Reality TV fans often find themselves questioning whether or not the events taking place on their favourite reality TV show is reality or staged. Reality TV shows often captures our attention because it is a reality we do not live in. Who wouldn’t want to live in a Kardashian’s shoes for a day? Shows like Teen Mom, Keeping up with the Kardashians and Duck Dynasty, for instance, give their audience a glimpse into the lives they live.
Reality television is defined as a genre of television programming that documents unscripted situations and actual occurrences. Often when people think about reality TV, they believe the show is scripted and those people are often right. Reality TV stars including Kim Kardashian from Keeping up with the Kardashians and Spencer Pratt from The Hills have admitted to staging scenes on their show.
However, Brody Jenner, who has been a reality TV star on both The Hills and Keeping up with the Kardashians, will be the first one to defend Keeping up with the Kardashians. In a television interview, Jenner said “As far as the Kardashians go, that’s real life. I was going through that with my father pretty much just on a daily basis, getting to know him. And they were filming for their show, and they basically said to me, ‘Do you want to put this on air or do you not?’
Whether you agree with Jenner or not, a celebrity’s reality TV show can be compared to an average person’s everyday life online.
With the growing amount of Twitter and Facebook users, it has become second nature for users to document their lives for others to see. Users document where they are going for lunch, their relationship status, what friends they have, where they work and important details of their lives that does not make it a whole lot different than reality TV.
“Is it your true self or is it what you hope people will think of you because you’re not going to show the boring parts of your life like doing laundry or playing video games for a solid 12 hours,” Chris Alksnis, psychology professor and program coordinator said. “Nobody wants to watch you do that, so you’re going to show a piece of yourself that you’re hoping people will say ‘her life must be like that all the time’.” So maybe their lives aren’t that different than the average person.
Today, people are used to the idea of sharing important events taking place in their lives with their families, friends and even strangers online. Some might say that the generation growing up with this technology all the time may feel differently about being in front of a camera and documenting their lives.
“We know from psychology that when we’re taping people for a study, at first they are a little bit nervous about the camera being there and then eventually they do forget,” Alksnis said. So maybe all the hair-pulling, drunken screaming and misadventures truly are real life for some.