Friday, February 22

The General Public & Reality Television

My social networks aren't just for entertainment; they allow me to better understand the behavior of large groups. There is a saying something to the effect of 'a person is not dumb but people are stupid'. In less offensive terms: when we herd together, we tend to not think as much. One thought resonates amongst the group as being accurate and that is what we go with. Facts are ignored. Logic is forgotten and assumptions run rampant. Internet "crowds" are not easily reasoned with sometimes due to there being far more opinions that match irrational conclusions. Separate just one person from the crowd and their individual thought process will likely express a different opinion...after they're presented with a viewpoint that makes sense. Group thinking is usually the cause of this.

So, I didn't watch the first or second season of the above show because:
  1. I didn't like the harsh judgment spewed out at the cast, knowing that some of the people making these grandiose judgments/assumptions, HATE being judged themselves.
  2. I know that these shows are edited to keep viewers interested, not necessarily to shed light on who they REALLY are. 
This isn't to say that their show behavior isn't part of their personality but Producers display them as one dimensional creatures, which is a bit unfair. I understand that some might be putting on for viewers but others seem genuine. I'm no stranger to how reality shows work either since I've developed and assisted in the creation of two. One of which got picked up by a well known television station but was dropped due to creative differences and another that is a great show waiting to "happen". Everything isn't always what it seems on these shows.

This season caught my attention though because of Consequence and Joe Budden. One is married to a cast member and the other used to date one of the women. However, THE WOMEN are still the focus of the show. Kind of feels like it should have been called Women in Hip Hop. That title isn't catchy but I digress. After watching a couple of the episodes, it made sense who people were referencing on my social networks.

It also allowed me to see the uglier side of some I wish I hadn't witnessed. 

In an effort to understand other human beings, I question a lot of things. Not in the sense of who are you to do this or that. More so from a place of curiosity, as in why are you doing that. I'm a believer that a solution exists in every problem that we have. So when these people's lives are ripped apart by the entertained public, I begin to question how many think their life is better...or if it just feels good to see a perceived bad situation if you're in one too. I don't know any of the cast to say they have shitty lives but some of my followers FEEL otherwise. I say feel because it isn't clear that they're even THINKing. How many people ask themselves "if I was on TV would my life LOOK drama free? Would I be viewed as the same person I portray myself to be online"?

I'll be the first to admit, my life on television would probably cause some to stop and give me a side eye. The full spectrum of who I am cannot be captured on any social network. For one, I have a husband and child that I have to respect. While my husband knows ALL of my perceived weaknesses/flaws and the un-PC things I do/say in the privacy of my home, it isn't within my best interest to unleash that on people every chance I get. Is it being fake? Not in the least. If that were the case, ALL of us would have to be plugged into the Matrix 24/7 so there wouldn't be a chance of our followers missing anything. Those I'm close to know the layers of who I am outside of my logins. What the online communities see in regards to me is accurate information about who I am, it just isn't EVERYTHING.

I view these reality shows the same way. There are parts of these people's lives that we will never know about. Looking at the cast's antics as a form of entertainment is one of the most reasonable ways to view them. However, it has become far more than that. Wild assumptions fly and while we could blame it on what the Producers choose to show us, it is displayed as jealousy/envy, judgment, and jackassery. So no sooner than I start to watch some reality based programs, I quickly stop.

I don't have much faith in our current society falling back from harshly judging so maybe someone will figure out a way to show the real side of reality television. Then again that would be called a documentary so, there's that.



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