Should we watch the lives of people on reality television?

Reality Television does not provide an accurate representation of life; however, some people find it entertaining.


Photographed by M.Baker

By Molly Baker, Social Media Editor

As Sunday night rolls around, senior Grace Klements turns on the television to catch the newest episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians. It is her weekly tradition to watch the Kardashians, but also other reality television shows. To keep up with the life of other families brings many people joy but is it something we should watch?

The lives of many famous families are projected on television to millions of screens every night. From Keeping up with the Kardashians, to Duck Dynasty, and into the love life of the Bachelor and Bachelorette. But is watching the lives of these famous families useful to Americans? I do not think it is necessary for Americans to view the lives of these families and people. 

Reality television has been proven to hide anything bad from viewers. Many shows do not show the truth of these people’s lives and it provides a false facade to viewers. I catch myself many times, while watching television, wishing my life was like Kim Kardashian, or that I had the makeup empire of Kylie Jenner. This causes people to develop an unhealthy way of thinking. 

If reality television showed the raw unedited version of these families it would show that we are all alike. But instead, the viewers are given the heavily edited version of these families’ lives. Even with this information, many people disagree with my point of view. 

When talking to Klements, who is a big reality television viewer, she strongly disagreed with me.

“Reality television allows people to view the inside of others’ lives. It’s great to sit down and be transported out of my life into someone else’s. Not only does it give me time to be entertained with the life of someone else but I am able to connect with people who seem so famous. But in reality, we both live similar lives,” Klements said. 

Yes, reality television allows us all to connect with families with huge social followings. I will admit I do enjoy watching the awkward interactions of the contestants of the Bachelor, and listening to the funny quotes from the Kardashians. It is entertaining, but it does not give a genuine view of their life. 

After watching the Kardashians, or the Bachelor I do feel that I have lost brain cells. I noticed while watching these reality shows that it provides no educational purpose, nor does it benefit the viewer in any way. From, watching these reality shows, you are basically writing the star a check, which they do not need. 

Especially during the pandemic and quarantine, many people turn to television as a place to keep them busy. When watching television and seeing the luxurious life that the stars are living during these hard times, it does not provide a healthy mind space for some. It would be more interesting and educational to cancel the shows about the rich life and replace them with families who struggle with addiction, finances, or poverty. 

When bringing this idea up to many people, some agreed but the overall consensus was a no. 

“I feel that if we did replace the Kardashians or the Bachelor, there would be nothing fun to watch on television. For me, these shows provide an escape from my busy work life and it allows me to get some good entertainment,” sophomore Jake Hansen said. 

Yes, these shows are entertaining, but do we need them to survive? I say no. Reality television only lies and shows the good in people’s lives. However, it would be nice to see the good, bad, and ugly for a change.