Look Harder: Reality TV actually has a purpose.


I’ve been watching reality TV for about 15 years. But it wasn’t until this past week that I understood the real value of it all.

Reality TV is an educator for human behavior.

Reality TV offers us a glimpse into the lives of real people. We get to dissect how they handle different situations and then apply those learnings (good or bad) to our own lives.

This occurred to me while I was watching The Bachelorette with my wife the other night. We found ourselves discussing each bachelor’s (mostly terribly embarrassing) attempts to woo the Bachelorette, Ali. As we did so, I realized that these “moments” offer incredibly potent case studies for what to do and what not to do on a date. The Bachelorette is a crash course in dating.

And The Bachelorette isn’t the only reality show educating our behavior. Survivor teaches us how to manipulate those around us to get what we want. The Super Nanny teaches us how to raise our children and the Dog Whisperer teaches us how to train our dogs. And The Jersey Shore teaches us how not to act, ever, under any circumstances, ever.

Photo found via abc.com.