Every now and again I will see a great example of how television is financially deceptive. It seems that everyone, meaning the characters, on TV look and/or act rich. Maybe rich isn’t the right word or description for every TV situation. Maybe it’s better to say that the characters on TV are shown in a way in which money doesn’t matter all too much to them or in some cases money is no object.
I want to describe two examples of how television is financially deceptive. The first has to do with TV commercials and the second deals with weekly TV shows.
Within the realm of commercials, which is immensely vast, many of the situations being shown are supposed to represent real life and I think in some ways they do, but in the money world they are way off. Have you ever seen a commercial in which the scene is supposed to be a regular morning in the average American kitchen? I have seen many and if you look past the characters and the product being sold you will see the finance deception taking place.
Next time you see a commercial like this take a look at the kitchen or home itself. It’s usually very new, perfectly clean and organized, and filled with lots of high-end and sometimes luxury items. Is this accurate? No way! My average morning is chaos and is not filled with high-end luxury items. It’s filled with realistically used and abused kitchen things, just like most of you would find in your home.
Since there is such a wide variety of shows I’ll have to be more specific about the ones I am writing about. I’m not really talking about the shows where the character is a billionaire. I’m more interested in the shows that portray the average married couple, college students, and families. Those shows, just like the commercials, are supposed to portray our regular lives. Except they are made to be funnier, more dramatic, or filled with more action, but in the end you can find many of them being financially deceiving.
For example I have seen on many regular TV shows a situation where one character, usually a friend or family member of another character, is having money problems and needs to borrow some money. The friend will ask how much they need borrow and many times it’s a couple of thousand dollars, let’s say $5,000. The loaner friend will make a joke or two about the borrower friends financial troubles and will then let the other friend borrow the money. That’s it, no muss or fuss about it. Of course that is television but let’s take a look at what would most likely happen in the real world.
If a friend or family member came to you tomorrow and asked to borrow $5,000 what would you do? Just think about it for a moment and ask yourself how that whole situation would play out? How many things would you need to consider? For me at this point in my financial adventure it would be lots and I sort of believe that most people wouldn’t even have that money saved for themselves let alone have the ability to let someone borrow it from them.
It’s a very interesting comparison to look at what is portrayed on TV as realistic life. I would hope most of us already know that television is for entertainment and 99.9% of the situations shown in commercials and sitcoms aren’t accurate to real life anyway. Next time you are watching your favorite TV show or see a popular commercial try to find a situation where money isn’t a problem for the regular characters being portrayed. Then you can make your own comparison to real life about what is happening and see in the end how watching television can be financially deceptive.