What are your thoughts on reality Television shows?

TeAch-nology.com's Teacher Poll of the Week
What are your thoughts on reality Television shows?
They are very exciting. You never know what is going to happen!
They are a complete waste of time.
They will be short lived.

View Results

Reality television shows - people either love them or they hate them. There isn't a lot of in between ground with these types of programs. Some people like the romance based ones while others lean towards the competition style shows. Looking at the results of this poll, the majority of teachers feel reality television is a complete waste of time. Couple these respondents with those who feel the genre will be short lived and it adds up to a fairly significant percentage.

At its best, television can be used as an educational tool. There are some wonderful documentaries or science shows which impart a great deal of knowledge to viewers. There are also a proliferation of soap operas on the air which have a huge following of fans. Sitcoms and drama series are also popular. With all that is available it is surprising that this whole new genre has been able to find a foothold in the competitive television industry.

Reality television is mindless fluff. There is no requirement by the viewer to think too hard or invest too much of themselves in the program. Unlike long running soap operas there is a short lived time investment by the viewer with the promise of soap opera-like antics. Some of the shows which follow famous families during their day to day routines would seem to appeal only to die-hard fans, but people across the board are embracing them.

At their best, reality shows give the average person an opportunity to win some money while taking advantage of their fifteen minutes of fame. Shows like The Biggest Loser try to teach contestants healthier lifestyles and may inspire viewers to do the same. What is the harm in that? There are many critics willing to tell you that reality television is contributing to the "dumbing down" of America. Well, Coronation Street has been on the air for years but it doesn't appear to have taught viewers anything educational. For some reason, there hasn't been a similar backlash against this type of programming.

Whether reality programming will be short lived is something we shall see in time. In the meantime, sit back, relax and watch some people make complete fools out of themselves. If you really can't stand to watch, Coronation Street is probably on 24 hours a day somewhere.