#15 – Reality Bites!

English: TV receiver
Image via Wikipedia

Dear Aimee,

I think all of these reality shows and teen dramas have such a negative impact on our youth.  What do you see as the impact of reality shows on our youth today, and what can we do to help our teens through it?

Reality Bites – Cordell, OK

Dear Reader,

I’m not sure if I am an unbiased source of information on this topic given the title of my own column.  I am a fan of a few reality shows myself.  However, if I step back and look at what our teens are watching today, I do find it very discouraging. Mean girls is not just a show from the early 2000’s, but a new epidemic among our sweet young ladies.  Bad Boys isn’t just the theme song from the original reality cop show, but is a badge of honor for young men today.  So what’s changed and where is this influence coming from?  I did some research on the most popular shows for teens, what I found makes all of this no surprise. Drinking, promiscuity, smoking, drugs, bullying, disrespecting teachers, disregarding parental guidance, lack of compassion for others, and an overall belief that they are smarter than anyone else on the planet, while starring in their own TV show…THIS is what a teen might take in while watching television on any night of the week.  Here is the kicker.  The character participating in the immoral behavior isn’t the druggy, goth, outcast like in my days. It’s the gorgeous, model-like, popular, cheerleader or athlete who is rich, commands the school, and has an incredibly hot date to the prom.  From this point, it’s a simple if and then situation for our teens; to have what they have,  I have to act like they do.  We have high hopes that our kids can see through the glamorization and realize that it’s all just a show, just an act, and just not real. However if you talk with a school administrator or a teacher, you will probably hear that our hope is not the influence that is winning out.  What is my offering for all of this gloom and doom?  As with every moral and social issue, we can only address those who are under our influence, or in this case, under our roof.   We have only a short time to turn our youth into respectable law-abiding adults that contribute positive things to society, and that job is getting harder with every new Real Vampire Teens of Ohio That Gossip In Their Pimped Crib While Rocking Their Warlock Baby They Had At 16 In Prison Because They Got In A Drunken Brawl And Jumped Their Ex In Jersey After Dropping Out Of Rehab show that comes along. I’m not saying you should dig a media black hole and throw your teen in. Watch with them, discuss the absurdities of what is being displayed and the logical outcomes of the ridiculous behavior.  Let them decide what the world would be like if we all lived by the principles and morals seen on TV.  Help them come to the conclusion that there is a far bigger picture and purpose that exists outside of immediate gratification and selfish pleasure, and that sometimes the only way to be truly great and win, is to be humbly small and put others first. Good luck reader.  I am now off to think up a new name for my column.

“Real Housewife of Western OK”

_The Daily Elk Citian_26 January 2012,

_The Cordell Beacon_25 January 2012

One thought on “#15 – Reality Bites!

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