Image Source: Inspiration Can Come from Dreams.
The very first reality TV show on American television was a series called An American Family, which aired on PBS in 1973. The ground-breaking documentary revealed the inner life of a San Diego family with an anthropological analytical subtext, which was echoed in a 2011 film about the project, Cinema Verite. There's been a lot of talk about the bastardization of the genre, and for that matter, reality itself, as Reality TV has given way to found footage films. But the mother in the family, Pat Loud, raised an interesting question that spoke less to the confusion between reality and fiction - and more to the current confusion between dreams and fiction.
An NYT review quotes Mrs. Loud contemplating the experience of having one's life filmed:
It used to be that fiction made dreams a reality. Fewer people consider that dreams are real phenomena that are as factual as our so-called real world. That is, they are scientifically-demonstrable parts of our real, everyday consciousness. Somehow, Millennial fake realities (in Reality TV and found footage genres) do not include the added dimension of real-fake-real dreams.You can’t forget the camera, and everybody’s instinct is to try and look as good as possible for it, all the time, and to keep kind of snapping along being active, eager, cheery, and productive. Out go those moments when you’re just in kind of a nothing period, hibernating until you move onto the next thing. … You don’t realize how many of those you have until you’re trying not to have them. … And what you also don’t realize is that you have to have them — they’re like REM sleep.
Pat Loud's comment adds another dimension to our fears over wasted time and Millennial procrastination. Those periods are not wasted, since they indicate, again, some essential part of daily reality about which the Millennial tech-driven mindset is very uneasy. Why is virtual reality so afraid of real dreams, cultivated in private and quite moments? Why are they so negatively considered to be lost or wasted time?