Courtney Haupt > Sophomore > Psychology and Media Communications Studies > UMBC
Since Big Brother first aired in 1999, reality television has exploded into the cultural phenomenon that it has become today. At nearly every time during the day, you can find a reality show on almost every channel. In fact, according to Nielsen Media Research, reality programs such as American Idol and the Biggest Loser are among the most watched shows each week, with smaller shows on channels such as MTV also attracting a loyal audience. So why exactly have reality television shows become so popular among college students?
For some college students, reality television programs offer a unique type of entertainment not found anywhere else. “Reality television shows that there are people in the world who are willing to do anything for money,” said Lindsay Schruhl, a sophomore at Westchester University. “Some of the things that people will do for that money are really amusing to watch.”
However, others are drawn to the authenticity and unpredictable aspect of such shows. “I like reality television for the drama and the interesting situations that happen,” explained Lauren Skinner, a freshman at Shepherd University. “It’s fun to watch crazy people live together, and fight and hook up.”
Yet others watch reality television to break up the monotony of their everyday life. “I like reality television because it’s so much more dramatic than real life,” said Brandon Shaw, a freshman at Morgan State University.
Reality television has become so popular, in fact, that it is unavoidable, even to those who do not tune in to their favorite show every week. “I personally don’t regularly watch reality TV, but it seems like it has overtaken society,” said Melissa Krysiak, a sophomore at Loyola College. “Everywhere you turn people are talking about it.”
Of course, there are those who do not watch reality television, though these individuals are hard to find. “Reality TV just gives us an excuse to be lazy Americans and thrive on drama,” said Jeremy Carr, a senior at East Central College.
Regardless of their reason for watching it, one thing is for sure, reality TV has become a fixture among college students.
What is your favorite reality show?
photo from http://albanylibrary.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/reality-tv.jpg