Dating The Media

December 14, 2009
Today’s society views being single as a negative thing. People are expected to get married and have children by a certain age. These expectations have been around for generations, and they are engraved in society’s rules.

The media plays a huge part in the lives of Americans. We see it every day, being constantly reminded of what, or what society believes, we are supposed to have. Everything from cereal brands to the latest cell phone, all is thrown at us on a daily basis. The biggest and most prominent issue with the media appears to be the negative views on single Americans, whether they are men or women.

In almost every movie, there is always the ‘boy who gets the girl’ or something along those lines. We’ve all seen it: the main character finds love one way or another, and then they live happily ever after. While not all storylines follow this exact model, it definitely holds true for more than is necessary. I get it: being single is bad. In every ending, the main character finds love or finds a way to solve the issues in their love life. Is this really the most important problem in America: the quest for finding the perfect romance?

The media, our communities, and general society push us into situations we are not ready for, ultimately leading up to unhappiness for all parties involved. What most people don’t know is that more women are living on their own, single, than with a husband or significant other. In fact, 51 percent of women in 2005 said they were living without at spouse (Roberts). While they are happy on their own, they are still seen as people who can’t find love, rather than people who simply don’t need it. Dr. Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution, stated in 2007 that “For better or worse, women are less dependent on men or the institution of marriage” (Roberts). This is important for the media to understand, that women should not be expected to live their life a certain way just because that’s how it has always been. Times change, and so the messages from the media should with it.

It’s obvious that the media needs to start showing the other side of the fairytale, the one where Cinderella can get by just fine without Prince Charming. This change will make more women, and even men, feel better about themselves, because they won’t feel constantly judged at the fact that they have no significant other. It will take some time for everyone to actually see that the changes need to be made, but once they are, there will be improvements in society as a whole. People won’t be as inclined to cast someone aside because they are without a spouse. Once the media realizes that more Americas are single than not, they can market to a much wider audience; just another reason to make the change.

People are so wrapped up in the media that they allow it to direct their lives, which needs to end.

The media isn’t completely to blame, however. Our peers play a huge part in how we view relationships. Even if the media alters their messages to have less romantic meanings, it will still be in the hands of the viewer to understand that you can be happy on your own. We just need society to help push us in that general direction; the rest is up to the individual.

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