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Territory Incharge, Apollo Tyres Ltd.

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Are reality shows good for society?

Reality shows like Big Boss, Roadies are nowadays became the demand of Indian youth. But this kinda reality shows giving wrong message to our society by the abusive language used in the show.....this entertainment is becoming a curse to the society.....plz share urban views....

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    Mar 2 2013: I don't believe *reality shows* really exist. I remember reading two studies about how the mere observation of people change their behavior.
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      Mar 3 2013: good point. they're not exactly about "reality" but about a version of the reality that they are "selling" us. in other words, it's fake authenticity
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    Mar 3 2013: it's not the abusive language that's the main problem. abusive language exists in our society and hiding it would be worse than showing it.

    i think that the main problem is the fact that reality shows actually create "fake realities" - situations that seem very real but aren't. for instance, how many people do you know who actually pick their spouse by making several people go through all kinds of challenges and tests?

    this is a problem because people watching may not always make the difference between the reality they see on TV and their real life.
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    Feb 26 2013: Well, this is the same old argument I see in my own country, casting blame on a topic, in this case "reality TV shows", for exposing children/youth to a certain influence, arguably from a "class" of people you would not otherwise associate with and specifically aimed at the language being used, as further proof we need some sort of censorship across the board to offset your inability to parent your own children. How ridiculous…don't want your kids influenced by TV….turn it off, send them to their room with a book, BE a parent and stop censoring my freedoms. And be sure, were it not for the fact that TED would censor me for using the language you seem to hold such contempt for, I would use "every" word at my disposal.
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    Feb 25 2013: Reality shows would be more accurately entitled "unscripted shows." No one's reality is the controlled and carefully edited version on television.

    Perhaps the better question is whether media shapes culture or merely reflects it.
    • Mar 8 2013: You make an excellent point here. The media has such an influence on culture today. Media tells us what to eat, what to wear, what is acceptable, what is desirable, etc. Reality shows are the culmination of all these influences. Reality shows can present whatever they want society to see. Shows like Jersey Shore portray people living irresponsibly and foolishly with virtually no repercussions. Other shows simply present skewed versions of actual events.

      "Perhaps the better question is whether media shapes culture or merely reflects it."
      This is a very interesting question. I believe both are true to some extent. The media gives society what it think we want (i.e. ridiculous shows about ridiculous things) and then uses these shows to send specific messages. However, I think if ratings started suddenly dropping for these types of shows, the media would find another method of influence.

      Do you think these types of shows are harmful or just fail to accomplish good?
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    Mar 8 2013: in turkey , reality shows is not real.of course it is applicable for other country.i have never trust any tv program.all of them is setup and ''SHOW''.
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    Mar 3 2013: Hi Anshul:

    I am so glad you chose to bring up the topic of reality shows as I do believe they're sending the wrong message. I've literally tried to find a positive one and thought I had when I watched Storage Wars, then again the word WAR was within the title. I thought to myself, how bad could it be to purchase items from containers? Then I saw the two men fight over the contents of a storage container and could barely believe my eyes.

    To second your statement, I do believe just as you do that most reality shows are sending the wrong message to youth as well as adults today. It would seem that these shows are degrading and teach bad methods for coping with stress and are teaching such tactics as revenge which is so sad.

    We need more uplifting shows. But I wonder, what would the ratings would look like!
    The good news is that we have TED. Inspiring, uplifting, unique, global.

    Olivia
  • Mar 3 2013: Reality shows are not real, they are just shows.
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    Mar 2 2013: I may be good in the sense of freedom of speech, anyone should be allowed to express how they want. However if it is to be considered towards teaching morals and creating educated human beings, I doubt that is beneficial.
    At the end of the day it should be taken as entertainment, not to influence, just because in a movie or show there are people behaving out of the norm of society it does not mean that we have to act like it. Once again it is important to teach that those shows are for entertainment.
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      Mar 3 2013: i agree that it should be taken an entertainment, but people are hugely influenced by entertainment. that's why it's such a successful business.

