A lesson in reality
Q: Is the culture of celebrity and reality TV eroding our understanding of what constitutes success? What should we tell our children about people such as Tareq and Michaele Salahi who apparently crashed a White House state dinner in pursuit of reality TV fame?
Reality TV has become extremely popular because we watch supposedly "normal people" achieve extraordinary things. In the past decade, we have watched teams compete on "Survivor," we've watched people lose a lot of weight and get fit on "Big Loser," and we've watched celebrities learn how to dance like pros on "Dancing with the Stars."
Some of these shows are very inspirational. We like to watch ordinary people achieve great things. Unfortunately, many of the shows have gone too far. And, some of the shows have reached new lows.
I don't think reality TV is eroding our understanding of what constitutes success. I don't measure my success from being on a reality TV show, and I know my children understand this as well. Many celebrities have to work hard to maintain their success, many understand that money does not buy happiness, and they have as much stress on them as everyone else. And, there is a big price to pay when you are a celebrity ... you will never have privacy again!
What I find so interesting about this incident, is that the Salahis' decision to post the pictures on Facebook is what turned this incident into a national debate. Before Facebook existed, the Salahis were able to attend parties, have pictures taken with celebrities, and post them on their Web site.
Facebook and social media have changed our lives forever. Information is traveling so much faster. Facebook, which had become their communication tool for the public, is what brought them down.
The lesson here is that if you want to be in the limelight and seek attention, you have to be transparent in everything that you do. Every detail of your life can be posted, tweeted, and sent out to the masses in a nanosecond.
Posted by: jaebersole | December 5, 2009 2:27 PM
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