Have you ever watched the reality show Married at first sight? I am totally addicted (and even though KB claims he thinks it’s a load of sh*t, he sits through it with me). The show follows a social experiment where people are matched with a suitable partner after completing personality tests and in-depth questionnaires. There are professionals involved, e.g. a psychologist, a sexologist, etc. and they use various methods to ensure a good match. The participants are looking for a spouse and are committed to the social experiment and to making the marriage work. The kicker is that, until their wedding day, they never see their future spouse and know absolutely nothing about them (not even their name!) The first time they see them is at the end of the aisle, where they have the option to go ahead with the wedding ceremony or not. The marriage is legally binding. The couple go on honeymoon, move in together, the whole nine yards. After 6 weeks, they must decide whether they want to stay married or get a divorce.
How utterly bizarre – I am absolutely hooked! What would possess you to do something like that? The control freak that resides in me wouldn’t allow me to do something so risky. Surprisingly, the one couple who I thought didn’t stand a chance, are getting romantic and seem to be forming a genuine bond and now, of course, the eternal romantic in me is rooting for them to make it!
While watching the show over the weekend, I asked myself why do I (along with millions of other reality show junkies) love reality shows? And on that same note, I asked myself why do we read other people’s blogs? What is it that causes us to become so vested in the lives of others, or at least in what is televised in reality shows or what bloggers choose to share?
The first thing that sprang to mind is that maybe I’m just plain nosey? But, I gave it some thought and here’s my list of possible reasons as to why we do it:
- Because we are just plain nosey!
- We are seeking validation for the choices we make.
- We do it to live vicariously through others.
- It’s fascinating to have a peek into “how the other side lives”.
- We are looking for the answers to questions we don’t even know we’re asking.
- Perhaps a favourite blog offers the ease and familiarity of a good book, i.e. we read blogs simply for the love of reading.
- It’s easier to be social online than in person.
- To stroke our ego or to reassure ourselves that we are doing OK/better than others.
- We are simply collecting information, cherry-picking what interests/is relevant to us.
- Purely for entertainment value.
Most of these are on the deep side – Maybe I need to reassess my life or something?! My guess is it’s a little bit of all of the above, but mostly I like to think I’m just nosey! If you have any insights, please feel free to share!