top of page

Reality Show - virtual world and life as it is

Big Brother robo.jpg

Reality Show - virtual world and life as it is [1]


In times of Big Brother Brazil[2], the controversy about exposure in the media and on social networks is even stronger.


Social exposure, however, navigates between the polarities of the persona and the shadow, walking through neuroses, perversions, and character disorders. We become spectators of situations in which emotionally charged complexes are activated (both in the media and in the audience), and we end up becoming supporting actors in a social experiment where it is not known what ethical criteria are adopted, in addition to the appeal to the audience.


In fact, the appeal for the audience is not only in realities shows, but all of us, in a way, are looking for an audience, including me as I write this text. Writers want readers, instagrammers and facebookers want likes and followers, just like users of any and all social media, but what do we really want?


When we post something, or we participate in an interview, classroom, or webinar we are exposed. We consciously expose what we want, the persona carefully chosen for the occasion, but the shadow is exposed together, regardless of our will, the more effort we make, in fact, the more effort we hide the shadow, the wider open it becomes.


Jung says that the shadow is seen more easily by others than by we, and I say that social networks and countless television programs are there to confirm this daily.


Having followers and being popular does not necessarily imply that we are right, but that there are people who identify with what we say or do.


The feeling of belonging to a certain group or finding interlocutors who think like me gives me a sense of belonging, after all, we are social beings and we want to belong to a group that welcomes us and that treats us as equals, however, this does not want to say that we are right.


Phenomena observed in reality shows are common to be observed in companies, schools, families, therapeutic and religious groups, as are part of human nature.


Adding to the aggravation of a meticulously constructed scenario to cause the feeling of discomfort and disorientation that we see in the current program, we have the addition to the confinement between people who most likely would never be choosing all the participants of this group.


The circumstances are favorable to manifest the worst part of each one of the participants, since the best side of each one of them seems to be suffocated by the games, intrigues, passive-aggressive behaviors and explicitly aggressions can be observed all the time. This behavior can be observed as well in the so-called professional social platforms as much as in the lay groups in the social media.


Sometimes I have the feeling that the world has been divided into two big fan-clubs, the opposers and the supporters, and I see people embracing causes in defense or in fighting some idea as an unbridled passion.


We must always remember that every passion has choices based on conscious aspects, as well as choices based on unconscious projections.


Stress situations, in general, activate our previous complexes and traumas, in addition to triggering new traumas and new complexes, however, we need to remember that in social experiments like Big Brother, carried out between groups of high-performance university students, also had results of coexistence and alarming aggression and subjugation[3].


I am not comfortable analyzing individuals who are not officially under my care, and I would like to point out that in the face of such a situation, individuals who in common situations would probably have more appropriate social behavior, no longer have it, and individuals who already have the tendency to outbursts of anger, a passive-aggressive pattern, abuse of authority, manipulation or to engage in sadistic-masochistic behaviors will possibly have this behavior exacerbated by the situations of competition and stress to which they are exposed.



Leadership and eminence grise (technical term used in Organizational Psychology when someone acts behind the scenes, secretly exercising power) alternate between positive or toxic behaviors, however, in the situation of an experiment like this one, which I compare to those of Milgram and Stanford, subject to due proportions, are much more likely to trigger toxic than healthy or collaborative behaviors, after all, we must not forget that it is a competition with a substantial prize money and contracts and work. In this situation, even leaders and creative eminence grise tend to be stifled, after all, discord and conflicts give much more visibility.


We know that fake news and gossip tend to have much more visibility and tendency to be shared than good news, fifth-rate newspapers and tabloids have always invested in it, and perhaps this is why the program is becoming more and more dangerous for the participants' mental health and audience, year after year.


I cannot avoid thinking what Nelson Rodrigues would say about all this, would he consider these real characters a plagiarism of his fictional characters, or would it be the other way around?

Bibliographic references


CW3 - Psychogenesis of Mental Diseases

CW7 - Two Essays of Analytical Psychology

CW9.1 - The Nature of the Psyche

Gaiarsa, Angelo - General Gossip Treaty

Milgram, Stanley (1963) Behavioral study of obedience, Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67, 371-78.




The Stanford Prison Experiment - 2015 - Directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez

The Wave - 2008 film - Directed by Dennis Gansel


[1] The title of this article refers to the great Brazilian dramaturges Nelson Rodrigues - A vida como ela é

[2] Reality show produced by Globo TV Network, which despite all the negative and controversial criticisms raised, is in its twenty-first edition. Other realities were considered in this analysis, although they were not explicitly cited in this text.


[3] The MIlgram Experiment and The Stanford Experiment

bottom of page