      look at Hollywood movies or sports. why would people want to be a prince/princess or an NBA star? because they think that those movie characters or sports stars have an ideal life - which is obviously not true (not even for movie characters)
    • Mar 8 2013: Kelly, I definitely agree with you. Reality shows, however real or fake they actually are, should merely be forms of entertainment. However, I do agree with Questions First, too. I agree that people are influenced by entertainment. It is human nature to put ourselves in the situations we see portrayed in movies and on TV. That's why we are so attracted to these things. However, I would like to think that people do not do the same thing when it comes to reality shows. I know I have never been influenced by "Dance Moms" or "Storage Wars." I only watch these shows because I find them amusing. When I turn the TV off, I turn off anything I may have felt while watching the show. I don't think I should go out and buy a storage unit to make money. I'd like to think people are smart enough to do the same.
  • Mar 1 2013: For every person viewing and deeply immersed in their preferred reality show, there is Another person who suddenly shudders, realizes what they are watching, and Awakens to the illusion.........then the Push becomes a Pull. They start to see what lies behind a reality show is common to Most things in our society. They are all delusional concepts. They are the dream.

    So, they are a necessary evil......
  • Mar 1 2013: Yes as it keeps the masses from the true 'reality. If thy knew a fraction of what was really happening the world governments and religions would collapse in a blaze of glory.
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    Feb 27 2013: Over the years as media and society have become desensitized to such things as profanity and violence, we have been exposed to more and more "bad-influence media." This "media-controlled culture" is passed on to our children and our children's children. Every step of the way, children become more and more desensitized until they can kill people in "reality" video games without a blink of an eye. Now all of this has occured in only one generation. This means that violence will become increasingly prevalent in our society. The reality shows you mention are violent, and they do influence the spread of desensitization toward violence. But also consider the fact that there are reality shows that are not violent.
  • Feb 26 2013: In reality shows the TV gurus have found the perfect combination of shows people will watch, with low cost production. Game of thrones is a far superior program you might agree... But the fx cost millions. That's why there's 38,000 reality shows for every fantasy epic(minor exaggeration)

    They will never let go of these money makers. It's the same reason TV line ups feature so many 'murder mystery/cop' shows. People lap up what amounts to the same episode rehashed over & over & it costs relatively little to make.

    There is in every country I'm aware of, government bodies that control what we see... I.e. censorship. Why they don't control IQ lowering crap, like most reality TV shows, instead of being focused on private parts & 'evil' words is beyond me.
  • Feb 25 2013: There are really two types of reality shows being produced now.
    The first is the "day in the life" type of people looking for new homes or hunting alligators. These types do not tell you the whole story, lie where convenient, and leave out important parts of the story. I know a family that just did a renovate or move show and it was a sham at best.
    The other type is the "Big Brother" type where the producers purposefully recruit mentally unstable contestants, place them in high stress situations and film them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with the intent of creating violent situations for their "plot" line.
    Both of these types are produced because its cheaper than creating a scripted drama with actual actors and real writers.
    Therefore they will stay around as long as there is an audience for their commercial sponsors. These people are bottom feeders and we should not support them.
    A number of books have been written exposing the fraud yet it persists.
    Maybe reading has become passe
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    Feb 24 2013: Reality shows are attempts to package a show according to the tastes and expectations of the target audience while sustaining the impression that those things are happening without prior plan.
    If the society craves filth and abusive language like an addict craves from drugs; then the society should be blamed for shooting itself in the foot.

    It is a pity. If the society focuses on creativity and it is expressed in the demand, then we would make real progress.
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    Feb 24 2013: I remember Paris Hilton had a show called the simple life which was garbage. They would live with people and do blue-collar jobs. It was a good show to learn what not to do.
  • Feb 24 2013: I think some reality shows esp. on Discovery Channels are pretty good and realistic.

    Other shows, some that you mentioned, might not be based on reality or the portrayed "reality" only applies to a small group of people. By presenting these shows on TV (young) people might think the behaviors in the show are normal even thou these behaviors represent only fraction of population in special circumstances.

    I think that this problem will disappear as the Internet continues to display TV shows and big competition on the Internet will ensure the shows that appear there will provide better value for its viewers. At least that is my hope =)
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    Mar 10 2013: Great topic... can lead to a lot of controversy or arguments. On one side, people ask producers to keep things to as real as possible instead of narrating fiction... on the other end of the spectrum, the same producers are bombarded with people asking them to express creativity!!

    So, fiction and reality are the 2 ends of the spectrum. But, when it comes to being good for the society, one should think about the "Message" that is being broadcast. Every program has a message and people have to judge the content by the message that is delivered.

