Stop watching “reality” TV shows

How we create our own unhappiness through things completely unnecessary

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

So I was thinking today, how can I make a drastic difference in the life is someone today? What can I tell someone that will increase the quality of the person’s life? I may not have a big platform yet, but I’ve got this. What makes so many people unhappy in life? The answer is simple; it’s what they don’t have (that they think they should). I bet you can think of 5 things within the next 10 seconds that will make you happier. But you don’t have those things, how can you be sure that they’ll make you happier? Even if you’ve had them before, how can you be so sure that bringing them back will make your life happier? Our problem has never been about what we have or don’t have. The problem has always been what we are shown.

For a while, I wondered what smiling ladies in bikini outfits had to do with sports cars. Or why fancy looking ladies are on stage doing absolutely nothing at some sports award events. Or why there are "cheerleaders" in certain sport events (in the first place). I’m not criticizing, I’m just questioning. Are we really sincere with ourselves about why these things exist? Human emotions is fairly consistent with every person. Feelings can be triggered through sight. And the real issue about this is that once you see something made to look better than what you currently have, you will begin to nurse unhappiness for what you have.

I was watching TV some years ago and scrolling through the channels and for some reason stopped at this fashion channel. There was this young lady who (to me) looks very pretty. She "won" an opportunity to become a model for some agency and took it up. She was quite excited about it. Then on the set day, she came in to this room where there were tens of stylists of different crafts. And then they began work on her. By the time they were through with her, (this is my honest opinion) she looked far less beautiful than when she walked through the door. I know some might say I don’t know beauty, but I am being honest here. It wasn’t like they made her up into a clown; she was still like a lady! Now, this the annoying part; when they were through with her, they told her to look in the mirror to see herself. Then when she looked, they just began to give her the "you look so beautiful" whispers. Guess what? She was smiling (and it was a real smile)! She bought it! I mean, when she walked through the door, nobody mentioned anything about her looking good. But after they did all they intended to do, everybody talked about how good she now looked. They were praising their craft, not her!! And she took it personally as a compliment. I was so angry especially because she really looked worse to me. But you know what? They have created an experience, a feeling in the mind of the girl. And I knew there and then that she may never be confident of how she looked naturally again. (P.S. please learn to compliment the good natural stuff you see in people).

Businesses, profits and sales have outsmarted us. They have learnt how to connect our happy experience or happy feeling to whatever they have to sell. There are lots of things today making a heavy sale that are completely unnecessary. But who am I to say people should stop buying and using them? You’d be surprised how many things you have that doesn’t really do anything for you but just feeds that psychological happy (or confident) feeling. The thing is that they make you feel happy or confident because of the emotions that you have been played to associate with them. When it comes to life from the perspective of other people; nobody really cares! For example, if as a lady you stop wearing make-up today, for the first few days, you’ll get bad reviews. A few weeks and people will still be looking at you somehow. After a few months, everybody will be used to seeing you like that.

Enter reality TV. I remember the first time I saw a reality TV show. It was a very popular one. My first thought was, 'wow, these people are looking so nice’. Not so long later I got to know it was a craft. (I love to investigate). I am not against looking good, I love people looking good. What I am against is people lying. The reality TV world of today is based too much on lies. I get it if it is a movie or TV series. But reality? No! One day I was playing around on social media and saw a famous celebrity without make-up. My God, she looked horrible! The fact is not that she really looked that bad, the problem was that I was so used to seeing her look terrific on make-up that seeing her without it just makes me shocked. On TV however, she continued to look the same. And I wonder what people are really learning from these reality TV shows. You know what you are learning? How to be unhappy.

Too many people have been hypnotized irrevocably from TV reality show. The thing is that you will forget that you picked up the notion from a reality TV show and it will register on your mind like it is your original idea. And so when someone tries to challenge you on it, you take it personal. When you allow the stories freely into your mind, it is not only the stories that you have swallowed, you have swallowed a lot of things that will begin to pop up in your mind later that you will never be able to trace to the reality TV show. I tell my friends; there is no such thing as entertainment, everything is education. And interestingly we have left the most crucial part of education (that is, the social education) to the worst of us. I mean, there are people who are famous because they are famous! There is nothing really responsible about their lives. It is after they are already an agent of certain evasive characters, then they look for something responsible they can brand themselves with to temper the backlash effects. I get those who are musicians and actors that are focused on their craft, but then there are those even among them who don’t care about their influence on other people.

