Let’s get real

Published 8:44 pm Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Some sad news circulated through my friends last week.

It was reported that Jon Gosselin – from the hit reality television show Jon & Kate Plus 8 – has been cheating on his wife, Kate.

For those of you who don’t watch the show (I’m right there with you), the show follows the life of Jon and Kate as they raise 8-year-old twins and 5-year old sextuplets.

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Needless to say, this recent development is a blow to many a fan who tunes in each week for the “Aww, how cute” moments of being married with eight children.

Now, I don’t watch this show.

In fact, there is very little reality television I do watch, because — not to burst any bubbles out there — it’s not REAL.

For example, contrary to the premise of “The Bachelor,” you do not find your soul mate by beating out 24 other women in a series of dates. And, if you do, you’ve got problems.

Yet with every new reality show, people get sucked into the hype of these false realities.

It’s simply not healthy.

I don’t know the specifics of the Gosselin situation, and for the family’s sake, I hope that this mess dies down quickly. But if what has been reported is true, should we, as a culture, be surprised?

Time and time again we have watched quick fame destroy people, including the “real” people who have just signed on to showcase their lives.

Survivor’s first winner, Richard Hatch, got busted for tax evasion just a year after the show ended.

American Idol contender Jessica Sierra just completed a stint in rehab to help her deal with the “pressures of the media.”

And if you’re married and on reality TV, you might as well call your lawyer now.

Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson, Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro, Hulk and Linda Hogan, Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston and Kathy Griffin and Matt Moline are just a few of the higher-profile couples who filed for divorce just months after wrapping their respective reality shows and boasting about being happily married.

I can buy television as escapism and as entertainment, but not as reality.

Can we not, as a culture, get a grip? Why do we need other people to show us what reality is? Do we not have enough reality in our own day-to-day lives that we feel the need to create a fictitious sense of what is real even when it is to the detriment of the people involved?

I think it’s time we all get real.