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Reality Bullying...

I was almost on reality television this year - I really should blog about that, actually. It wasn't the kind of reality television that consists of teams or individuals competing against each other, thank goodness. I couldn't participate in anything like that because I'm just not competitive with other people. As soon as I sense someone is competing with me, I just back off. Let them have it, I say. I'm not attracted to competing with other people because I just don't feel I have to prove myself to anyone other than me.

I also don't watch reality television of any kind. I find it boring, to be honest. Still, there is no avoiding the ads. What I see in the ads - the ones where people are competing with one another - is, frankly, repellent.

I know shows like 'My Kitchen Rules' and 'Survivor' (is that one outdated?) are very popular. The thing is in shows like this the tension doesn't come from a story line. It comes from people treating each other like shit.

Usually, there is a segment between 'the action' where the competitors comment on situations or each other. It is generally pretty awful.

In the 'action' scenes, there is rampant bullying, sniping, aggression, all the things that show the worst of people. Often participants argue that the scenes were cut to look worse than they were. The words still came out their mouths, the tantrums and aggression still happened in front of audiences. People crying because they were treated badly still happened.

Think 'The Greatest Race', people actively sabotaged each other to win the race. In 'Big Brother' and 'Married at First Sight' people cheat on each other. In 'The Bachelor/ette' people lie and scheme and undermine each other. In 'Top Model' people attached each other emotionally, and sometimes physically.

This, folks, is bullying as entertainment. I've heard of families getting together - mothers and daughters, fathers and sons - to 'bond' over these shows.

While all this 'entertainment' is going on, we deal with what is being called an epidemic of bullying at our schools. Social media bullying is a big deal. All the time watching people bully each other on a daily, or rather nightly, basis. We are setting these 'characters' as role models for our children, and we think it's fun to watch together. Real people really bullying each other is 'fun' - let that sink in for a minute.

Can't anyone else see what is wrong with this? Surely, it's not just me.

There was a Doctor Who episode dedicated to this debate where in a fictional future people were actually killed for 'losing' television competitions similar to 'Trivial Pursuit' or reality television based on 'Big Brother'. It was an extreme version of what is on television now.

Is this our future? Will people on 'Survivor' or 'The Biggest Loser' be killed for entertainment? Let's face is, it almost happened a few times during 'The Biggest Loser' where people were pushed beyond the limits of their body and carted off to hospital.

All in the name of entertainment.



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