Is Reality Television the Scourge of America and the Family?


The buzz of Hollywood, the fatal attraction of entertainment, the mesmerizing capture of our attention by television and video.  It has lured us in, stimulated our senses, and in some cases actually entertained us.  But mostly, it has altered our sense of what is real and has blurred the line between reality, fantasy, fiction and entertainment.

Most disturbingly, for many individuals, it has largely REPLACED true reality as truth.  If you contrast most of what is available on television and in movies, you will find it does NOT reflect the reality of mainstream America nor the real lives of most Americans.  It is primarily “wishful thinking”.

The increasing stresses and pressures we all face as human beings, with our families, jobs, neighborhoods, schools and friends have collectively made it very attractive to seek outlets to relieve the stress, or make it completely go away, at least for an hour each week, as we watch these reality shows.

The “inconvenient truth” of this reality is that we watch an inordinate amount of television each day and week of our ‘lives’.  According to a U.S. Government, BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) study in June, 2012 (using 2011 data), the average person over age 15 spends 2.8 hours/day watching television.

Considering work, travel, sleep and miscellaneous daily activities associated with normal living, i.e., laundry, cleaning, cooking, prayer/spiritual health, administrative/financial, personal hygiene; I would offer that the average person realistically possesses at most, less than 6 hours of ‘free time’ every day.

Doing the math, then, 2.8 hours of watching television equates to roughly 47% of our discretionary time every day.

If we consciously choose to invest that amount of time every day for this single activity, it will consequently and realistically impact or alter our sense of reality, our ability to think, apply logic and ultimately influence how we make decisions.  Much like the age-old saying, “You are what you eat”, I propose that cognitively, “You are what you watch”.

The BIGGER question is what impact Reality Television has already had on the ‘Family’ as the core social unit for us as human beings?



About MW Cerkas

Compassion for People, Passion for Writing, Living my Conscience; "Look for the Good, Always" Positive, Creative, Seasoned Writer, Leader, Marketer, Authentic Spirit, Entrepreneur. Continuously seeking the GOOD in others and how to HELP them. Paying it Forward, Preparing for Eternity. Be well!

Posted on July 19, 2012, in General, Personal Growth, Philosophy, Truths and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Mechele R. Dillard

    Very true, Michael; I enjoy a lot of TV, as you would imagine, writing with, but I like to encourage people to realize that it is just that: television. When, as you said, one starts confusing TV with reality, it can make a big dent in one’s life. And, I also think there are shows that are “kid appropriate” and those that are not; it is up to the adults to make those distinctions and enforce them in their homes.

    You know, Cindy, there was a period in my life where I did not watch TV for about 2-3 years; after the first few weeks I did not miss it at all, but I cannot really say that it was that life-altering for me–I just saved a lot of $$$ each month by not having it! LOL


  2. Excellent article Mike! And so very true. A long time ago I went one month without any TV at all. It was the best thing I ever did. A challenge to your readers and you… Try it some time and see how your life changes!


    • Thank you for your thoughts Cindy. Like everything in life, the bad is mixed in with the good. There are fantastic television shows like Discovery, History Channel, National Geographic, etc. The challenge is to ferret out the unwanted and focus on the desirable. And the vehicle to accomplish that is your core values and beliefs, along with interests. Even more challenging is the journey attempting to positively influence the choices your children make.


  1. Pingback: Does Reality Television Portend The Apocalypse? | Emmie Mears

  2. Pingback: The Blurring of America – Technology Bends Reality « The Inspired Verse

  3. Pingback: Does Reality Television Portend The Apocalypse? « Emmie Mears

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