Hot New Delusion: Life as Reality-TV Show

“What’s it like? Having all those people watch you and comment on your life,” iJustine asks iChannel‘s “i,” in one of the last episodes since the show went on hiatus in May after 40 episodes. “It sucks,” he replies. “From what I hear there are people that do this voluntarily.”

The irony, of course, is that iJustine really does broadcast her life, while the iChannel storyline revolves around a regular guy whose entire life is being monitored on the Internet via video… without his consent. It’s a modern “The Truman Show,” but the fans comment and interact with the plot.

Why is this topical again? Newsweek wrote recently that Joel Gold, director of psychiatrics at New York’s Belleveue Hospital, has noticed a new sort of paranoia: “young white men who believed they were the subjects of their own reality-TV shows.”

Out, folks, are the vintage paranoias: thinking the KGB is monitoring you, or that Al Queda is after you. What’s vogue in abormal psychology is reality-TV show delusions. One guy, described in Gold’s preliminary paper, climbed the Statue of Liberty, believing that he’d be reunited with his high-school girlfriend at the top, and finally be released from the “show.”

“If you have a predisposition to paranoia, going on YouTube and seeing some guy doing something can really shake you up,” says Gold.

That’s so weird. Hold on a second. I have to put on my Nalts hat and add a key light to me. There I’m back. What was I typing and why are you reading my e-mail?

6 Replies to “Hot New Delusion: Life as Reality-TV Show”

  1. It’s called YouTubeNeurosis.

    Personally, I have a God Complex, you know I’m there, but invisible. How do I know this to be true? Because I also have the power to delete, remove and block all those within the reaches of my dominion. Like most Gods, I created this world therefore, I make up the rules as I go. There have been several floods since its inception, but no matter how many times I wipe them out these little critters keep coming back. There is some value in persistence. Still, omnipotence isn’t easy.

    When we moved from the real world to the online (very public) world we not only brought our good ideas and innovations we also brought all our luggage. So instead of just the crazy neighbor down the block it’s all the crazy neighbors in the four corners.

    Sing it with me now… We are the world…

  2. If MY life were a reality show, I would be voted off the island.

    My nieces are big Giants fans and came up here for Giants camp a couple of times this summer. They are hot so they always get field passes, phone numbers from players, etc. This year they played “Giants Survivor”. They were being exclusive over which Giants players they would talk to. It is hysterical.

    I don’t know what that has to do with anything.

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