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Living Out The Reality Of Others?

1952 words - 8 pages

“Insults, temper tantrums, selfishness, gross behavior, and plain old stupidity—these are the main ingredients for most of today’s reality TV shows. Guess who’s watching them? Millions of young people…” (Ilisa Cohen, 14). The world is changing in many different ways and people are influenced by many different situations. Teenagers are however, easily influenced by the good, the bad, and the reality. Not only are teenagers observing from the reality around them, but reality that is shown on television and sometimes in commercials as well. Teenagers find role models in the reality shows they see on television today. It is not always a bad thing, but it is also not always a good thing. Many people wonder why teenagers today have begun to act out of character, mistreat people around them, and even stay up on the latest trends, this is happening because, “Teens are naturally curious about other people’s lives and want to know how their own life compare” says family therapist, Lori Gottlieb (14). Considering that teenagers are curious about the lives of others can become disastrous since reality television is what they compare their lives with and reality television is not always real. Reality television shows negatively distort its viewers’ sense of real world relationships.
However, distortion can begin in the commercials shown on television today. Studies have shown, "The attractive models that are used probably encourage the viewer....to develop preferences for the advertised products" (Golberg and Gorn, 1978). When teenagers see make-up commercials they begin to want the make-up products. Especially after seeing how the make-up makes someone else look better and cover up their blemishes. Jim Edwards concluded, “Television marketers are reaping benefits from the increased ratings of reality programs among preteens and teens by using them as vehicles for product placements” (2006). Commercials that lure teenagers in just to buy different products or make the product look really good, when in reality it is not good to have the product, can be very deceptive. Teenagers even know that the product is not good but because they see people on television using it, they begin to want the product more and more.
As expected, teenagers want to be physically attractive by the people they surround themselves with. While watching commercials and reality television shows some teenagers may observe what is being said or worn by the celebrity. Research done by Goldberg and Gorn in 1978 showed that, “the value of physical attractiveness influences the buying of preteens and teens." Viewers who are highly connected to a program are likely to recall a higher percentage of brand placements in the program (Scott and Craig-Lees 2010). Teenagers are influenced by the wardrobe of people on television so they began to go out and purchase the products seen on the reality shows. Consumers who value physical attractiveness are more inclined to watch television...

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