Are reality shows twisting reality?

Isn’t there something strangely entertaining about watching people overreact? Reality television show Jersey Shore abuses that audience-attracting scenario. In fact, almost every reality television show overuses it. Any survival type show, such as Naked and Afraid, will contain just as much unnecessary drama as Jersey Shore, showing the two survivors arguing over almost anything. However, two people being stranded on an island is not a common scenario, simply being on vacation with some friends, very common. That is why Jersey Shore has such a significant impact on the society. Jersey Shore has been around for years, intoxicating its viewers and incorporating into their daily lives, more specifically, the lives of adolescent teenagers.

This video reveals an everyday situation: two people arguing. Watching normal people argue is not going to make the broadcasters money will it? No, that is why they blend fighting, yelling, and breaking things into the mix. However, many people do not realize the damage this does to the young viewers.

Majority of the viewers, adolescent teenagers, are constantly looking for role models and icons to base their actions off of. In the eyes of any hormone driven teenager, these reality television actors may come off as cool and become an icon for the viewer. This not only makes the viewers want to watch more, but makes them want to be like the Jersey Shore characters. It makes sense that this would subconsciously cause the viewer to behave as the actors.

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The younger generations who view reality televisions shows such as Jersey Shore are also notorious for seeking attention. Let’s face it, everyone wants to be have and have the limelight, but the newer generations make attention too much of a high-priority goal. Aimée Morrison, a media-focused English professor at University of Waterloo stated, “we have a culture that conflates celebrity kinds of attention with being important and being heard.” Based on Jersey Shore’s logic, what better way to gain attention than to create excessive drama and destruction? Above is an example of Jersey Shore actors seeking attention and over-reacting.

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Jersey Shore also influences the chosen lifestyle of much adolescence. The characters are always chanting their motto: “Gym, Tan, Laundry” or “GTL”. Not only that they excessively repeat other lifestyle acronyms such as “DTF” meaning “Down to —-.” These acronyms and the entertainment of watching the characters live them out persuade the viewers to live as they live. This may create viewers to wear more revealing clothes, become more promiscuous, or feel insecure about their body. While someone could rant for hours about how television affects the youth’s perspective of beauty and body shape, Jersey Shore supports the negative influence by only casting muscular, tan, model-built men and tan, skinny females with make-up caked all over them. These actors and actresses appearances are so sought after that the Jersey Shore characters have started appearing in advertisements for weight loss or muscle gain as seen below.

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What the viewers don’t realize is how fake reality television really is. The excessive drama and overreactions are simply for entertainment, the scenarios are pre-made, and the actors/actresses are enhanced from multiple media techniques. “Reality” shows such as Jersey Shore take these aspects to a new level and it is unhealthy for the young generations. With this generation so significantly affected, what do you think media will influence into the generations yet to come?

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Works Cited:

“Study Finds Thousands of Teens Going to Extreme Lengths for Online Attention.” Study Finds Thousands of Teens Going to Extreme Lengths for Online Attention. N.p., 13 Nov. 2014. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.

“RON AND SAM ARE FIGHTING! – Jersey Shore – Season 3.” YouTube. YouTube, 23 Mar. 2011. Web. 22 Nov. 2014.

“Hollywood0nlineTV: “Jersey Shore” Takes Season 4 to Italy.”Hollywood0nlineTV: “Jersey Shore” Takes Season 4 to Italy. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2014.

“Jersey Shore Twitter Roundup: Will Pauly Drop The G In ‘GTL’?” Shows Blog. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

“Move over Kardashians, Here Comes the Jersey Shore: Season 2 Confirmed for Miami | Scene in the Tropics.” Move over Kardashians, Here Comes the Jersey Shore: Season 2 Confirmed for Miami | Scene in the Tropics. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2014.

“Ronnie Jersey Shore Workout And Diet.” Comfortable Jeans RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Nov. 2014.

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