I will be the first to admit that my television obsession is unhealthy. I am not proud of the hours I devote to internet t.v. viewing, though I am proud that I have quit my previous addiction of reality television (a drug in and of itself). In my younger years, I yearned for the catfights and drama that came with each new dose of Survivor or Real World: San Francisco.
But these hours of open-mouthed awe weren't for nothing. They ultimately resulted in valuable life lessons that I carry with me today.
Always have a talent
Look, we all know it's important to think on your feet, but sometimes it's also good to have a few tricks pocketed and ready. Nickelodeon's Figure It Out preached this philosophy and I will never forget the kid who turned his stomach into a cereal bowl that his brother could eat out of. And who wouldn't want to show that talent off to a cabin of middle schoolers in summer camp? As Never Been Kissed taught us, you can use similar levels of talent (i.e. winning a coleslaw eating contest) to impress peers at the high school level. And finally, I am willing to admit that I have even participated in a talent show during college. It's the form of entertainment that never gets old.
Teamwork (and sacrifice) can never be overrated
Anyone who has been in any class ever knows that professors love group projects. As Biggest Loser has taught us, supporting our colleagues is important in any endeavor. Countless reality shows have shown that all different kinds of people can find it in themselves to work together in the face of competition. And nothing breeds competition like a class set on a curve.
But let's not forget another facet of teamwork: sacrifice. In Legends of the Hidden Temple, players (re: kids under the age of 12) would often get taken by the temple guard so that their teammate could better discover a safe route to get to the throne room. Take note. Sometimes we can't be the one to win it all. But, we can help others along the way. For many goals, there are also assists. And just think about it, things would have turned out a lot better for Cedric Diggory had he just let Harry take the Goblet of Fire.
If you're mean, that's what people remember
We all have our good days and our bad days and the in between days, but if you're nasty to someone, that's what everyone will remember. Now I know that reality television producers often manipulate what we see in order to craft participants to fit the role of "hero" or "villain." But, then again, if Susan weren't a crazy person on season one of Survivor, then they wouldn't have even had that footage to show. Also, please recall 90 percent of all America's Next Top Model contestants.
You can date whomever you want
Flavor Flav taught me to never give up on love (and if I do, then I should get a reality show hosted by La La Vasquez). But he is not alone in his teachings. Sure, Flavor of Love is certainly among the most memorable, but let's not forget its successor Rock of Love and the non-Vh1 but equally awesome Beauty and the Geek. Oh, yeah, and The Jersey Shore. Each of these gems show us that finding love really is possible in this crazy world. If it doesn't work out, then someone better will come along. Hoopz knows. She's dating Shaq now.
Clean your room
Room Raiders. Enough said.