I really can’t explain why I kept watching “The Bachelor” every week this season.

You would think that my blatant dislike for Ben Flajnik, this season’s bachelor of choice, would have deterred me … but that didn’t work.

Or maybe his obvious favorite on the show, Courtney Robertson, and her mean and shallow ways would have kept my finger on the remote, changing channels as quickly as possible … that didn’t work, either.

I think I enjoyed watching the show because it was similar to one of those situations that you can’t stop staring at — like a man with a mullet. I just knew that this was going to end badly and I hoped Mr. Flajnik would realize the mess he was getting himself into. Newsflash: He didn’t.

Despite the confirmation of a widely-known stereotype that men will choose sex over love every time, we also learned something very important: Perception is reality. And if you’re Ms. Robertson, that sucks for you.

No matter how sweet she may be in real life, we will never really know. She was villainized on the show, mostly because her soundbites were so easy to snatch up and use in promos, I would imagine. But you would think her common sense would have kicked in and told her, “Hey, maybe you shouldn’t say such mean things to the cameras.” Luckily for us, she didn’t, fueling the much-needed drama for this season of “The Bachelor.”

While most of us aren’t on TV, there is a lesson that we all can take away from this. It’s one that is common sense but is one I think we all tend to forget. If the camera (whether it be a cellphone or a TV camera) is on you, treat it as though it’s going to be a picture on the front page of a newspaper or the primary photo for a website.

For example, do not pose with alcohol or take suggestive photos. Perception is taken by many people out there as fact and reality, so even if you weren’t drunk at that football game but you’re looking pretty goofy with people who were, someone (a possible employer, maybe?) could look at that photo and lump you in with the rest.

While this isn’t meant to scare you from taking pictures with your friends or having fun nights out on the town, it’s just a reminder that what you put out there (or say) could come back to haunt you. I’m sure Ms. Robertson has quite a few things she wishes she could take back, but she can’t. Just don’t be put in that position in the first place!

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