Psychological Challenges Contestants and Viewers Media Face

Psychological Challenges Contestants and Viewers Media Face

The finale of ITV’s Love Island was watch by millions of fans, many commenting live on social media. As Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu and Davide Sanclimenti were award the £50,000 prize. The four couples who made the final will now leave the Majorca villa where they’ve kissed. Cried and cracked on for the past eight weeks. When they enter the outside world, they will met with massive amounts of attention.

Some of this is positive lucrative business opportunities, partnerships with popular brands and thousands of new followers on social media. Other attention will be in the form of online abuse and trolling from viewers.

Love Island and indeed, all reality television is an interesting case study in psychology. From the social experiment of isolating people in one house for a period of time. To the relationship between audience and contestant. The blurred line between reality and fiction creates a strong fan attachment to the show, but also contributes to mental health issues for contestants themselves.

Like soap operas, reality shows made up of storylines that follow characters though they may real people). Viewers watching hours of these program can develop attachments to the characters, where they feel they are one with the people on screen.

Para Social Relationship Media

Psychologists describe this as a para social relationship, a one-sided, unreciprocated friendship or connection to a person they only know through a screen. Research has found that following celebrities and media figures on social media platforms may blur the lines between social and para social relationships. Our interaction and engagement with social media posts no longer significantly differs between close friends or famous people.

Viewers’ previous experiences reflect what they think of a character, creating either empathy or disdain. In a para social relationship, a viewer may feel a closeness and connection in their lives with a person who does not know that they exist, and based solely on the storyline of the television show.

Soap actors have discuss being shout at in the street by fans, because of their characters behavior on a scripted, fictional show. EastEnders Louisa Lytton said the abuse is a daily occurrence.

Love Island contestants enter the villa a relatively unknown person in society, and come out to a barrage of messages from viewers, all responses to the show’s editing, of which the contestants themselves may not know the full extent. This exponential rise in awareness of them as a person, a character and a celebrity creates a dramatic and fundamental shift in their lives. Psychological support is paramount to successfully navigating their newfound fame.

ITV provides mental health support and other resources to contestants during the filming process. As of 2022, this includes giving islanders training on the impacts of social media and handling potential negativity.

The Media Psychology Of Trolls

Love Island has had a long history of mental health challenges, including the deaths of two former contestants and former host Caroline Flack by suicide. Alex George, an ex-islander, has become the government’s first youth mental health ambassador.

Many of the psychological challenges that have been associate with Love Island have been link with the social media barrage direct at contestants. Former islanders Kem Cetinay and Amber Gill now host a mental health series, The Full Treatment, where they discuss the experience of abuse that comes from tweets and forums during and after the show airs.

Psychologists define so-called keyboard warriors or trolls as individuals with a sense of emotional inner turmoil. Using their perceived power to invisibly belittle others as a way to self-satisfy their internal crisis. Recent research found keyboard warriors have personality traits associated with the dark triad of personality: narcissism, machiavellianism and psychopathy.

The apparent safety behind the keyboard allows people to say. What they feel without the repercussions of the negative emotional and verbal abuse that would be socially unacceptable face-to-face.

Love Island is about contestants looking for love, but it is also about looking for public approval. In the form of votes to ultimately win the £50,000 prize. This thrusts contestants straight into the path of viewers’ unfiltered thoughts and comments, filled with envy, admiration and vitriol. This need for public attention makes reality shows and their aftermath a psychological minefield for participants.

Responsible Viewing

Love Island is on six nights a week for eight weeks straight. This might also cause mental health issues for regular viewers. Research suggests that people who binge-watch shows become so invested in the characters’ lives and storylines that when it’s over. They can face feelings of depression, emptiness, anxiety and even loneliness.

But due to the 24/7 world of social media, Love Island never truly ends. Fans have ample opportunity to comment on the show and its contestants on social media. The show itself encourages this, sponsoring a forum on Reddit.

The contestants social profiles are also kept up to date by friends and family while they are in the villa. Further blurring the lines between the contestants lives before, during and after the show.

It’s perfectly fine to watch the show and discuss it with friends and strangers online. But viewers of Love Island or any reality program must remember when commenting that islanders are human too.

