Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2020 – Sunday Sayings – #Differences and Reality TV by Amanda -Something to Ponder About

Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives in 2020 and if you would like to participate with two of your posts from 2019, you will find all the details in this post: New series of Posts from Your Archives 2020

This is the second post from Amanda of Something to Ponder About and this week Amanda explores our fascination with Reality TV and why we are obsessed with people who are clearly so different from the mainstream…

Sunday Sayings – Differences and Reality TV

I find there to be profound wisdom in proverbs, sayings and quotes and I marvel at the way they are so succinct in communicating messages to the reader. Mostly anonymous, they come to us from past generations and from across cultures. They speak of the experiences of lives lived and lessons learned.

Quotes, like proverbs, can make us think about moral and ethical issues.

The preponderance of reality TV shows, of late, has me questioning just why it is so many find them fascinating. After all, they feature individuals that are quite different to the mainstream public, or focus on the more marginal sectors of society.

Why do we have a morbid curiosity for those who are dissimilar to us?

Yet we criticize, shy away or even distance ourselves completely from them if we were to meet them in real life?

Not only do many of us become addicted to watching such shows as ‘Married at First Sight‘, or ‘Teen Parents‘, but we might actively criticize or judge them, from the comforts of our living room.

Why do we do this?

Is the simple explanation, as some theorists might have it, that our neural circuits have evolved to pay more attention to things that are perceived to be a potential threat?

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.

Albert Einstein

If we are simply curious, sometimes morbidly so, are reality shows such as ‘Botched Bodies‘, just another manifestation of staring at the ‘Bearded Lady’ in the Circus Freak Show of years gone by?

Is it natural to be curious? Or too inquisitive?


CC0 Creative Commons

Do you consider the media might have a role in discouraging prejudice or judgemental behaviours in society, by limiting promotion of such voyeuristic programs such as “Bad Mothers” or “Swamp People?”

I wonder if proliferation of this type of show desensitizes us to differences between individuals or conversely, does it highlight and therefore, exacerbate prejudice?

Come and walk a mile in my moccasins, before you criticize who I am.

Kom och gå en mil i mina mockasiner innan du bedömer vem jag är.

Swedish Proverb

Is there a case for censorship of these shows on moral or ethical grounds?

If you favour censorship of some kind, would that censorship effectively remove an individual’s right to make a morally appropriate choice and thereby limit tolerance of marginal folk in the long run?

Do you consider the freedom of the individual so vital that only we can decide for ourselves, what each of us feels is and is not appropriate or socially acceptable?

Everyone’s opinion is important. What is yours?

Sunday Sayings invites you to join in the discussion by leaving a comment below.

©Forestwood Folk Art 2019

Trondheim, Norway

Trondheim Norway

About Amanda

I am very glad that you stopped by and I hope you find something interesting to ponder about! Blogging is all about sharing one’s thoughts, embracing a global community and making connections, right? Without readers, what good is a blog?

I’m an egalitarian, environmental traditionalist who lives in Australia, however I am an Aussie who is anything but a sun lover. In fact, I am a bit obsessed with cool, wintry climates and Scandinavia, in general, as you will soon find out.

But don’t go thinking it is all about darkness and gloom here, at Something to Ponder About, because if you do, you would be wrong. I write about many different things that interest, puzzle and frustrate me, and things that important to share with others.

Like sharing and discussing pearls of wisdom in Sunday Sayings (formerly Proverbial Friday inviting contributions to Photo challenges on Friendly Friday; writing Travel and Book reviews, tutorials on Traditional Arts and Crafts, as well as good old fashioned home Cooking.

As I think everyone’s opinion is important, please feel welcome to leave a comment on any of my posts and we can have a conversation!

Come and join me. Everyone is welcome here; there’s always Something to Ponder About.

~ Amanda

Connect to Amanda

Blog: Something to Ponder About
Facebook: Forestwood Designs
Twitter: @Forestwoodfolk

My thanks to Amanda for letting me share this post with you and you will find much to enjoy if you head over to browse her archives. Thanks Sally.

31 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2020 – Sunday Sayings – #Differences and Reality TV by Amanda -Something to Ponder About

  1. A thought provoking post. I’ve often felt some of those reality shows are like when people used to go to the asylum to stare – and laugh – at the lunatics. But, then, as I don’t watch them perhaps I shouldn’t make such assumptions.

    Liked by 3 people

      • The Kardashians – can’t say that I have watched them, Mary, but one does hear about them every now and again. On news bulletins. I guess they are having a hard time getting some airtime now that Covid 19 and real news is here?

        Liked by 1 person

    • A good comparison, Mary. I think that the fascination with the weird and the wonderful borders on impropriety. Even though you might not watch them, you assume correctly. It is a modern version of the freak show. I have seen reports of producers plying contestants with loads of alcohol to encourage bad behaviour otherwise, normal folk having normal interactions (and I mean normal in a very encompassing, inclusive version of the word), would be considered boring for viewers. I do hope this trend will dissipate of its own accord, wearing out the interest of viewers who can now selectively pick their own shows via streaming models.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I dont watch these series, too. But I also understand that people want distraction, without having to think a lot. In the meantime, the age-old principle of “sex sells” is once again valid. I think we men are still too impressed by it.;-) Thank you for the thought-provoking post. Sally.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. An interesting question, Amanda. I never watch reality TV but I know lots of people who do. I find them rather irritating because the people always react totally different from how I would and I can’t relate to their behaviour. I am to serious.

    Liked by 2 people

      • The current crisis faces the world does put a different perspective on the importance of lack thereof, for these shows. In a case of life is stranger than fiction, we have the awakening that we sit on this planet and our tenure might be more precarious than we think. When all Government systems are stable and functioning efficiently, some can sit back and contemplate other people lives, and their quirky personalities, but other folks have more serious matters on their minds and do not want to waste their time thinking or watching other people dealing with personal drama. Well done to you Roberta for not being drawn into watching these shows for entertainment purposes. There is more to life than entertainment. And even those who spend a lot of time watching these reality shows get bored of them after a while. That speaks volumes about them, I think.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting prospective. I don’t watch any reality TV for years, unless you count America’s Got Talent, which I enjoy talent shows. I prefer a documentary or a good series that makes me think and/or feel. ❤


  5. Reality TV? I find little authentic about any of it. Many times a director is creating or, at the very least, suggesting content. Mary’s comment about the asylum is more along the lines of my thinking. I compare it to why people would pay to see what are classified as “freaks” at a carnival. People are curious more than anything. How do the rich and famous truly live? A safe bet is not the way they are portrayed on “reality” shows.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I totally agree, Pete, that producers are creating content around the rich and famous or the average Bachelorette looking for true love. Reality TV is absolutely like looking at the weird and wonderful circus freaks. For many contestants on the reality shows here, it is about building a public profile, or getting a gig on a TV drama show – their big TV break, so they are encouraged to be the loudest or the brashest in the show. Many don’t realize how post-editing of the show portrays them in other ways to which they intended, and the resultant public backlash once they leave the show, means they are left with mental health issues. Bullying, harassment, PTSD and even suicide. And then there are the acting fraternity who are no longer getting work because true life is stranger than fiction and producers continue to come up with weirder and weirder reality TV shows. I do hope this genre meets its demise sooner rather than later.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine Weekly Round Up – April 5th – 11th Easter Parade, Art Deco Roses, Life on the Ocean Wave, #Waterford 1920s. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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