Reality TV and Social Media Skew Our Understanding of Reality

There are several instances in our everyday lives where media facets such as social media and reality TV appear to be portraying the truth, but this is a severe misconception. Today, reality is manufactured into fiction, but is easily hidden behind the media and social media’s interpretation of this fictionr Theses instances include your individual view of oneself through the Internet; how you are seen depending on what you post onliner Is this really you? Do we know what is real about you and what is not? In addition, media fancies itself showing that Reality Television is “real”.

People have come to learn, however, that this is also manufactured due to severely extreme conditions that change character’s personalities for the goal of the producers. Reality TV and social media perceive actions and participants to be what they are at face value. However, there are several instances where what appears as reality is manufactured, and really fiction.

In social media and The Internet, people believe that what is posted online is real.

However, this reality is really fiction, or manufactured reality, due to its lack of truth. In Peggy Orenstein‘s article, “I Tweet, Therefore IAm”, Orenstein discusses that “Each Twitter post seemed a tacit referendum on who I am, or at least who I believe myself to be” (Orenstein 3). Orenstein views each Twitter post as a “tacit referendum”, which translated, means a submission of a proposed public opinion or state of mind The fact that she feels this way demonstrates that her Twitter posts, which are supposed to be real and show what she is participating in, is manufactured, This is caused by what she thinks people would want to see.

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Orenstein asserts her point further when she states that, “Distilling my personality provided surprising focus, making me feel stripped to my essence”.

By distilling her personality, Orenstein is saying she is “stripped” of who she is, Plainly, what she puts out on social media, which is perceived as true, is actually false. However, if a stranger sees her information online, they will believe it as reality, and this is who Peggy “is” based on her postsi She is the product of her online “self”. To an outsider, this manufactured reality is taken as the truth. To further her point, Orenstein says that folks live like today is a constant reality show and people ”are mere players notjust aware of the camera”. Because it is basic human nature that people act differently when others are watching. People are no longer acting like they are in reality because Orenstein says people must change who they are and “mug for it”, This is so that folks appear to what is expected of them People’s perception of reality is no longer true, but is created since individuals “mug for it”.

They typically are not showing who they actually are. People act how others expect them to Social media greatly influences people’s interpretation of who they are. Reality or not, social media allows others to perceive whatever is displayed on the Internet as that person’s true characteristics, Google and The Internet are powerful sources that greatly shape who we are to outsiders. Typically, these outsiders will View people as whoever is displayed online, and it is accepted as reality regardless if it is true. Our reality is becoming more and more manufactured because of the arrival of Google and The Internet into our lives. In William Gibson’s article, “Google’s Earth”, Gibson states, “increasingly, we are erected by entities like Google” (Gibson 5), What Gibson means is that who we are to the world is being created or “erected” by Google, For example, when someone posts on social media, for example, Twitter, in Orenstein’s case, who you are according to others is manufactured based on the posted information, whether it be true, Since “everything in the world is accessible to everyone”, people will View one’s referendum of to be true, when in reality it is constructed fictitiously.

Since Google is considered a Panopticon, or an all seeing eye, people can View anything about others So, if someone is posting things about themselves to appeal to the greater collectivity, then the Panopticon will erect these traits to be realityi Furthermore, Gibson sates that because of Google and social media, many adults should be “granted a name change and fresh identify as adults” (Gibson 8) Gibson states that people need a fresh identity because of what Google has erected people to be based on a few posts and no human proof of who these people are Google and social media shape us and “describe“ who we are Since people typically take what is put online to be real, what we are is reality that is manufactured by said outlets of social media. Reality TV is another example of why in today’s world, reality is not quite reality, but is manufactured and made to look real, and accepted as reality In Edward Wyatt‘s article entitled, “TV Contestants: Tired, Tipsy, and Pushed to Brink.

Wyatt asserts that “half a dozen reality series suggest that the programs routinely use isolation, sleeplessness, and alcohol to encourage wild behavior” (Wyatt 4), By using these facets such as alcohol and isolation to encourage wild behavior. These actions display a clear lack of reality, By manufacturing the behavior that the producers or directors want is not real just because it is put on TV without a script. One has to look at this more analytically, To do this one has to imagine what one would be acting like if the pressures and demands of the producers were not there. Would it be different if they were if they were able to lead normal lives going into the show? Common sense tells people that they would act differently; definitely not as rowdy as they are when tired and drunk.

It is not real, those who want to portray people a certain way manufacture it. The sad aspect of this is we all believe it is real to an extent. This creates the question regarding what is reality and what is fiction In today‘s society, fiction is clearly manufactured reality that we are not typically aware of in our consciousness. In America today, we have accepted the notion that if something is put in front of a camera, and not scripted, then it is absolutely real. Reality TV certainly does not follow this notion because of how the producers are able to manipulate those participants to act to their desires. A specific example of this is shown in the ABC show “The Bachelor”, where it is stated that participants were given bottomless glasses of wine in order to loosen the atmosphere, while given little food. The producers gave constant attention to the participants so that if proceedings were getting to be a little too boring, shots would be brought out to lighten the mood, and create the false reality that the producers want the rest of the world to see.

It is defined in Michael Hirschorn’s article, “The Case for Reality TV”. It is stated “reality TV can place real people in artificial surroundings designed for maximum emotional impact” (Hirschorn 6). Since the surroundings are said to be artificial, the social situation has been clearly manufactured by the producers so the term “Reality” is actually fiction, Those in the artificial situations are not going to act like that if they were real situations. It is clear that reality TV is a highly manipulated field of television that does not portray real human interactions in front of a camera, but that of a falsified reality as determined by the producers and staff. All in all, the conflict of reality versus fiction is a serious problem in modern social media outlets and reality television programs. For example, due to the development of social media, we are perceived as what is online is “really” who we are, causing a fake manufactured referendum based on what one thinks that the collectivity as a whole wants one to be like. We are essentially putting on a show in front of a fake camera. In addition, reality TV programs today are referred to as “reality”, when in “reality” this is as far from the truth as humanly possible.

For example, reality television participants are given alcohol and little food in order to change their behavior and become more rowdy. The goal of this is to show off what the producers have manufactured and viewers perceive it as reality, when it really is not, The participants would never act the same way if given real circumstances. Essentially, today, the people who control the media want certain people to be portrayed in a certain light, therefore manufacturing the situation to conform to their own reality. This creates a serious problem for us today. We really do not know what is real and what is not anymore because of everything being manufactured and changed, if you look a colleague up online, do you really know if that is what he or she is like? Is it just a referendum of what they are to appeal to a specific audience or “fake camera” they are acting in front of? This nobody knows and it is creating a major rift between the realms of reality and fiction. In other words, what is and what is not reality, and what is fiction? In conclusion, reality today is extremely manufactured through social media and television and has created confusion about what is real and what is not, although appearing to be real, in “reality”, are really just meant to appear that way.

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Reality TV and Social Media Skew Our Understanding of Reality. (2022, Jul 14). Retrieved from

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