House Of Cards New Political Thriller The Hottest Thing Television

House Of Cards New Political Thriller The Hottest Thing Television

During a state visit to the United States in 2015, President Xi Jinping publicly television dismiss. The comparison of China’s far-reaching and eye-popping anti-corruption campaign with the hit American television drama House of Cards.

In China, Xi said, there is no power struggle, no behind-the-scenes political intrigue. Yet, when In The Name of the People. A corruption-center political television series drama start in March. Luring billions of viewers each week, media outlets were quick to compare it to the Netflix series.

Television Appalling And Applaud

The 55-episode drama is China’s latest effort to tap into pop culture to showcase its resolution and achievements. In the extensive corruption crackdown that Xi launched when he came into power in 2012.

The show an immediate hit, developing a reputation as the hottest thing on Chinese screens both locally and globally. Its ratings recently reached 7%, breaking a ten-year record for China’s domestic television drama market. On just one of the licensed online viewing platforms, iQiyi, it has reaped almost 5.9 billion views.

Viewers are alternately appalled by and applauding scenes of a sort rarely seen in China. A corrupt Party cadre kneeling and weeping for pardon. When mounds of banknotes hidden in his secret villa are uncovered by the protagonist. A competent young prosecutor, a corrupt local judge caught in bed with a blonde foreign prostitute, paid for by a businesswoman.

Political Television Product

Such high-level dirt has been the source of much gossip in China, but has never been so vividly been depict. China’s cultural production is highly control and heavily censor. The Party’s omnipotent media watchdog, the State Administration of Press. Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) dictates what Chinese audiences are to watch.

In the Name of the People has made it onto screens because it’s more on a political mission. Than a market-driven cultural product. The show is commission and financed by China’s national prosecutor’s office, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate. At the cost of 120 million yuan (US$17.4 million). Which twice the average of other locally-produced TV shows.

A public official from the Supreme People’s Procuratorate told Chinese media they given instructions from the media watchdog to promote positive energy by showcasing the resolution of China’s anti-corruption campaign, rather than the scale of corruption in the country.

Anti-Graft Dramas

Entrusted with this political mission, leading actors in the show have proven only too eager to pass on the positive energy. They have overacted, essentially ruining the show in artistic terms according to some critics on social media.

But this kind of defect hasn’t stopped excited viewers from watching the show for its political main theme, which is a rarity in China in recent years. A decade ago, anti-graft dramas were common, but in 2004 they were ban by the authorities for being low quality.

In the absence of political drama, what has prevailed in China are television shows about family ethics, about Chinese soldiers’ heroic fight against Japanese in the second world war, or emperors and their concubines in the imperial palace of the Qing dynasty.

But as China’s political landscape changes, so, too, does its on-screen entertainment. Television has been and remains a powerful medium in most countries for mass political manipulation since the 1950s, and it remains so today, despite the media’s ever-changing ecology.

In China, television is hands-down the preferred battleground for garnering public support and influencing public opinion in favour of Xi’s corruption crackdown.

Since 2016, grief-stricken corrupt officials have seen confessing their crimes in tears on primetime news shows and in documentaries produce by the government’s corruption watchdog agency.

Now, the government has opted for entertaining television dramas aimed at a mass audience. Apart from the current hit, 11 additional primetime dramas about China’s corruption sweep are expect to hit screens in millions of households later this year.

This deluge can be expect to shape the public narrative in China about the Xi administration’s anti-graft campaign and its grand achievements.

Compulsory Watch

For now, it has become obligatory to watch In the Name of the People in China. That’s actually literally the case in some cities where Party cadres are require to watch and write reviews of no less than 1,500 words.

Perhaps others watch it in the hope of learning how to survive political power struggles. And the whole nation seems to be following the show to catch up on trending topics of national relevance, both online and offline.

But public discussion about the drama appears to be herd towards the government’s prefer direction: positive. On Zhihu, a Quora-like knowledge-sharing Chinese website, which has more than 20 million users, of 169 answers in the thread how to comment on In the Name of the People, 145 answers have been remove. Most taken down for being politically sensitive according to the website.

The show is unprecedented in China because it tackles the delicate matter of official corruption. But what and how much is reveal on the show are dictate not by viewer interest or the market.

The show’s title echoes the Party’s official rhetoric of serving the people. Unsurprisingly, this has a decades-long catch cry in media narratives, which themselves told to serve the party.

