The Truth About Why We All Love Reality TV

Keeping Up With The Kardashians
Keeping Up With The Kardashians

This is probably shocking coming from a mid-twenties female, but I watch a TON of reality television. First of all, before you scoff at my choices in entertainment, don’t judge me because I enjoy semi-scripted junk over your sci-fi, animated obsessions. We are all weirdos, okay? But, the reason I’m sharing my love for all things drama is to inform you of the message I’ve received loud and clear from these shows: if you wouldn’t want national television to know you’re doing it, don’t do it.

These reality stars continuously have to defend their actions to the World Wide Web of internet trolls on a daily basis. They have to try to clarify their behavior to an audience of strangers, as if their opinions truly matter in the grand scheme of things. So, I’ve learned from watching the train wrecks on Real Housewives of Wherever, or my personal favorite, Keeping up with The Kardashians, that my life would be entirely different if broadcasted to a world of outsiders.

Of course, despite my personal pro-reality show argument, my life isn’t nearly as intriguing as individuals with buckets of money, so my existence on Earth isn’t broadcasted. But, it really has me thinking, “What if my grandmother just saw me take that shot and immediately puke it up in the bathroom?” which happens, sometimes. First of all, my grandmother probably wouldn’t be subscribed to the channel my show would be on, but it’s all for the sake of hypothesis. I would be ashamed, embarrassed, and quite frankly, disappointed in myself. But, lucky for me, and you, my chaotic life and digestive system are not publicized nationally and I don’t typically worry about strangers judging my habits. However, if I did have an audience judging me, including my loved ones, I think I would live my life differently.

The reason reality shows are so popular, and lucrative, is because they are “uncensored” and show the nitty gritty behind a real person’s life. That being said, Average Joes don’t get shows for a reason. We wouldn’t watch a show that’s about housewives that cordially play tennis without bashing each other’s drinking habits or dating life. We wouldn’t be interested in the Kardashians if their life was that of the Brady’s (but I do make a strong argument for the Kardashians because they do experience real-world problems, like having your sister copy all of your house décor, something Jan would be appalled by). My life isn’t a reality show because the most dramatic thing that happens to me on a regular basis is the fight and disgust I have with my dog following her stepping in her own feces, which isn’t really network worthy or appropriate. (Does anyone remember watching Newlyweds with Nick and Jessica where she farts repeatedly? Yeah – I guess a show really can be about nothing).

But, watching these shows has shown me a new light into my own life. For example, I’m beyond #blessed that there’s not a full camera crew following me around on my drunken escapades (although SnapChat is an evil invention) or showing how big of a fit I threw over getting “real” chicken instead of chicken tenders the other day. All jokes aside, I’ve decided to start living my life with the mentality of “who is watching?” because it helps me make decisions that I’m proud of. I want to live a life that if someone on the opposite side of the country is watching, they aren’t cringing in embarrassment for me, or thinking, “wow, she’s totally out of control and I’m going to tell her on Instagram.”

Now, I don’t think I live an extremely tumultuous life, although I do work in the service industry (adult daycare) and it’s quite interesting in itself. However, my actions in private are sometimes hateful, lazy, and uncompassionate. I am actively working to change this so that if/when my reality show hits the main stage I’ve at least got my act together enough not to have to hire social media managers to dispel all the haters. I want to live a life that, if recorded, others would find joy and hope in! I challenge each of you to go around pretending you’re being recorded and see how dramatically your words/actions change. I think we spend too much time being infatuated with ourselves to recognize how the outside world is viewing us. AKA: don’t be a Kim when you can be a Khloe. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog