Once upon a time, television programs held family values at very high standards. Popular shows throughout the decades—such as “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Leave it to Beaver,” “The Cosby Show,” and,“Family Matters”—were able to successfully entertain, make money, and teach their viewers moral lessons without adding raunchy humor.
In this day and age, family values simply don’t seem to bring in the big bucks anymore. In the past ten years, “reality” television has increasingly expanded in popularity. While there are examples of pure and innocent reality programs, the majority seem to run off vicious gossip, backstabbing, confrontation, objectification of women, and other examples of crude behavior.
“The Bachelor” is an example of a highly-popular reality dating show that teaches the simple lesson that money and looks are the most important aspects of a relationship. The women in this show are objectified and treated like animals and the whole concept of love and relationships is turned into a game where people compete. What exactly is the point of following a show that provides nothing but the false message that money and good looks buy you everything? There is no value in that.
Another example of a popular “reality” show is “Jersey Shore.” The entire premise of this program revolves around sex, cheating, sexism, alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, and many other disgusting things that show how morally empty our society is. And just when you think things can’t get any worse, you realize that children are watching this. Little boys are putting down their dinosaur toys and getting personal tips from “The Situation,” and little girls have put down their Barbie dolls and now look to “Snooki” as a role model.
While it may be entertaining, there needs to be some sort of boundary set for reality television. We need to stop glorifying gossip, cheating, lying, stealing, and all of the other negative attributes found in these types of shows. We need to stop objectifying women.
Even if these types of shows are accurate reflections of our culture, showing them on national television is only making things worse.