Thursday, 20 December 2012

Reality TV leads to social media breakthrough

Every week Jen over at SomethingClever2.0 gives us a new topic to write about. It’s posted on the Theme Thursday page. Now I’ve missed a couple of weeks because I’ve been a little preoccupied. If you’re just joining me you can learn all about it here!
But I’m back and we’re all feeling great!
We got posed a question about reality TV this week. I have to admit the first thing I thought of was the Kardashians! Haha pathetic if you really think about it, but they have made themselves a household name across the world.
What I don’t understand the most about reality TV is how do people get famous off of airing their dirty laundry? What is our obsession with watching the every move of complete strangers?
That is what they are too. No matter how many episodes we see. No matter how many family brawls we witness. No matter how much of their personal and private information is leaked across the volumes of social networking; they are still strangers to us.
We can watch hours upon hours of their life stories (and most of the time I do believe it is made up stories we are watching) but we still don’t know what it is that makes these people tick. We don’t know the ins and outs of their personalities. We only know the surface of it all.
It takes me back to the beginnings of reality TV! Oh yes I was a mere child at this point but I remember it fondly.
With young parents, I was always exposed to what was hip and in! So when MTV birthed ‘The Real World’ you can believe my mom was home and watching every episode the moment it was aired!
Then came Road Rules and subsequently the Real World verses Road Rules. Oh, the days of the Gauntlet! We even had an encyclopedia of the seasons of The Real World and I was a thriving 10 year old that could eloquently recite each cast member as well as where they came from for each season! What a gem!
The pathetic depth of my The Real World knowledge was proven when the MIZ first arrived on WWE. Not a show I particularly ever liked but fell into my husbands routine of watching it in South Africa. When the MIZ first came on the scene, there were many household debates about ‘who’ exactly he was.
Google won me the battle after weeks of arguing that he had appeared on The Real World and was one of the most controversial cast members they ever had. I remember his antics followed him onto RRvsRW and swore he’d portray the same arrogance on WWE. (I really should have betted money on that one!) Finally, I googled the answer (like I always do!) and secured my place in the house as the Queen of Shinfo. (Please that word is copywrited!)
Oh, the joys of useless knowledge that are poured into our brains via the TV and especially reality TV! Why on earth did I know Kim Kardashian had begun dating Kanye after her split from Chris or the fact that Alexa from Jerseylicious was pregnant? It is beyond my comprehension how I can sit for mindless minutes as Etv gracefully updates me on all the behind doors action that is so openly public!
What has happened? How will this reality TV situation affect my children?
Then I turn to my blog. Yes, I choose and filter the information that is put out there. But I cannot filter who reads it nor how they interpret or use it.
We live in a society today that media has taken over. Are our Facebook accounts much less of a reality TV show at all?
Yes some of us possess that ability to control what we post or write about. However, countless times I scroll through my news feed and read personal details about other peoples lives. Reality TV has made it socially acceptable to put all our business out there.
As we watch other families tear each other apart, make complete asses (excuse the French) of themselves, and create a multimillion dollar network of it, we’ve created a world in which our mishaps no longer seem so bad.
So we publically air how we’re fighting and then making up with our spouses. We discuss the personal lives of our friends for the world to read. We use social media to put ourselves out there in hopes to be seen. However, we aren’t always being real.
Personas are created via social media (Tila Tequila for example) in which we then must live up to in real life. Jobs are checking our online accounts before hiring. Schools are banning teachers and children from being friends on these networks even.
Reality TV was just the beginning of a new era. One we are experiencing at it’s height now.
I love my blog and the fact that I have a place to turn to and that I can at least control what I put out there. Discretion is a virtue if patience ever was. But do I think that we are on a good track for our children?
Okay, I know this is about Reality TV. I just feel that Reality TV is what is making it socially acceptable to air our entire lives for the world to see. This in return has opened many doors to which everything has been taken to a new level.
I’m guilty of tuning into the latest Kardashian scandal and I love (literally) to see the girls on Jerseylicious duke it out once more. Oh heck, I even tend to get a little overwhelmed at the shallowness of Big Rich Texas families. However, I question how to protect my boys from the controversy of it all.
How do I keep them in line? When do I allow them to begin to venture out into this social media and “reality” world? How do I explain to them that what we live each day is reality and what they see on TV isn’t? How do I educate them to understand that when we watch the “reality TV” the consequences of the actions we see lies with those people in the TV but when they venture onto the internet and social media the consequences lies with ourselves and the people we interact with?
It is all a little overwhelming. So, would I ever want to be on a “reality TV” show?
It’s simple really, no. I don’t want myself or my family exposed in such a manner. I do not want personalities created for us based on what “the people” want to see. Because actually all that “the people” want to see is that other people and families are just as messed up as their own and that they don’t need to feel so bad.

I know we all have our “closets” somewhere and for some reason and I don’t need my aired for others  to feel better.

How many of us can actually relate in any way to these “reality TV” stars in any case?

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