Why we should not support reality shows on children

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(Pic Courtsey: Zee Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs)

Just now I was watching TV with my family and my parents insisted on watching a new program launched today. It was a reality show for children; some singing talent competition on some channel (I don’t want to name the channel or the show). I tolerated (yes right, tolerated!) the show for some 15-20 minutes and then I found it better to write this article rather than watching various kids showcasing their talent!

Ok, now let’s go back to the past. How was our childhood, was it like this? I understand that this generation has to move forward, but at what cost?

Let us look at the bigger picture now, the whole picture, which we do not get to see. Take for example the talent of singing. Not everyone has a talent like this, one in many has such a talent. Now suppose, in a national level talent show on a popular channel, say a thousand children come for audition. Out of those thousand, say 50 or 100 get selected to next round, 900 will be rejected. Out of the remaining 900, 50% of the kids will feels dejected and demotivated. They will get a feeling that they are not capable of this “achievement”, their self-confidence will see a new low. And there is a good chance that out of those rejected, there might be a really worthy and capable singer, who may not sing again. And in some cases, even their parents will put pressure on them to try harder next year, which is unjust.

Now let us move our focus towards those 50 or 100 which gets selected. They will undergo trainings, rehearsals, and what not to be near perfect in front of camera. Add to this a lot of melodrama. Slowly, one by one, candidates start getting rejected, and finally the media remembers only the winner or at max the top three. What about the rest? Has anyone given a thought on the emotional condition of those “rejected” children who could not make it to the top?

Recall the events of your life. How did it feel when you lost to somebody? I am sure everybody has lost at some or other point in life. Feels terrible, right? Even at this age, it feels awful to lose. Has anyone of you lost in front of the whole crowd? Anybody experienced that?! When lots and lots of people are watching you, and you lose! Yes, feels like shit!

Imagine what these children must be feeling like when they experience this feeling at such an early age! Losing is not an easy thing, and losing at this scale, when all the people are watching you and the opportunity cost is very high, is extremely difficult! Has anyone of us ever given a thought what these kids feel like? Their confidence suffers a blow! They might be feeling shattered! It’s not easy, when despite losing you have to clap for the winner and control your tears, when cameras are covering you from every angle. It will have serious effect on their growth and their learnings. World will be a lot different from their point of view.

The whole point is, I strongly believe that we are snatching childhood from these children just for the sake of our own entertainment. This is not the right age for children to go through all these emotions. This is the age when children must enjoy what they have and cherish their childhood. Instead we are making them realise what they do not have and letting them repent this thing their whole lives! Are they really capable of handling such pressures at such an early age? No, they are not. Let them enjoy their childhood, let us not take away their confidence, let us not take away their strengths from them. Let children be themselves.

PS: This is just my point of view, and it might not be 100% correct. Many of you may not agree with this, and many of you can add to this. Your suggestions and views are welcome.

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