MTV’s Jersey Shore: sending a bad message to today’s youth?
Many of us have a new guilty pleasure. And it’s kind of embarrassing.
We can’t stop watching Jersey Shore.
MTV’s latest disaster, Jersey Shore, is a reality show based on 7 (ridiculously exaggerated) “New Jersey Guidos” who live together in a house on the Jersey Shore together for a summer. The males on the show have amazing bodies, tattoos of crosses, funny hair styles and dance moves, and they have only one goal: hooking up with as many girls as possible. The girls on the show love their hair extensions, “poofs”, and wearing as few clothes as possible. Drinking, hooking up in the hot tub, clubbing, and doing cartwheels in a thong on the dance floor entail some of the “highlights” of this show.
Are you shamefully hooked on this show like I am? If so, WHY can’t we stop watching this garbage?!
These reality stars are all about 21. An age when many of us had a limited scope about our futures, careers or the long-term consequences of our actions. And what is America indirectly telling America’s newest MTV generation? That if you make a complete fool of yourself and do outrageous things to get attention, you can make it big too- no hard work required.
A few comments by David Claude on my recent post about Penelope Trunk got me thinking about the topic of self-publishing, reality television, and selling your dignity to build a personal brand.
Shows like Jersey Shore prove that America is a junk consuming nation. Whether we admit it or not, we love junk. We consume junk in droves whether it is in the form of reality television or food. We will swipe our credit cards and accumulate debt in order to pay for junk, we will google for junky quick-read/low-information articles. And the scariest part is that young people are being told that if you can create junk, you can make it big.
I sit there and watch Jersey Shore and think to myself, How do these Jersey Shore kids feel about their grandparents watching them talk and act like complete fools? Have they ever thought about what happens after the show’s popularity dies down? Was selling their soul to MTV really worth a lifetime of embarrassing videos to follow them? Are they convinced that doing the show is the start to a promising new career? How much more narcissistic can you be!?
And this cycle of producing and consuming junk comes back to my fears about Gen Y’ers in the workforce today. We’ve been raised on MTV: a place where you can make a career by hooking up and airing all of your dirty laundry on MTV.
We’ve been raised to think we can do whatever we want, whenever we want. We don’t know how to wait for things. Why would we? We can google, email, communicate and look up anything we need in a matter of seconds.
The media demonstrates that if we can capitalize off our story and personality, we can make more money than we ever would by putting in long hours and hard work.
How do you think shows like Jersey Shore affect the next generation’s perception of reality and hard work?
What predictions do you have for the future careers of Ronnie, Sam, Snookie and, of course, Mike “The Situation”?