Reality v. Fiction

We watched a movie last night called “untraceable” which highlighted a problem I think is very prevalent in our world today – people who are very curious about everything and anything except for their own lives. It was a disturbing movie (maybe that is what kept my daughter up at night) about how people log into a website because people are being killed on it – tortured and killed, live on the internet streaming into your home, your ipod, your blackberry, and so on. It was disturbing because so many people seemed curious about watching someone else suffer a horrible painful death and then, die. It made me start to realize that this fictional movie is not far from reality at all.

As a kid growing up, we had a few channels of TV but hardly ever heard of or even knew what reality TV was – it was just not done. Sure, there were cute game shows like the NEWLYWED GAME, FAMILY FUED, or the GONG SHOW, but there was nothing like what you see today – people living in a house trying to hurt one another emotionally or cut each other down, or worse, WIFE SWAP where wives are swapped from household to household to give people a taste of something worse or better. WHAT!?? Really?! Are you kidding me? The sad truth is that people tune in by the millions to watch this spectacle take place. People tune in and sit on the edge of their seats as the next heart throb picks his leading lady on the BACHELOR. It makes people feel good to watch these shows which is frightening really. The scary thing is that my daughter is growing up in this screwed up world.

Needless to say, beyond truth and fiction, and beyond the boob tube, people in real-life are curious too. I witnessed another guy almost swerve off of I-70 this morning because he was too busy looking to see what was happening on the shoulder: a cop was helping in the final stages of what appeared to be an accident. However, there was nothing to see- quite literally – NOTHING but this man was so enthralled with the flashing lights and the fact that people were walking, he could not help himself. I thought to myself, how is that his or anyone else’s business. Maybe if the people who got in the wreck had paid attention to what they were doing instead of worrying about something else, maybe that accident never would have happened. Maybe if people worried about their own lives, tried to spend more time with their kids, with their spouses, instead of watching useless reality shows and trying to get involved in their neighbors’ or co-workers’ lives, we would not have the problems we have in society – high divorce rate, high rate of unemployment, high rate of unhappy miserable people, and a high rate of abuse of drugs and alcohol by children. Obviously, we cannot solve all our problems in a day or a week or even a decade but here’s to hoping that we become a society of people who can focus on what matters instead of things that really do not.

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