Are We Living in a Reality TV Like World? How Does This Impact Business and Society?

Whoever Controls the Narrative, Wins

Look around and watch what is going in the world around us and you would find that things are not they seem to be.

While our business and political leaders proclaim all is well in front of the cameras, the situation on the ground deteriorates.

Indeed, the rise of charismatic strongmen rulers such as Trump, Putin, and Modi among others indicates that whoever can control the media narrative and by extension, the mainstream narrative, controls the population and wins elections as well.

In other words, it is no longer the case that business and political leaders are elected on the basis of their work done in a real sense, but, their ability to Spin and Twist facts to their advantage.

This is the reason why the just concluded elections in Delhi are a welcome relief insofar as the politicians who have done good work on the ground have been elected.

However, the larger point on how business and political elites manipulate media to their benefit and manage the narrative remains as far as the ability and power of such leaders is concerned.

How Societies are Addicted to Technology and How Spin Matters More Than Substance

These trends are indeed worrying because managing the narrative means that business and political leaders operate more like Showmen, rather than hands on administrators and deep thought statesmen.

As leaders are increasingly turning to Social Media and TV to shape the narrative, inconvenient facts are buried and the nonstop coverage to certain news items means that the public can be fooled easily into believing whatever is posted on Social Media or whatever is shown on TV.

Indeed, the menace of Fake News is another manifestation of this wherein anyone and everyone with a Smartphone anywhere and everywhere can simply put out Tweets, Facebook posts, WhatsApp messages and Videos anytime and every time with nobody questioning the authenticity of such information.

As people try to emulate their leaders, they become more and more like them in terms of grandiose dreams with no hard work.

Moreover, with Spin becoming more important than Substance, those who depend on the government for their wellbeing find themselves at a disadvantage as the ground realities deter them from pressing on with their work whereas those with access to the corridors of power find it easy to get their work done.

Controlling the Narrative and Managing the Media

This impacts society as those at the bottom are marginalised more and those at the top continue to hoard their wealth and become richer as they control the media and the avenues of profiteering which they parley to their advantage by lobbying with the government for easier terms and conditions for their businesses.

Moreover, it is not like all businesses gain at the expense of society. Instead, those who are well disposed to the government and the political party in power tend to gain whereas those who have fallen afoul tend to lose.

In other words, managing and controlling the narrative is as important or more so, than actual work on the ground and hence, those stakeholders who have mastered the art and science of communication tend to benefit.

The point that we are making is when narrative is the only thing that matters, the Spin Doctors gain and increasingly, those who set the agenda are more powerful than who follow the same.

Even in the corporate world, those business leaders who can market themselves well stand a chance whereas those who prefer anonymity and let their work speak for themselves are sidelined in the incessant buzz of the 24/7 News Cycles and the nonstop barrage of Tweets and Facebook posts.

While This Has been the Case throughout History, It is Different Now Due to Technology

Having said that, one can always argue that this has been the case for many decades following the Second World War when the Communications Revolution happened.

Moreover, sophisticated means of managing the narrative have been with us throughout the ages.

So, it is only a continuation of this that is happening now and hence, there is nothing to be worried about.

However, our argument is that This Time it is Different as Technology has enabled and at the same time, made addicts of entire societies leading to us living in a Reality TV like World where all of us live like actors on a stage.

In such a situation, decisions are taken without thought for the longer term consequences and the only thing that counts is how Likes you have garnered or how many Re-Tweets or how many viewers are watching the show.

In turn, this leads to societies losing the ability to think critically. Indeed, this also leads to entire generations of youth being unable to focus on their work and concentrate for extended periods of time.

This is the reason why many corporates often complain that the graduates who they are hiring are unemployable or in other words, have a degree in name and otherwise not fit for any job.


Last, while it may be too late to turn the clock back, it is the case that one can use one’s sense of discretion and discernment to tune out what is unnecessary and to let in only that which helps one.

For instance, you can set limits on the time spent on Social Media or watching TV as well as using your Smartphone.

In addition, you can be prudent in forwarding messages on WhatsApp and consuming only that news that appears to be genuine and not fake.

To conclude, living in a reality TV like world can be disorienting and hence, we hope that this article would have alerted you to its side effects.

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