A letter

Dear Sir,

I’m writing to express my disagreement with your idea of entertainment. I am, of course, referring to a number of programmes telecast in your channel.

First, let’s talk about the reality show you call, Real People, Real Lives. For one, I don’t think there’s anything real about paying celebrities to pretend to live together for a month, and appointing a mediator to solve petty disagreements between them. After all, these celebrities have no reason to live together—except perhaps for the money you pay them, and for the controversial paparazzi that ensues. If you and your children spend your evenings watching this show, I’m sorry, but you all need to get a life.

Second, I came across a programme that your channel’s hosts dub as Share your Feelings. Now, I may have to agree that sharing emotions and deep feelings may have a positive effect on the person doing the sharing. Having said that, however, I do not agree that sharing on national television, a story about how I let my boyfriend down by lying to him, is not a decent way of expressing my feelings. And I don’t think that you or your channel’s hosts should encourage such behaviour, and play irrelevant songs to trigger even more emotional callers. Callers might get some solace — sad though it is — but for a young family watching the show at home over dinner, it’s nothing more than a mindless way to spend the evening.

Now I understand that your choice of programmes doesn’t depend on what your audience wants to or needs to watch. Instead, it depends on what will get them excited to keep on watching. It doesn’t take a master’s degree in Psychology to decode your algorithm: You just give people sensational issues so that they get used to it and keep coming back for more. It’s not unlike training a dog by giving it chocolate treats that you know would only harm it. It’s simple logic, yet a powerful influence.

And that’s the reason I ask—implore(well… no)—you to reconsider your offering. Not only are your shows mind-numbing and disgust-inducing, but they are also a spark of painful-disagreement between husbands and wives all over the country. Well, yes, I haven’t spoken to my wife in a few days, and that’s perhaps why I decided to write to you in the first place, but nevertheless, it’s time for you and your channel’s administrators to call that long over-due meeting and reassess your goals for the new year.

With that I conclude this letter. And although I’m certain—beyond belief—that you would never acknowledge reading this letter, or even the existence of it, I would still like to tell you that your feature programme titled News Around the World in 60 Seconds is the best of all in your agenda.

I don’t look forward to hearing from you,

Not a fan,

n

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