Reality TV. I’m sure all of you have seen it, heard it, wished you lived it, loved it or hated it. It is an epidemic that is quite hard to dodge as it is displayed on majority of media channels across Australia, with statistics showing that it is the only thing keeping the death of Australian television alive (Houston, 2014).
Australia’s increasing desire for reality TV sparked an interest in my BCM210 research group. We were curious about the consequences of watching these shows. Furthermore, we came together to hypothesise – ‘Reality TV has the ability to warp young Australian adults perceptions of the real world’.
We landed on this hypothesis by identifying that young Australian’s are subjected to a greater variety of reality television shows in comparison to older demographics. This is due to young Australian’s ability to access a variety of media channels on their laptops, mobile phones, televisions, I Pad’s etc. This does not go to say that older demographics neglect reality television, however it is confirmed that they do not view it as regularly as young adults.
In order to gain a deeper understanding on the topic of young adults and their consumption of reality television, I have chosen to interview my sister (aged 21). I have altered questions from my BCM210 teams draft survey questions to conduct this interview.
My Questions were as followed:
- Do you watch reality television? And if so what ones?
- Which ones do you connect with and why?
- Roughly how often do you watch these shows per week?
- Do you think it’s easy for young adults to avoid reality television?
- Do you think reality television has a positive or negative effect on young adults?
The results revealed that my sister consumed four to five hours of reality TV shows a week, some of which she wasn’t aware fell under the genre. My interviewee discussed how reality television shows provide entertainment, rather then a psychological connection. My respondent acknowledged that for young adults alike her, it is difficult to avoid reality television, stating:
“Yes it is hard to avoid reality television, because even if you make the decision to not watch it, it is often in the newspapers, radios and news. E.g. The Bachelor was on almost all media forums, making it hard to not know what was going on in the television show”
This interview allowed me to rehearse some of the questions my BCM210 research group constructed. This interview helped me recognised that young adults may believe reality television is easy to avoid. However, when brought to their attention, realise that media channels like radio, newspapers etc. report on reality television shows excessively. During my interview, I found it difficult to conceal my hypothesis from my respondent. This suggests that some questions may be bias in assuming that all young adults are influenced by reality television. Furthermore, our group will need to come together to improve security of our hypothesis before distribution of survey.
McCutcheon, M 2015, ‘Qualitative Methods: Interviews and Focus Groups’, lecture notes, BCM210, University of Wollongong, delivered 17 April 2015
Houston, M 2014, ‘How Australia fell for reality TV’, The Guardian, viewed 17th April 2015 <http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/australia-culture-blog/2014/apr/23/how-australia-fell-for-reality-tv>