Reality TV shows allow room to dream

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 September, 2011, 12:00am


I am writing to comment on whether children should be allowed to watch reality television shows.

Shows such as Britain's Got Talent and America's Next Top Model have become popular all over the world.

However, parents worry that their children are wasting too much time watching reality shows, which are actually not 'real'. They also say such shows create unrealistic fantasies in their children that can seriously affect their studies.

Most parents tend to value their children's academic results above all else. However, there are benefits to watching reality shows. Children may be inspired through watching other people's struggles against the odds and courage to dream big.

It's important to have dreams, especially in a competitive place such as Hong Kong.

Karen Ting, Hang Seng School of Commerce

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Karen. There is an almost worrying number of reality television shows broadcast in countries all around the world. From Big Brother-style housemate shows, to talent contests and the search for the best chef/designer/model/photographer, there is something for everyone looking for their '15 minutes of fame'.

While these programmes mean people are tempted to spend even more time on the sofa, you're right when you say they can be beneficial.

Young people in particular are influenced by things famous people do and what they see on television. Sadly, these are often bad things.

But even if someone totally untalented is on a reality show, they are confirming one thing, one very positive fact: we should all shoot for our dreams, and not be afraid to go to great lengths to achieve them. We may not always reach our goal, but at least if we try, we can't regret the things we didn't do.

Karly, Deputy Editor