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More Big Brother fever

Now we all know that when a show is made too many times it losses its relevance and becomes boring. After having watched the first three seasons of Big Brother Africa I got fed up and cringed when the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh season started. I simply was not interested any more. It has become such a waste of time and drag to watch. Big Brother Africa is currently in its eighth season and it seems that things have changed. My cringing has changed to excitement and I look forward to going home and catching up on what the house mates are up to. It’s no secret that we live in an age of mass culture technology and more people are reading tabloids than the broadsheets, and reality TV is a fair reflection of this.

This season of Big Brother is proving to be the most talked-about and argued-about season. The verbal fights on the social networks are so intense that if some of the fans were to meet in person, Big Brother would cause bloodshed. At first I thought that people are taking things too personal then I realised that even I can not stand some people’s comments and feel like slapping sense into some fans.
It is fascinating to see how people speak and behave in unusual situations. This is why many intelligent people find themselves gripped by Big Brother and other reality shows. They teach us something about human nature and so broaden our experience. It seems that this time more than ever Africa has been gripped by Big Brother fever. Alliances have been formed and enemies have been created on social network sites. I find myself constantly checking online for the latest news on my favourite house mates and even boil when they get nominated for eviction but the real action is on the social network sites. You would swear some fans are directly linked or related to some of the house mates the way they stand up and vouch for them. It is a battle field and no one knows who will emerge victorious.
Africans like most of the people in the world have discovered that reality TV is profitable and entertaining to the average human being but that does not mean they are good for society. I believe we all learn new things from observing other people whether good or bad. This brings to mind the question what really is entertaining? Is it getting delighted by watching people suffer humiliation or betray others? I suspect that people’s ability and willingness to take pleasure in such things may stem from the increasing separation we experience from others around us. The more distant we are from each other as individuals, the more readily we can objectify each other and fail to experience sympathy and empathy when others around us suffer. The fact that we are witnessing events not in front of us but rather on television, where everything has an unreal and fictional air about it, is making monsters out of some of us.
The amount of name calling and hurling obscenities at each other on the contestants fan pages is disturbing. Much as it is entertaining it seems to be getting out of hand. Currently countries in the South of Africa have formed alliances to make sure that when Northern, East African and West African contestants are up for eviction they do not vote for them. I sure if we were not voting for our favourite house mates to stay in the house but our least favourite to leave, the fans would locate one another and make things even more personal than they already are. If you are a fanatic like myself remember that this is just a game and should not be taken personally. We have seen and heard of people having heart attacks due to excitement and disappointment at their favourite teams losing a football match, so we don’t want to hear of someone losing their life because of Big Brother. Let’s not fall under the group of racial, homophobic or xenophobic stereotypes, it is just a show.

 

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