As September rolls into October a whole new crop of reality TV programs will begin soliciting our time and better viewing judgment. I have my favorites, which completely bypasses the admission that I do, in fact, watch reality TV. Do you? Do you have your favorites?

          For every ten reasons psychologists say reality TV is bad for us, another ten say it’s healthy and we can learn a lot from it. I know because I actually Googled the question.

          Here are some of the reasons reality TV is stated as being good for us and, yes, I’m rolling my eyes at each one of these:
     -it prepares us for the real world
     -it reminds us just how bad or good things can be
     -we can learn from the mistakes of others
     -it exposes viewers to different perspectives and cultures
          In spite of them being pretty obvious, here are some reasons reality TV is stated as being bad for us:
     -there’s nothing real about them
     -they perpetuate stereotypes, including stupidity
     -the emotional and physical wellbeing of participants is

          manipulated for the ratings
     -some audiences view participants as celebrities and

          role models.
          I believe that kids are consistently the largest viewing audience, however, I sure have watched more TV as a senior than I did when I worked. And that viewing includes reality TV; Dancing With the Stars is a favorite.
          I gave myself a “come to Jesus” talk a year or so ago about watching reality programs that are based solely on fighting, cheating, and lying. Thus, I quite watching Housewives of anywhere and some of the cooking shows where a chef yelled constantly. I did pick up Big Brother, however. Did I say that????? I know, I’m disappointed in myself too.
          I don’t, nor ever have, watched daytime programs. Does that make up for the Big Brotheradmission? In order to feel not completely horrible about the reality TV I watch I established a couple of rules:
     -tape everything and watch it based on MY schedule without
           commercials that take up 20 minutes per hour
     -make sure at least 50% of the reality TV I watch is
          documentary in nature.
     -make sure reality documentaries are really just that and not
          soap operas made up to look like important reporting.

          So, there you have it — my admission of succumbing to the sometimes mind-numbing activity of watching reality TV. That could be funny or sad — depending on how you look at it.

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