Best of Remix: Why I Hate Reality TV

by Ken Mueller on July 27, 2012 · 4 comments


I hate reality television programs. I don’t watch any of them.

Two reasons:

First, I think they bring out the worst in us. In order to win any of them, you pretty much have to sell your soul. On shows like Survivor, it’s all about “me,” and you do whatever it takes to win, even if it means selling out your friends. In many ways Reality TV is least common denominator TV. On shows like American Idol, we tune in to see people like Simon Cowell ridicule the panelists and put them in their place. He’s the man we love to hate. And on those shows that follow individuals and families around, like Jon and Kate plus 8, well…we all know what happened there.

And we watch because…everyone likes to see a train wreck. We’re all rubberneckers…driving by and minding our own business, but we have to slow down and watch. We become voyeurs.

Secondly, I dislike reality shows because…well…they aren’t real! Every one of them is contrived. The moment we turn on the lights and camera, and offer people money, things change. We don’t act like ourselves…we act the way we THINK others want us to act. There are scripted elements, and then of course there is the editing. Lots and lots of editing. Because after all, the name of the game is ratings.

This is why I prefer social media. Facebook and Twitter are my reality shows. Real-time give and take with real people.

Oh, sure, there is filtering that goes on, and there are many aspects of our lives that we might not care to share with the world. But for my money, what happens in the world of social media is more real than anything on television. For most of us, we aren’t performing. We let our guard down and give our friends and acquaintances a peek into our lives.

And we can see through the facade. If people aren’t being real and transparent, we can tell. We know when they are wearing a mask.

Whether we are representing ourselves as individuals, or representing our businesses, social media works best when we are real.

So get real.


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