Technological revolution is one of the most significant developments in the 21st century. However, these developments have had a significant effect on the society and human behavior. The media, in particular the television, has interfered with communication between family members and friends. It has created many unrealistic expectations influencing people to accept mediocre and false values about friendships and relationships. The shows, movies and series have engulfed dinner conversation during the week and breakfast outings over the weekends. People are spending too much time watching television shows and movies. This creates a virtual life for them, and, in the end, they end up lonely without friends.
Keywords: television, TV shows, TV relationships
Disruption of Tradition
A study in mass communication showed that many people are finding realistic depictions on TV romance (Jensen, 2013). This is one of the main reasons why divorce rates are high. People are less committed to marriage, especially young people. Marriage is portrayed as a problem on most TV shows. There is the notion that there is always someone better out there. These shows influence people’s expectations on relationships and their partners. This is especially true because celebrities have on and off relationships, which are most of the time staged for publicity. There are many relationship myths on the media that are not applicable in real life.
The media industry has created a false sense of love, commitment, friendship and relationships (Chambers, 2013). Love is portrayed like a fantasy in shows like The Bachelor. Most of the reality TV shows have a bad track record of creating actual lasting marriages, and yet they have millions of viewers around the world believing that fantasy. The bachelor and bachelorette trick people into believing that they can find their soulmate in a few weeks. Most reality TV shows are about rich and successful people, who are portrayed as perfect and down to earth, just like everyone else. The reality, however, is quite the opposite. Reality shows like The Real Housewives, Platinum Weddings, Rich and Famous are trying to set the standards of living, which is unrealistic. It has changed the society, especially women, to be extremely materialistic. There is a lot of fake friendship on the media, which has made it acceptable for people to have frenemies and toxic friends in their lives (Medoff & Kaye, 2011).
Most sitcoms and dramas play in a familiar pattern, there is always tension between two primary characters, who are actually meant to end up together (Stolz, 2014). However, they have all these challenges and complications keeping them apart. Whether they are spies, ER doctors or vampires, the viewers have been convinced that they are soulmates, and they will end up together. Viewers believe in the idea of soulmates and love always wins, which in not always the case.
Most people are smart enough to know that many relationships on TV are idealized and romanticized. However, they prefer to live this notion of romance and passion instead of the rational real life relationships. Researchers have suggested a link between TV viewing and the unrealistic expectations in real life friendship and dating. People do not understand that the media is all about entertainment and that the producers of these shows go to any length just to keep them watching. The traditional values of friendship have changed so much that a few people are finding it hard too even identify their real friends.
Chambers, D. (2013). Social media and personal relationship. Springer.
Jensen, K. B. (2013). A handbook of media and communication research. Routledge.
Medoff, N. J., & Kaye, B. K. (2011). Electronic media: Then, now, and later. Taylor & Francis.
Stolz, K. (2014). Unfriending my ex: Confessions of a social media addict. Simon and Schuster.