Is it normal to watch countless hours of reality TV? Jonathan Alpert answers

Hooked on the Kardashians? Totally normal, says Jonathan Alpert.

Is it normal to feel like I am losing friends as I get older? I just entered my 30s and feel I have fewer friends now than I did a few years ago.

Yes, totally normal. You’re in a transition as you move from your 20s to 30s. As people get older they settle into serious relationships, get married, have kids, and move for careers. Peoples’ interests and priorities change, and with that their social groups do too. For example, a 22-year-old might find it really important to drive a cool car or get into the hottest clubs. For a 30-something, those things, one would hope, aren’t all that important.  The remedy: Accept maturity and embrace change. Get involved with new groups, organizations and people. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people will allow you to forge new friendships.  

Is it normal for someone to be so into reality TV that the person watches it for hours every night? I don’t get it! What’s your take on reality TV?

Plenty of others don’t get this whole reality TV thing either, but it’s here to stay, and being into it is normal. Reality TV is the ultimate in voyeurism and exhibitionism: People openly display their dirt and the public eats it up. 

People are bored, and reality TV allows them to live vicariously through the participants.  Whether it’s weight loss, divorce, hooking up with bachelors, dealing with drug addiction or the daily drama of being a rich, snobby socialite, the public loves to delve into others’ lives. 

For TV executives, it’s a winning formula for success: The participants are affordable, as they’re usually paid just a nominal fee to cover travel expenses or are offered small contracts. And production is relatively low-budget, as sets are limited without the usual glitz and glamour of Hollywood.
So, why would people want to exploit themselves by putting all their juicy details on display? Well, for someone searching for fame, this is a perfect path to follow, and many have landed it. There are also plenty who have parlayed their 15 minutes of fame into more by landing book deals, spin-off shows, magazine covers, singing contracts and more. 

– Jonathan Alpert is a licensed psychotherapist. His new book, “BE FEARLESS: Change Your Life
in 28 Days,” is available at major booksellers and Amazon.com. Follow him online at www.jonathanalpert.com, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/jonathanalpert) and on Twitter @jonathanalpert

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…