Friday, August 26, 2011

Autism, Empathy and “Reality” TV

For the life of me, I can’t understand the point of most so-called reality shows. Some of them, sure. I like So You Think You Can Dance. I used to like American Idol, before it became the same tired shit over and over again. What I hate and can’t wrap my mind around are the shows that seem to be all about people being awful to each other. You’ve got all the backstabbing and game playing on shows like The Bachelor and Survivor, which I can’t stand, but at least there’s an endgame. Those make a little bit of sense to me.

And then there are the others. Bad Girls Club, Jersey Shore, Real World, Real Housewives, Bridezillas, Toddlers and Tiaras, Dance Moms – the list goes on and on. When I watch these shows, I get so worked up and upset and I have never understood why I am so bothered by something that other people find entertaining. Upon learning about my place on the spectrum and the supposed lack of empathy the “experts” said I should feel, I was even more confused.

Guess what? I feel empathy. I feel it so strongly that it is overwhelming. The experts are wrong. (I’m not the only one who feels this way…visit to read about others like me.) Because of this, watching a television show that is driven by the fact that people can be completely evil to one another is painful for me. It hurts me. I’d much rather watch something like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition or My Fair Wedding. Show me people being kind. Show me there is good in the world. Show me that the human race isn’t doomed to destroy itself. Show me hope. Show me love.

1 comment:

  1. I agree, I don't see the appeal of shows like Jersey shore...a bunch of horrible, selfish people doing horrible, selfish things...I spend all day avoiding people like that, why would I want to bring them into my house on my tv for 'relaxation'?

    At least on toddlers and tiaras the dresses are pretty!