Big Brother Media Analysis

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Ninety-nine days previous, sixteen strangers stepped into a house to compete for half of one million dollars. An annual summer tradition of CBS’ summer lineup, Big Brother is the only reality TV show that exists on the basis of 24-hour surveillance. The Big Brother house is no home to privacy. Cameras and microphones monitor every square inch. Viewers tune into a summer of manipulation, confrontation, showmances, tears, and “epic” battles three nights a week. As if that wasn’t enough, CBS offers “CBS All Access”-an online monthly subscription that gives members access to the Big Brother Live Feeds. Big Brother is a niche in reality television. Producers of the show not only fully converged TV and Internet media, but also inject their show with …show more content…
Potter stresses that, “low level media literacy misleads people into a false sense of awareness.” (271). In the unique case of Big Brother, a false sense of awareness is already handed to viewers on a silver platter before Julie Chen can say “LIVE” one more time.

Potter stresses some principles of the media literacy perspective as 1) realizing that media effects are constant, and 2) through considerate commitment to critical thinking, one can manage their internal and external media effects process (p. 260). After linking these concepts of media literacy to my experience with Big Brother, I believe that the TV show can be watched in an entirely socially positive manner. With confidence I can say that at least one half of television that I consume on a regular basis is reality TV. I say “with confidence” because I’m aware of the negative stigma reality television and its viewers are given. However, similar to Professor Brenda R. Weber, I believe that reality TV can be watched in an entirely positive way when the viewer can admit that reality TV is simultaneously real and not real (Project Reality TV: Preshow Special,
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Each week a contestant is voted out of the game, forcing contestants to abandon their social morals in the name of $500,000 dollars. By no means does the cast play a morally responsible game, and so viewers observe constant morally irresponsible behavior that is often rewarded. Big Brother fans with low media literacy will fall victim to social cognitive theory (Baran, 2016, p. 332). Not only do viewers participate in observational learning by watching the atrocious behavior of house guests, but they watch these behaviors advance their favorite contestant further in the game. As a contestant backstabs their roommates week by week, disinhibitory effects inside the game and show of Big Brother advance them

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