There was a certain man who was a chain smoker. When he was about to get married, he knew that a smoker father figure would be very bad for his kids. So he made up his mind (together with his spouse) that since he cannot stop smoking, their kids will never see him smoke. And so it happened. When the man eventually died, he died of lung disease. His kids had grown into responsible people with families of their own. At the death bed, when the man passed on. The doctor then told the kids that their father died as a result of excessive smoking. The kids couldn’t believe it. They couldn’t connect the picture of smoking and their dad. They couldn’t imagine him holding a cigarette. But when they wanted to argue, their mother came and told them that it was true. But that when they got married, he made up his mind not to give his kids that picture of a father so that they can have a responsible life. You can imagine the respect the kids had for the dead man. Does that even really made any difference? I honestly believe it does. I’ve never seen my parents smoke before. If I had seen that, there is a high tendency that I would have smoked. If I had smoked, I would have moved with the wrong crowd at school and in the neighborhood. And if I had gone down that path, I won’t be here and I won’t be the way I am today.

What does this have to do with reality TV? It seems they are the biggest preachers of 'do what you feel’. And I don’t blame them for this because they simply do not know any better. I’m pissed at those who put the spotlight on them. If you consider the things society is getting it wrong, you would trace a considerable amount to "reality" TV. The interesting thing is that it is called 'reality’. It is supposed to be real, it is supposed to be the best thing on television. But it is not because reality TV is everything but real. And then you watch it. You see this and you see that, plus many other things you didn’t notice slips into your mind. Now you have what you need but you are not comfortable because it is nothing like what someone like you should have.

Reality TV shows educates people more than anything in the world because it educates people unconsciously. What they see become standards and yardsticks for their own lives. Yes, everyday people cannot get all the things they see on reality TV but they will settle for the next best thing in their own environments. The effect is obvious from looks, but it goes far beyond that. I once saw a very dark lady using a glaringly pink blush on her cheeks. I’m like, 'oh God, what is happening to people’s minds?' Someone is thinking; I’ll look horrible without make-up. I agree but isn’t that the way we are supposed to look? Real? Lots of women have neglected taking good care of their bodies because they have something they can do to make it all look awesome in minutes. I like people looking good but I detest it more when people lie about how they look. Once I saw a friend I had always seen on make-up without make-up, I was really angry. Not at her, but at society.

In trying not to be weird, we have become weird

I cannot force you to stop watching "reality" TV shows. But I can give you a tip that will change your life and increase your happiness. Talk beautifully about what you have. Let nobody make you unhappy with what you have. Cease to be fake, just be real. Have a simple (but true) philosophy of life that you abide by. Listen to those who see more in you than you see in yourself. Stop listening to those pointing your attention to everything else but yourself. Don’t be afraid for the businesses, they will survive. If everybody stops buying the ridiculous things they produce, they will sit down and figure out how to make what people truly need. Never said you should not use make-up, I only said you should have a true philosophy of life and live it out in all sincerity. Of course, you will have to upgrade your philosophy from time to time but you must make sure that you are listening to the right people to do this.

Many of these "reality" shows are not helping you. And you know it deep down. If you don’t detach them from your life, everything that comes along with them will hang around your life. And that includes unhappiness, the feeling that they are the successful ones while you are the failure. It may not hit you directly when you’re watching. But long afterwards when you look through your fridge and you don’t see what you see them have, the depression will start kicking in. People keep asking where depression comes from and I don’t understand how that is even a question. Isn’t it obvious?

Nowadays, society is basically TV and social media. They fill our heads with assumed thoughts of what everybody else is thinking. Meanwhile, everybody else is just like you trying to figure out what everybody is thinking. This is why TV ought to be restricted to real, responsible and credible people for "reality" shows. But it’s too late for that now. Plus, I don’t think that will even work. I hope to be on TV sometimes in the future to do some reality shows, not for ego or fame but for those who need to watch and learn unconsciously. It’s not enough to be honest and sincere, it’s even more important to be someone worthy of emulation.

Judge yourself and decide for your own life. I have done my part here. I rest my case!

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