Question for Virginia Heffernan

Hi Virginia, my name is Tatiana and I am a Year 1 student at Bard. I am a daily user of the internet and I can admit that most of my day consists of me using my phone or watching TV.

I enjoy watching reality TV shows and after reading your article, Revamping Reality, I found that many of my ideas about these shows overlap with your arguments. I have always been fascinated by reality TV for the simple fact that we get to see what some of these celebrities flashy lives are truly like, but I almost always find myself thinking, why would they want to do something like this and open their lives up for everyone to see? I always found some of the things that people said on these shows like, “The Real Housewives,” “The Bachelor,” or “Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” too extreme to be true and definitely scripted, but I could never pull myself away from the TV. However, One thing I found interesting in your article was the world of problems that reality TV opens up for these, as you say, “performers.” Every time we watch these shows we see a very dramatic scene and we experience a web of emotions such as shock, excitement, or sadness.

Usually when a surprising moment happens in a popular reality TV show there are automatically memes that are all over the internet, and while they are funny, they are also another way for many people to make fun of and intrude the lives of these “performers.” Memes and other posts all over the internet are just another way for the families and careers of these performers to be destroyed.

Question: What is your take on the connection, if there is any, between reality TV and the internet?

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