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

Jonathan Alpert answers your "Is it normal?" questions.

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.

 
 
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