As I continued to read, I found myself asking: "how much of what's on television do I actually buy into and believe? Can I separate reality from fiction?" Many people are obsessed with reality, including myself (you do not want to know how many hours I devote to television). While watching shows such as Network Nanny, it's hard for viewers to not get sucked into the represention of individuals on the screen. This is something that I learned during my undergrad as a sociology major. The concept looking glass self is one that has been engraved in my brain over the past four years. As I was reading Reality Boy, I found myself referring back to it and making connections. Glad my sociology degree is working in my favor! Looking glass self focuses on how we see ourselves, and how others view us. Gerald is a prime example of the impact of the looking glass self. Although reality tv perceived him as an angry child, Gerald is finally coming to realize that how others saw him on television is not who he truly is. His classmates, nanny, and friends were influenced by how he was represented on television, which in turn shaped the opinions they formed of him. It is safe to say that Gerald is extremely misunderstood. Essentially, none of them became aware of the REAL Gerald. Yes, Gerald has anger issues from time to time and truly does despise his sister, but the image of him created by the cameras are far from the person he is today. Reality television and many other media sources, shape the way viewers not only perceive themselves,but the characters represented on television as well. As I finished the book, I wondered, what if Gerald was never on Network Nanny; how would his life have turned out?
I have attached a visual representation that reflects the concept "the looking glass self." I hope this helps in understanding the concept!