Clinically Speaking is a blog that will allow anyone to learn about Social Work, case presentations in psychotherapy, and the relationship of pop culture in psychology. Come one...come all!!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Reality it actually reality?

We all watch some form of reality TV, yes guys we watch reality TV we don't call it reality TV we call it....Sports. Over the last decade reality TV has dominated the airwaves. Whether it be American Idol, The Voice, Survivor(yes, that's still on), Top Chef, Project Runway(yes, I watch that, c'mon Heidi Klum is host) Jersey Shore(Ugh!), NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB all forms of it. We become enthralled with the lives of these celebrities because for some reason we enjoy it. We enjoy the drama queens, the drama kings, we read blogs and entertainment magazines to see where these people are when they are not on TV but still in reality. Why? Why do we like this? Are the lives of these people more realistic then say our own lives? Is it more of a representation of reality?

I don't think it its about the fact that we like to delve into other people's lives and business(although we probably do) I think in a way all the different reality shows have some sort of sentiment of reality themes. We all don't play professional sports, and we all don't compete for a competition formerly. However, we all have this competitiveness aspect in our lives. It could be at work when there is a promotion and they will only promote within the company or agency, or trying get married, in dating there is an aspect of making sure you are desirable enough to date or vying for a person whom you want to date. Dr. Steven Reiss and Dr. James Wiltz, professors of psychology at Ohio State University say in their article, Why America Loves Reality TV, that while they agree that people enjoy reality TV for the competitive nature they add that "Reality TV allows Americans to fantasize about gaining status through automatic fame...Ordinary people can watch the shows, see people like themselves and imagine that they too could become celebrities." That makes me think about another question why do we want to be famous? I don't think its the idea of being famous, its the illusion that if your famous, you have no problems and everyone loves you. In reality(pardon the pun), I do not think that's the way it is. Everyone has their own trials and tribulation regardless of stature or status and feeling good about themselves. Being famous does not equate to high levels of self-esteem. Self-esteem comes from array of different innate and environmental features.

While there are some meaningful lessons that  you can learn from reality TV, remember everywhere you look is reality...find the meaning there!

Happy Happy Monday!

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