When Reality Shows are too Fake

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image from Juicy Santos

 

 

Welcome back! Recently I have been spending a lot of time watching different apps on my Apple TV device. Ok, mostly the YouTube app. I’ve been spending a ton of time on YouTube.

I’m admitting it here and now. I’m a YouTube addict.

(Hi Amanda…)

If you don’t know, YouTube isn’t just a place to watch crazy cat or baby videos. It is now a place that holds new storytelling techniques, tutorials, reviews and new reality shows.  It is like a new world out there. As I watched a ‘vlog’ of a makeup artist, I started wondering to myself.

Why do I care about this person’s life? Why do I care what she does with her time?

I have talked about YouTube being the new television but are vlogs the new reality show? Why do we care about people and what they do in their lives when they aren’t filming what they are filming?

Voyeurism comes to mind. That is why reality shows have become so big. We like to look into other people’s world and compare them to our own. We also like to watch these shows to see how the ‘other side’ lives or the 1% lives. A goal we all would like to attain but will never see so we watch them play on television. Same can be said for the internet celebrities or as I call it baby reality. I know these people do the same things as me (generally. I don’t go to LA at a moment’s notice but I might someday), but I want to watch them handle the same issues. Maybe it is comforting to know that I’m not the only way struggling with the same questions in my life.

Another thought comes to mind. Maybe we enjoy seeing this new kind of celebrity and how they actually live.  It is no different from MTV’s Cribs or E! News. We want to know more about people who give us so much entertainment. We want to get closer. We need that human connection. Even with stars that only appear on the internet.

So, the final assessment? Why do we watch vlogs or behind the scenes videos of these new type of reality star?

The human connection. When reality television gets too fake, we turn to the internet to find our connection.

Hope you enjoyed this randomness. Please check out other posts and chat with me on Twitter. I don’t bite unless asked.

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Life is Short: The Positive Side of Reality Television

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Welcome back! Guess what? I am still thinking about reality television. Instead of focusing on the negative, I wanted to focus on the positive. Yes, there is a positive side to reality television. It may be hidden under the excess of Hollywood type reality shows, but it does exist. Especially with the television show, The Little Couple.

I remember when I came across The Little Couple television show. It was through an ad during another TLC show about Gypsies and their crazy weddings. I thought it did not really seem to match what was being aired on the network. Sure, the network had other shows like Little People Big World but that show did not grab me as much as this one did. I tuned in just in time to see them adopt their first child, William and then their daughter Zoey. In just one episode, I smiled and laughed with them instead of laughing at them. I tried to catch up (I still cannot find the first couple of seasons) but it does not matter with this show. It could have been a show that exploited their lives, but it does not. This show actually follows and shows what it is like to be a little person in a world that is not and will never ben catered to them. These two people, Jen and Bill, are smart, positive and incredibly fun to watch.

Why am I babbling on about them? Other than promoting them (seriously watch the damn show) I wanted to show that not all reality television has to be negative or exploitative. Reality television does not have to be the bad side of humanity. It can display a lot of good to a world that tends to concentrate on the bad.

I read their book, “Life is Short (No Pun Intended)” and I came away with two important lessons. I am not sure if that was the point of this very interesting book, but I have always found lessons in weird places.

Lesson One: Count your Blessings
These two people have gone through more in their lives than most. Dr. Jen and Bill have gone through so much, but they are still smiling. They have every right to be pissed off at the world for having this happen to him. They were dealt a crappy hand in life. However, they do not let that get them down for long. Every time they let life get them down, they remember how much they have to live for. They have a family, friends, their kids and their future together.

I tend to get bogged down with my problems. It is the end of the world sometimes. After reading this book, I have come to realize that even though my life is not the best right now I have a lot to be thankful for. I have my family, friends, and my health. I tend to take all of those things for granted. I should be thankful that I have all of that keeping my life on track. We all get caught up in little dramas when there is a bigger picture. It will be ok. Life has these little pockets of sadness along the way to happiness.

Lesson Two: Do not let your Physical or Mental Limitations Effect your Future
Just reading the earlier chapters of their lives, there was a lot of strife. The massive amounts of surgeries, the cost and the pain of traveling for these surgeries. Being stuck in body casts or stuck in hospitals when you just want to play outside. Then you have the later chapters where they questioned if they would ever fit in with people their own age.
There was a particular chapter where Bill talked about his time at NYU and the night he wondered if he should commit suicide. He was being bullied and just not fitting into the NYU world. There was another passage in one of Jen’s chapters when she was applying to medical schools and was discriminated against by a few because she was a little person.

Bill obviously changed his mind and Jen did get into John Hopkins but for those moments, they doubted themselves and their physical limitations. I can completely relate to that. I constantly wonder if I am enough. Their stories told me that I am not weird for thinking that way. Even really impressive people, like these two can have doubts in their abilities.
What I learned from this was to constantly keep moving and keep trying. Not to let those inner doubts change how I feel about my abilities or myself. It is harder than it sounds, but I can do it. The show talks about this as well. They come up against a challenge and meet it head on. Something I need to do if I want to move on in my life.

I have seen these ideas in their show but to see it in print finally got it through my very thick skull. This type of reality television is what I think we all need to watch. It won’t happen, but I am hoping with all my might that more reality shows that are positive and educational show up on my screen someday.

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Again, seriously. Watch The Little Couple and read their book “Life is Short (No Pun Intended). It is not only educational (I know…what a terrible word for some people) but inspiring and sweet. We all could use some of that in our lives.
So. There is a positive when it comes to reality television. Can you think of any more positive reality shows like The Little Couple? Tell me in the comment section below!

Until next week, the randomness has ended. Hope you enjoyed!

YouTube: The New Must Stream TV

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Welcome back to the randomness! Today, my dear friends, I am talking about YouTube. It is more of a ‘mind grape’ of an entry into the randomness.

It has been 10 years since YouTube appeared(Yes…it’s that old people). I remember when YouTube showed up. I was in my senior year of high school (stop laughing…I am not old. I am a cool person. I swear!). I do not remember caring about it until I was well into my long running college career. The lure of cute animal videos was what hooked me. Since then my viewing habits on YouTube have changed. Sure, I still watch funny animal videos but I also watch so much more.

Every morning I have a routine. I get up. I grab breakfast. I feed the fish. I make sure my 17-year-old dog is not dead and then I go back to my computer. I check my email. I go to my social media. I also click on YouTube to check my subscriptions. I follow so many people. Makeup artists, Let’s Plays and comedians are the ones that populate my subscription lists.

When did YouTube become a place that I had to go? When did it become Must See TV?  Really, must see streaming…I guess.

Have our voyeuristic ways gotten so bad we need to watch people do things on the internet at all times of the day? Since reality shows are getting less and less real (if they even were real to begin with), is it making us turn to YouTube?

Based on my viewing habits and my obsession with reality shows. I would conclude that is where we are headed.

Join the Madness aka My Favorite YouTubers (This Month)

Cryaotic

PressHearttoContinue

Icovetthee

LoeyLane/Loeybug

MacShadowcombos

Nigahiga

PhantomReviews

SteveHayes (He needs more YouTube love. He is awesome)

Chris Stuckman

Learning to be Fearless

What did you all think? YouTube the place to get our reality fix? Tell me below! Until then…the randomness has come to an end. Enjoy.