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REALITY – it’s all in a word

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by Carol Sheridan







The dictionary defines the word REALITY as

  1. The state or quality of being real
  2. Resemblance to what is real
  3. A real thing or fact
  4. Real things, facts or events taken as a whole
  5. It is something that exists independently of ideas concerning it
  6. Something that is real
  7. Something that constitutes a real or actual thing, as distinguished from something that is merely apparent

Now, taking all of the above into consideration, the next entry in the dictionary seems to have the exact opposite meaning of the word.


8. Noting or pertaining to a TV program or film that portrays non-actors interacting or competing with each other in real but contrived situations, allegedly without a script.



Let me address the ‘real but contrived situations’.

Are the following real situations?

  1. Cooking in a competition for judges on national television while having to identify foods you have never heard of before let alone cooked with before.  MasterChef+judges
  2. Cooking with teams of people, out in the middle of a paddock, surrounded by cows.
  3. Singing or otherwise performing to judges, on national television, in the hope that you will be the next singing/dancing/whatever sensation, while a studio audience is fired up into cheering by a producer’s assistant making you think you really have a shot at this.

american-idol-logo3-1024x638     4. Living in a house with a group of other people with cameras watching your every move and microphones picking up even the softest of whispers.


5. Being set challenges in that house which will allow or disallow you to eat/drink/shower/bathe/sleep for the next 24 hours if you pass said challenge.

6. While living in that house, going and sitting on a special chair in the ‘diary room’ so that you can pour heart out (one on one) to ‘big brother’.


7. Being given thousands of dollars and competing to earn thousands more dollars to renovate a home/house/apartment/garage.

8. Having access to, and funds to shop in, the best home design stores in the country.

9. Not having to wait weeks for tradespeople to arrive as you have shared access to builders/plumbers/electricians etc that are always on site.


And these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to reality television shows that are as far from the reality of most of us it is not funny.

My answers to the above –

1. I love cooking, but I think I am like most people, I would never cook on national television and I would never even think of cooking with an ingredient I have never heard of before.

2. I have never cooked in a paddock surrounded by cows – yes, I know, it’s sad but it’s something I have never done and probably never will do.

3. My reality is – if I was to sing in front of an audience and judges, the said audience and judges would walk out, no matter how hard that producer’s assistant tried to razz up the crowd.

4. I don’t have cameras and microphones around my home or on me – heaven help my family and work colleagues if I did.

5. We all face challenges every day, but most of us don’t have our eating and personal habits threatened by them.

6. Diary room? Speaking one on one with a mysterious big brother where anyone viewing the so called reality show can listen in? What else can I say to this one but – NO, I don’t do it – it’s NOT MY REALITY

7. I WISH someone would give me thousands and thousands of dollars to renovate not going to happen!

8. Again – I WISH!

9. This one makes me laugh. I have been very lucky with tradespeople, but NEVER EVER EVER are they going to be hanging around waiting for me and my neighbours to need their services!


I admit that everyone has a different REALITY of course we do, we all live different lives, but the first seven definitions are the REALITY of the word REALITY!


The eighth definition of the word, as mentioned above, is absolutely ridiculous. YES, what these people are doing at the time makes it their reality for a very brief moment in time, and lots of the people participating in these television programs are hoping it will be their long term reality, but REALITY is, it won’t be.


For those of us sitting at home, watching such REALITY…