Does Television Cultivate Bullies?

I know this may sound ridiculous to some of you.

As I flipped through channels the other night on TV, I saw one reality television program after another. Networks are full of them these days — and in every case, the show culminated in a panel of judges making harsh remarks to those performing.

We’ve all seen these shows spring up over the last 5 or 6 years. I just wonder if they have been negatively influential in the bullying issue. It dawned on me the other day that reality TV shows may play a very real role. Whether it is contests on the Food Network, Project Runway, American Idol, or Survivor — we’ve become accustomed to laughing at less than stellar performances by contestants and panels judging those performances with scathing critiques.

And there we sit in our favorite chair or sofa — joining Simon Cowell in his criticism, and sometimes getting to the slam before he does. We are conditioned now to referee the people around us. Sadly, many students in elementary, middle school, high school, and college don’t know where to draw the line. They voice their opinions when no one is asking for them. They damage with their words, especially when posted in cyberspace. And it’s all funny to them, and a few of their friends. Unfortunately, it isn’t funny to the person on the other side.

What do you think? Am I going too far with this? Do you see what I see?


Does Television Cultivate Bullies?