I caught my college professor friend, Susan, watching one of “The Real Housewives” shows.
I wanted to call her on it but, before I knew it, I was sucked in. My head ached from the quick-cut editing and crazy camera movements.
Ah, the guilty pleasure of reality television shows. They can be a fun diversion, and we know they don’t require our full attention.
Don’t require our full attention? When did that become a good thing?
While some may argue that manipulative editing works well on reality shows, I argue this type of entertainment makes us lazy. It’s like eating the stale, day-old doughnut on the counter because we’re too lazy to walk around the corner for a yogurt.
As consumers, it is up to us to choose our mental stimulation. But as content creators, we have a job to do. That job is to engage our audience members, not manipulate them.
I tell my students that a good story is like a conversation in which the reader should participate. But to do this, we have to give the reader words that will engage his or her mind in a more full way.