Remember Helga Pataki from Nickelodeon’s “Hey Arnold,” and how she had a secret shrine buried in the depths of her closet that was a spitting image of Arnold? Well just like her, many, if not all, people have a few guilty pleasures of their own. It doesn’t have to be hidden deep in our closets, or molded to look like our crush for it to exist. For some, it may be stashed away in a cookie jar, others might have it tucked under a mattress, and some might be daring enough to publicly light one up at the slightest hint of stress. However, for those people who seek something a little less tangible, their guilty pleasure can be found flicking between channels. One of the most popular channels to get your your fix is VH1. Over the years, VH1 has been a trailblazer for reality television. They’ve played host to some of the fan favorites like RuPauls Drag Race, Mob Wives, Basketball Wives, T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle, and Flavor of Love. And for the time that these shows aired, it left viewers crippled in front of the television until the following week, when a new episode would debut.
Keeping up with the tradition, VH1 has recently added a new show to their collection. Just this week, Teyana Taylor and her hubby, Iman Shumpert, have joined the ranks with a new reality series called Teyana and Iman. The show’s main focus is to highlight how this couple juggles marriage, careers, and family all while blocking out the haters as they find themselves placed more and more under what every celebrity hates—the spotlight. And in all honesty, VH1 truly outdid themselves with this one. It’s like nothing we’ve ever seen before.
It’s a likeable show, topped with a very lovable baby known by the name of Junie, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary. It’s just another reality show meant to trigger that vegetative state that’ll sweep over you if you aren’t careful. Sometimes, TV can have such a powerful grip on us that it can cause a chain of negative effects in our lives. In some cases, people’s health can deteriorate, meaningful relationships can be lost, and we increasingly lose touch with reality. Realistically, watching TV is not always the best idea, unless you know how to manipulate it.
1. Kanye's Workout Plan
Similar to how people will stop what they’re doing to peep out their windows to watch the couple across the street argue, people will sit for hours to watch people fight on screen. Don’t believe it? Well rewind your memories back to when Draya was a cast member on VH1’s Basketball Wives. Fans of the show couldn’t wait to take their usual seats in front of the TV to watch the episode in which Draya gives Sundy a big black-eye. It was all people could talk about for weeks. And after that juicy episode, you can guarantee that it lured people back in front the screen to see if the following episodes would deliver a bigger punch.
The point is that people spend too much time watching reality shows. They spend so much time sitting and watching that it now amounts up to smoking cigarettes. A study, done by the British Journal of Sports Medicine, concluded that “each hour spent watching television after the age of 25 reduces your life expectancy by nearly 22 minutes. To put this into perspective, the authors compared it to smoking – each cigarette reduces your life expectancy by about 11 minutes.” That’s terrible, but how do you manipulate this in a way that benefits you?
Well some might say that it’s a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. You can binge out on your favorite show while exercising, and its pretty convient. There are workouts set up so that you can burn calories during the same time you watch TV. One site says, “if you watch TV for three hours in the evening and do a mini workout during each commercial break, your exercise time will total over 45 minutes.” Depending on your weight, this could help you to burn at least 300 calories. You could even tune into the first episode of Teyana and Iman to see how she fades to fit!
2. Make it a Date
How many times have you planned for a quiet night at home snuggled next to a bowl of popcorn and a remote equip with a fresh set of batteries? Well how about the next time you find yourself planning a special evening like this, you make enough popcorn for two. Sure you’ll have to share the couch with another person, but it’ll be worth it. In an article posted by the The Daily Mail, results revealed, “that evenings spent on the sofa watching TV or reading together fostered closeness.” As people get older, and schedules become more demanding, it’s important to set time aside to bond so that you learn about each other. Maybe watching shows together will teach you something you never knew about a person. For parents with moody teenagers, or struggling couples, bonding over the same shows could build a bridge to more enjoyable conversations and less arguments. And yes there are hundreds of ways to do this, but watching your favorite shows together is definitely an efficient idea that’ll provide everyone involved with a healthy sense of community ruled by laughter-- a bodies natural remedy to feeling better. Whether it be with a partner, friend, or family member, watching reality television can be the driving force to why people reunite week after week, or day after day.
3. Gain Some Self-Control
The third, and perhaps the most obvious way of not allowing reality TV the pleasure of ruining your life is by developing some shred of self-control. Either limiting the amount of television you watch or not watching any at all will save you from becoming completely obsessed. Researchers say that it can take as little as 18 days to get out of a bad habit. It may sound hard to do, but it needs to be done. Just keep in mind how happy you felt when you realized that you went an entire week without calling “What’s His Name” or “What’s Her Face.” It felt good, it felt empowering, and most importantly it made you you feel like another week was possible...and it is! All you need to do is remind yourself of who is in control.
Whatever guilty pleasure you struggle with, there is always a way to tame it so that it doesn’t ruin your life. All that needs to be done is figuring out how to manipulate it in a way that keeps your best interests in mind. And if it's one good thing reality television teaches, it's how to win.