The Nature of the Problem


reality tv

Does reality television affect you or your decisions?

Reality television has been proven to have harmful affects on the people who watch it or are even exposed to it. Many Americans look up to the stars of reality television shows and the people who are most vulnerable to influence are teenagers. Teenagers are in a vulnerable stage as they grow through their adolescent years; by watching reality TV they look up to the stars of these shows and act as these stars do.

According to ABC News, MTVs show “Teen Mom2” is a huge influence on fighting. A 19-year-old named Brittany was charged with assault when a video became viral of the 19 year old attacking an old friend over an ex-boyfriend. Through interviews, it was found that the 19 year old was formally said to be the nicest and sweetest girl, but ever since becoming a star of “Teen Mom2”, she turns to violence for everything. She is also said to constantly be angry. She was kicked off the show later after the video going viral.

While this type of television goes on to influence behavior, there have also been studies done to prove this statement. Reality television actively damages civilizations. A statistical analysis of the reality show, Laguna Beach, was preformed by Professor Lesley Chiour and Professor Mary Lopez of the department of economics at Occidental College in Los Angeles California. They compared the show Laguna Beach with another reality TV show that was filmed but not televised. The untelevised show took place in a little town called Dana Point. The crime rate at Dana Point increased while the show was being filmed, but then they continued to drop throughout the 2000s after the show was filmed and decide to not be aired. On the other hand, while Laguna Beach was being filmed crimes like burglary, robbery, rape, auto theft, and larceny increased significantly in Laguna Beach as the show was being aired on TV.

Not only does reality TV increase crime rates throughout, it also damages people’s positive self body images. Reality TV has been proven to negatively affect personal body images. A Survey was conducted by Richard J. Crockett, M.D., Thomas Pruzinsky, Ph.D., and John A. Persing, M.D. showing that 87% of all first time plastic surgery patients are influenced by reality TV.Another study was preformed on 189 people and it was found that people who are even only barley exposed to the show, Extreme Makeover, were more likely to want surgery. After only 20 minuets of watching Extreme Makeover that group was significantly more interested in cosmetic surgery compared to a control group that was watching Sell this House.

All of this goes to show that reality television is an actual problem in our country that many people are oblivious too. It has been proven. This page has told you several reasons as to why reality TV is harmful. It stated it is an awful example to have vulnerable minds to look up to, it damages our cities, and it develops negative self body images.

The only question that is left to ask is, should we take reality television as literal as we, as American human beings, do?


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