    TV content producers (and even newsprint editors) leverage the functions of Brain to their advantage. There's a small organ in the brain called - amygdala... which prepares us for the fight/flight response. This used to be a very useful functionality, until recently. During the last 3 centuries, due to massive development of communication, travel and interaction, it is working counter-productively. For thousands of years, human beings were usually 'locked-in' to local surroundings and hence the "amygdala" played a key role in the survival of species.

    However, today, when are no longer bound to any geographic region, coupled with exposure to "dangers" from all around the world in the form of news, tv, internet and other media, the function of amygdala is questionable. Whether a danger is happening right next to you or thousands of miles away, the amygdala still responds to stimulus... and THIS is a strategy used by media to get the attention of their audience.

    There's a lot more to discuss about this topic. That's it for now.

    Click "Like" button if you liked this response.

    Thanks,
    Raam
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  • Mar 9 2013: They are not. One of the purposes of television was to make us lose our self-confidence. "I am a horrible person", "I have a big nose", "I am fat". And as the time passes by we realize that we are trying so hard to be like an actor(actress) or like some celebrity. We have borrowed ideas: to be skinny, even though you look horrible that way, to buy stylish clothes even if they don't suits you, etc. (Sorry for my English)
  • Mar 8 2013: At the end of the day, reality shows exist because they make money. People watch them, so they will continue to be made. This doesn't necessarily mean that they are good or bad. Shows like "Chopped" on the Food Network don't really offer any underlying messages or suggest a way of life. These types of shows simply offer a half hour of entertainment involving food, cooking and competition.

    On the contrary, other shows seem to suggest things about society and life in general. "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" and "The Real Housewives of ______" depict people living a lifestyle that is far from one most people can relate to. At the same time, are people really affected by this? Do people really watch the Kardashians and think, "This is how I want to live my life."? Hopefully not. People watch them because they are absurd, because they are entertaining and because they are dramatic.

    Whether "reality" shows represent anything real or not, they make money. Because of this, they will continue to exist. Do people watch them to see how to live their lives or purely for entertainment? I would like to believe the latter.
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    Mar 7 2013: I think all reality shows are not meant to be bad for the society. some are meant to get the barriers of the society out of the pillars of problems that they are facing through and some are meant to provide entertainment.as you stated big boss,roadies etc they are meant for entertainment and participants participate to see their future on the path of positivity.
    but at the same time if you look at satyameva jayate it was completely meant for the problems the society is facing through and the solutions that need to be found to get rid of the problems.
    So i dont think we can get biased to only one side of it rather need to think on both the sides of the coin.
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    Mar 6 2013: Hello Anshul:>)
    You say that the reality shows you mention are becoming the demand of Indian youth. That seems problematic, because the shows are projecting something that is not "real", and that is probably not helping our (USA) reputation around the world.

    To participate in the "reality shows" people audition, and the casting directors pick certain personalities to participate. Those who are chosen, are then put into a constructed "set" that is built especially for the show, and they are filmed...sometimes 24/7, with production crews on the set and watching them all the time. There is NOTHING "real" about any of it.

    The problem is, that the so called reality shows are sending an "unreal" message to a lot of people who accept them as "real" life stories. Same thing is true of soup operas. Some people get very engaged in the scripted lives of those "characters" as well. If people could see them as simply entertainment (like a stand up comedian doing a show), perhaps it would be fine.....however....it does not seem like that is the way most people who watch them perceive the "unreal" "reality show"!
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    Mar 6 2013: I hope not.
  • Mar 5 2013: No, they are fake. they are useless, but lets the youth of young adults enjoy them. So if people like them why not?
  • Mar 5 2013: Youth enjoy what we allow them to. It is the path of least resistance. Reality television is easy; it costs your brain nothing to watch. You need not think or make any symbolic or deep connections what-so-ever when you partake.
    Now what if parents decided that youth should only be allowed to watch something wholesome or intelligent? Of all the ideologies and religions parents hold over there children, the media they allow them (or force them) to intake should be the most prevalent.
  • Mar 4 2013: Can anybody tell me why ppl or viewers are so curious or excited to watch such a crap......why they waste their time in knowing others life (shows like Big Brother/ Big Boss).....
    They are more interested in knowing what the contestant had done in the show......
    My suggestion to all reality show lover is to put ur valuable time in some productive work...which will bring some value addition to ur personality......