Reality TV Landscape Today Will Demand Love Island

Reality TV Landscape Today Will Demand Love Island

ITV2 has announced the return of Big Brother reality show to the UK. With a promo trailer during this year’s Love Island final. Big Brother’s successful format of putting a group of housemates together in a controlled environment. As an experiment to observe their behavior has proved entertainment gold with international. Iterations, spin-offs and many imitations across the world.

To many, the show’s return, after its 18-year stint on Channel 4 and then Channel 5 will come. As something of a surprise, given the way the viewing figures had gradually fallen. For others, however, it remained a cult hit at the center of contemporary British popular culture.

But reality television is not the same as it was when Big Brother launched in 2000. The show will return to a changed set of circumstances and expectations. For instance, Big Brother’s explosive drama was roundly criticize for sometimes. Being fuel by alcohol a practice which is no longer.

Reality Television And Social Media

Love Island has clearly taken inspiration from Big Brother as it also relies on observing. The behavior of participants in a house known in Love Island as the villa over eight weeks. The difference is they’re supposed to couple up.

The show has developed a successful branding strategy with intricate social media tie ins for instance. Numerous sponsorship deals with clothing and music brands, as well as gaming apps. Merchandising and multiple branded social media accounts. All of this has upped the stakes of the amount of publicity and extra commercial value. Generated around a show dwarfing the frenzy the tabloids made of Big Brother.

This year’s Love Island winner, Ekin-Su, came out of the villa with more than a million Instagram followers and poised for numerous lucrative branding deals.

But also since that initial psychological experiment, the nature of reality contestants has changed. They are now media-savvy people who’ve grown up online and in a world saturated with reality TV. They see shows such as Love Island as part of a social media landscape, in which performing and branding their personalities is a normal way of life that might just lead to a lucrative career.

Big Brother And Love Island Reality

While of course not all reality shows offer such a platform, Big Brother and Love Island have been some of the most successful for offering a springboard into other media careers sometimes for those who might have had no other way in, given the lack of diversity in the media industry.

There is therefore no shortage of people queuing up to get a spot, despite the escalating risks of trolling and social media bile that seems to be the price paid for quickly-won fame.

How audiences interact with a show has also changed. They can now participate in the experience, not only through voting, but in the sharing of opinions, often in real time and directly with participants, as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook extend the shows’ visibility.

Looking back to older series of Big Brother, I wonder what kind of death-threats Nasty Nick would have receive for breaking the rules of the show after he was caught writing down housemates names to influence the nominations for eviction. He left the house to a booing crowd and a baying press like a pantomime villain, but that would have been multiply and magnify across social media and into his DMs direct messages today.

Duty Of Care Reality

For more than 20 years, largely unpaid contestants have provided content for television without much oversight or concern for their wellbeing. Think of Shahbaz Chauh dry who in series seven of Big Brother showed obvious signs of worsening mental health and ended up leaving on day six after threatening to commit suicide.

Now producers need to think more closely about their duty of care to contestants in a landscape that is much more sensitive to the risks of taking part in reality television, particularly those associated with mental health

Caring for contestants has become a growing issue as several reality stars have committed suicide post filming. A 2019 government public inquiry and a period of consultation by Of com, the UK broadcasting regulator, have led to changes in the broadcasting code, which came into effect in April 2021.

Welfare Of Participants

Now broadcasters must protect the welfare of participants and ensure. That audiences don’t watch harmful or offensive things happening on screen. However, as Of com is a post-broadcast regulator it cannot interfere with the direction of creative content. It can only intervene once something has already aired.

There might be a feeling that the changes to the code and the more serious intent of the broadcasters are enough. However, before the end of Love Island 2022 Of com received more than 5,000 complaints. About issues ranging from misogyny to bullying. It remains to seen whether any of these complaints can be upheld under the new duty of care regulations.

The code also struggles to take account of the complexity of caring for such contestants. How long after a show should after-care go on and what should it look like? This is a difficult question, especially considering that many reality TV contributors sign over. The rights to their performances in perpetuity. You may not feel the same about something you did at 19 being replay. As TV gold or re-circulating as a meme when you are 45, for instance.

I presume that ITV has taken this leap because of the success of Love Island and the continued audience appetite for shows. That manipulate the experience of contestants in confined conditions. For a TV show that thrived on chaos and emotion. What would a caring revision of Big Brother even look like? I guess we will see when it airs next year.