A new reality show premiered on FYI last night. It is yet another step toward the collapse of civilization as we know it.
Married at First Sight pairs up several couples, people who are complete strangers, and marries them without any courtship whatsoever. Literally, the participants meet their spouses for the first time at the altar. Then a camera crew follows them around for five weeks to see how the relationship develops. At the end of that period, the couple either decides to stay married or get divorced.
When I think of some of the bizarre reality show concepts that have made it to the airwaves in recent years, I’m reminded of the apostle Paul’s reference to people who “invent new ways of sinning.” (Romans 1:30) The whole point seems to be to come up with as perverted an idea as possible. The more irreverent and nontraditional, the better.
What strikes me is the low opinion the creators of these shows have of the intelligence of the American people. We’ve been hearing about the dumbing down of our culture for years. At this point it’s no longer a theory. For example, we have television shows like Married at First Sight that garner millions of viewers, but at the same time:
• One-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.
• 42 percent of college graduates never read another book after college.
• 80 percent of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year.
• 70 percent of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.*
I’ve never been a television basher. I’m not one of those people who says you can’t be a real Christian if you like television. In fact, I am convinced that if Jack Bauer was president, we could finally get this country straightened out.
At the same time, what you do with television in your home will help determine whether you and your family will be dumbed down.
Let me suggest that you not watch (or let your kids watch) shows that play to the lowest common denominator in humanity…shows that are written and produced for, yes, I’ll say it…dumb people. You might think they’re harmless and amusing, but are they really the best use of your time and, more importantly, your brain?
I had a business owner tell me not long ago that he has a hard time finding sharp people to hire. He said young people nowadays come slouching into his workplace with baggy pants that are falling down, baseball caps on backward, and tattoos all up and down their arms. But they can’t sit up straight in a chair or write a coherent sentence or carry on a professional-level conversation.
You can’t keep America from being dumbed down, but you can keep yourself and your family members from turning into mental vegetables. Turn off Married at First Sight and pick up a book.
*Mental Floss article 27590 by Ransom Riggs