Jersey Shore: Where guilty pleasure is a punch in the face…literally

By on January 20, 2010

Without the stress of tests, homework and papers over our long winter break, I planned on catching up with one of my favorite genres of TV, reality television. Fortunately, or strangely, I should say, I didn’t have to do much watching because my 11-year-old brother could recap almost every moment of MTV’s “Jersey Shore” and other notorious reality shows.

When he excitedly told me what happened to Nicole “Snooki,” in the previous episode, I thought to myself, what is the world coming to? Why is my 11-year-old brother watching these shows that are terribly inappropriate for his age? Telling me everything in detail, I realized that he considered the “mature” matter of this show, to be nothing. “Snooki” getting hit in a bar, or “The Situation” picking up at least two girls a night, doesn’t appear to be an outrage to people as young as 11. I figured out that this is because the media has desensitized us, specifically young viewers, with anything that was previously labeled inappropriate.

Years ago, if a woman wore something revealing or if something inappropriate was talked about, viewers were easily outraged. Today, something that was then considered outrageous is merely just another dramatic episode.
Even though, I am an avid reality television fan, I have come to understand that just because these shows portray people’s “real lives,” doesn’t mean the material on the show should be copied, or even considered appropriate. These programs are showing today’s youth that it’s okay to be risqué, or it’s okay, even cool, to treat people disrespectfully.

In the minds of my little brother and other kids his age, they don’t understand that treating women disrespectfully is not as cool as “Pauly D” portrays it to be, and that there is more to life than “Gym, Tanning, and Laundry.”  This concept doesn’t only exist with MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” but considering the impact that this show has made within the past few months, it’s unfortunately filled with examples.

The media today does not have the filters that it did years ago. Now, children have completely different mindsets about what’s acceptable and what’s not even compared to as little as 10 years ago.

Thankfully, there are parents, teachers and even Nickelodeon to help convince today’s youth that these reality television shows do not portray real life.  However, with the abundance of technology that surrounds us in this day and age, it is difficult to prevent children from seeing these inappropriate programs. Kids go to school, hear or talk about a television show that aired the previous night and come home and Youtube it. Yes, students younger than high school age can and do watch Youtube.

I think that these shows are strictly meant for mature viewers do to their mature content. But considering the level of availability that these television shows and media generally have, it is almost impossible for children to not see or even hear about these constantly talked about programs.

Lets just hope that by the “Jersey Shore” finale, there aren’t middle schools around the country filled with boys with blow-outs and girls with “guido poofs.”

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  1. Ed kidney

    January 20, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    I think you are a little naive if you don’t think that this reality show portrays real life down at the Jersey shore. This is as real as it gets. Young adults today are nothing like just 10 to 20 years ago. Sex Sex and more Sex……Women on Women, guys on multiple women…….It is the way it is, good or bad…….ITS REAL