to the point of loosing interest in the interaction with their kids and believe me when I say this, for the most part those of my era are very taken in by the new age of television because at one time the debuting of MTV was the greatest thing in the world and kept us busy for hours wanting to be rock stars. The Reality may be that all though so many advancements have been made in media and games for the sake of taking our addicted viewing pleasures to the next level, could this be causing us to miss the best minutes of our lives? The ones we actually create from just family interaction.