X Factor, Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, American Idol, Strictly, Jeremy Kyle, SuperNanny, Kardashians, Born in Chelsea …. the list goes on. Reality TV has become the stalwart of modern broadcasting offering glimpses into the “everyday lives” of the ordinary citizen to the power of the media to propel that said ordinary person to fame and fortune beyond their wildest dreams. And as these programmes continue to dominate our viewing time, our children are being more and more sucked into the subliminal messages that come hand in hand with the promises, hopes and desires that play our before their eyes.
But the big question is “how much is this impacting them?” “Is reality TV the ogre or the angel of our media subscriptions?”
Reality TV is ironically exactly the opposite in my opinion. Whilst for the very odd few it can make the occasional dream come true, change a life, inspire, sort out, correct or do whatever it claims it can do, the fact is that it is only actually doing that to the minority. And even then, how many of that minority only get to experience that dream, or reality, for a minuscule part of their lives. The phrase “your fifteen minutes of fame” has never struck a chord more!
Now don’t get me wrong, in the entertainment rankings, I get it! Audiences participate, there is huge buy-in and whether you see it as “laughing at another’s expense” or “learning from their mistakes” it all paves the paths of gold for the programme makers. But in life, particularly where our children are concerned, we need to be encouraging them to be finding that rainbow inside each of them. It’s not about finding that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow per se but having the inspiration to look within and optimise each moment enjoying the spectrum of life that is theirs for the taking. It’s about understanding that focus, determination, motivation and perseverance are all part of the tool kit of achievement. That working hard, quietly and persistently, will get you where you want to go. It’s about putting in the effort to get the results. “There’s no gain without pain” approach. It’s about getting our children to understand that they are in charge of their future not Mr X on ITV, Sky or BBC etc. They have to plan, persist and persevere. Sticking with something, evaluating where they are going, why they are going there, how they are going to get there, what they hope to achieve, when they are going to achieve it and over everything else, get on and act!
Yep – reality TV is entertainment. Pure gold some would say but the real world – ummm probably not for most of us so let’s pick up the gauntlet and encourage our children with the stuff that gives them worth and value and will help them pave their own path of gold where the sky’s the limit, their dreams and aspirations are meaningful and have purpose and they are in control of their own destiny!
For Further Reading:
Reality Lives by ginzandtonic.com