Reality blogging


Is the blogging phenomenon actually an offshoot of the reality craze that has swept popular culture in recent years? I basically abhor reality TV, as it’s just a big fat lie. There’s nothing real in reality television, no genuine reality can exist where there’s a camera. The presence of the camera changes reality. People don’t act around a camera the way they would have acted if it wasn’t there. Reality TV is a manufactured reality built to satisfy our voyeuristic needs. Survivor is manufactured drama using real people instead of actors. The Bachelor and the likes trivializes love and deep human emotions. American Idol is just an excuse to see sad wannabes make a fool of themselves.

Granted, there is something very addictive and entertaining in Reality TV. The voyeuristic impulse is very strong. Come and watch other people, who are presuambly like us, try and become famous singers, or join their quest to find the love of their lives (and plenty of cash along the way), or just get a not-to-sneak-peek into their lives in a big house riddled with cameras. Naturally, if it was real reality, it would be boring. No one wants to watch other people’s lives without some… well, editing.

Hitchcock said that drama is life without the boring parts. It is true for storytelling, and it is true for Reality TV. Reality TV is just drama, but it involves non-actors. That’s all there is to it. Reality shows DOES have writers, who come up with possible scenarios and conflicts. Why does Reality shows considered “real” while scripted drama is considered “make believe”? Do people actually think of Reality TV as real life? Bullshit. It’s as phony as is gets. I’d always prefer scripted drama, with great storytelling and acting, over the cheap sensationalism of the reality shows. Reality TV was basically created so that people like you and I could have our 15 minutes of fame. The allure of such a possibility can cause even has-been stars like Silvester Stallone and Paula Abdul to get in the game. Hey, maybe it can be the beginning of a beautiful comeback.

And that brings me back to blogging. Isn’t sharing your life with other people you don’t even know is no better than those pseudo “reality” shows? Are blogs just another way to satisfy voyeuristic needs? Is the person represented in the blog is actually the same person in real life? Or is it just a mask, another persona? Is a blog just another way to achieve those 15 minutes of fame?

I think not. While I’m far from being an exhibitionist, I think that sharing  your thoughts, ideas, and your life with the whole wide world is a viable way for self expression. Some bloggers tell more about themselves, some tell less, and some tell nothing, creating a “topic” blog about wine, cars, computers, or whatever. I think the need to write a Weblog is first and foremost a personal need, the need to “get your stuff out there”, to be heard. while the need to share your life on TV is based on the desire for quick fame and fortune, and possibly stems from of low self esteem.

Writing a blog, even one that concentrates solely on your personal life, is far from being an easy task. It takes time and effort, and at the end you’re not even sure you’ll be read at all. So basically, you do it first and foremost for YOURSELF, and I think therein lies the big difference between these two popular forms of self exposure.  

In conclusion, I want to address the issue of possible generalization on this topic. Sometimes there’s a fine line between Reality TV and documentaries. I want to stress out that by Reality TV I primarily refer to shows like the ones mentioned above. For example, although labeled sometimes as a reality show, I consider HBO’s Project Greenlight as more of a documentary series. So what’s the difference between Documentaries and reality shows, you might ask? Well, docs usually don’t have panels of judges and fancy chateaus as backdrop for forlorn lovers. There are much bigger differences, naturally, but that, as they say, is another story…

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1 comment so far

  1. Shel Berman on

    I admit your english is better than mine!

    Lior: Victory is mine!


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