The Reality TV EpidemicSunday, December 05, 2010 By Carly Sylvester
Most people have lists of their top reality TV shows. From Keeping Up With the Kardashians to Jersey Shore to American Idol to What Not to Wear , the lists could go on for pages. Senior Billy McCabe loves reality TV. He says it is his “dream to be in a reality show” and that he watches around twenty reality shows a week. Freshman Taylor Johnson also cannot get enough of reality TV. She watches it at least four nights a week. Many people wonder why these shows are so popular and people are so interested in the lives of others. As highlighted by reality-tv-online.com, there is literally a reality show that appeals to every interest. Amateur cooks can watch the Food Network, those fascinated by business can watch The Apprentice , and The Bachelor and The Bachelorette attract many woman who enjoy watching real life love stories (although very little of it is real) play out. There’s something for every type of audience, which draws in even more viewers. The primary audience of reality TV may have something to do with its popularity. According to a survey conducted by oregonstate.edu, 68% of people ages 18 to 29 claimed to love reality TV. Only 44% of those questioned between 30 and 49 answered this question in the same way, and just 32% of people over 65 questioned claimed to like reality television. Since the main viewers of reality TV are on the younger side, the reasons people watch it can be more easily explained. While it’s sad to admit, there are few things more enjoyable than learning the latest gossip. While most people enjoy gossiping, it is enjoyed much more and done much more by younger people, especially those in high school. It’s fun to talk with friends about what went wrong at last weekend’s party or who’s fighting with whom. That is exactly one of the things reality TV allows people to do. People get to watch the lives and situations of others and then talk about it with their friends. According to associatedcontect.com, “Rather than living vicariously through the gossiped personal lives of friends and relatives, people can now simply switch on the TV to be first-hand witnesses to the obliteration of relationships, the mutiny that arises when strangers are shipwrecked on exotic islands, and the torment that an ‘ugly duckling’ will endure in order to achieve some standard of beauty as determined by a show's producers.” Reality-tv-online.com says that people are nosey and are naturally drawn to conflict. It’s pretty impossible to think of a reality show that doesn’t involve conflict in some way, which helps to further explain its appeal. To sum it all up, reality TV is fun to watch. There is something unique about every reality show, and there is a reality show out there for everyone. How many reality shows are on your list?