Who watches those TLC shows and what does their popularity say about us? I’m ashamed to say I have seen them – but only now and then. I have to admit to a weird fascination with women who share a husband with several other women or a young gypsy who marries wearing an enormous gown, bedazzled to the hilt. And who are those moms who put their toddlers in a pageant and wire them up with Pixie sticks and Mountain Dew for the stage? Those kids need a nap, not another tiara! The questionable programming of network TV has often sent me looking at the channels with three digits instead of two. I am somewhat addicted to HGTV. I love touring the world with House Hunters International or seeing what the Property Brothers can do to a house that looks like it hasn’t seen paint or a vacuum in four decades. I watch American Idol which I thought was a great idea. So did the producers of the other music competition shows that pop up each season. How many times can we watch young people sing their hearts out and get called pitchy? And by the way, I liked Jennifer Lopez better before her “amazing comeback.” She and those dancers should be ashamed of themselves for some of those moves. Jennifer has two small children who are going to hate the third grade if their mom doesn’t get herself together! Is reality TV popular because it is real, or is it creating a new reality that we should be doing our best to avoid? What do these shows say about us? Psychology Today reported that people like to imagine their “ordinary selves” becoming famous on a reality show, or competing in front of the world to win a large prize. I like to imagine myself on What Not To Wear, except for that three-way mirror and the scathing comments on my current wardrobe. (I’m known for shopping with coupons more than with fashion sense.) Speaking of that, there is a reality show called Extreme Couponing. I’ve not watched it for fear that I might need to commit myself to a rehab program or something and I just don’t have time. Recently a major grocery store chain quit doing triple coupons. The show was blamed for that change – and the lack of change some of us couponers are getting back!
Are reality shows creating a new reality? Associated Press just reported that Mason was the most popular name given to a boy in 2011. 19,396 boys will fight over personalized products with Mason on them because Kourtney Kardashian gave her son that name in 2011.
Four out of five people said they think there is too much reality TV. How do we stop the madness? Here is an idea . . . stop watching so much television. Read a book, take a walk, have a conversation with someone you love. Make a new friend and spend some time with old friends. Visit someone who is lonely in a hospital, or make a phone call instead of sending that text. Sit on a beach in California and watch the sunset, or a beach in Georgia and watch the sunrise. Take a walk, bake some cookies or babysit someone’s kids. Live a better reality instead of watching someone else’s television-produced realities.
The apostle Paul said it like this, “Be very careful, then how you live – not as unwise but as wise” (Ephesians 5:15). Somebody needs to send that verse to those sister wives, gypsy brides and pageant moms! And I had better spend a little time re-thinking my own television standards. At the end of life, it won’t matter what television shows we missed. Revelation 22:12 says, “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.” It will matter if we miss that reality!