Reality shows have gained increasing and enormous popularity in India. Be it a reality show like ‘Big Boss’, or an adventurous reality television show like ‘Is Jungle Se Mujhe Bachchao’, the one common factor between every reality show is the fact that it affects and influences children. Influence can be both positive and negative.
In a realtiy show like ‘Is Jungle Se Mujhe Bachchao’, there is adventure and excitement on nearly every aspect of the show because it is in a jungle setting, with the celebrity contestants living amongst the wilderness and the wild. This brings in an edge to the show because of the varied and sometimes, creepy adventures the contestants experience in the show. Children seeing this do not necessarily read the disclaimer or notice that comes before the show. Nor in India do you have a concept of rating tv shows as PG-13 or A or U. This makes it incredibly sensitive for kids to view this show. If they do, what is the guarantee that they are not going to try stunts at home? What is the guarantee that they are not going to start bottle up live cockroaches? This is why the tv shows have to be viewed with discretion and if children watch a show like this, then they have to be properly explained as to how these stunts simply cannot be tried out anywhere by them and this explanation might have to be repeated several times by an adult.
Sure, kids have reached another level of smartness these days! This will allow them to realize that Reality shows mean there are mostly aspects that are real in nature. They understand and differentiate between reality and non-reality based tv programmes. But truth be told, Kids do not always see reason and this is why the beginning of a negative influence of tv shows happen.
A reality show like ‘Big Boss’ was seen to be exceeding TRP ratings which is why they roped in the Big B to represent Big B 2—-the sequel of Big Boss. ‘Big Boss 2’. Children, Adults watch it all the same. There is intrigue in watching people lead their normal lives in the vicinity of an enclosure over a period of time which brings to light emotions and drama and one would wonder whether this has a positive, negative or any influence at all on children. And vola, it does! It has sometimes, a neutral effect on children because often, there is no significant impact that is had on children by viewing a normal kind of tv show like ‘Big Boss’ but the fact that they portray drama and emotions running wild at times gives ideas to children and this leans towards negative influence.
Positive influencing shows are shows that have good, strong messages sent out to the youth. Even shows like Sa-Re-Ga-Ma-Pa which has children of different age groups singing in their children segments of the show, create a fierce sense of competition in the participants and this is not healthy as children should understand that competition is meant to only be healthy otherwise it’s not like a competition it’s like a feud. Children who watch this show get carried away and there is a possibility they may start ignoring their education in the quest of trying to ape their favourite singer in the competition. These are the various impacts that Reality TV Shows have on children.
In conclusion, let the quote of Dr. Haim Ginott be read—————————
Children are like wet cement. Whatever falls on them makes an impression