Mass media are essential forces within the modern culture, as they enable individuals to send and receive information that promotes products, as well as moods and attitudes. People rely on the media to gain information that matters to them. Romantic love is a component of our culture that defines emotion concerning another person. However, marriage proposals have been used to illustrate romantic relationships, as lovers exchange vows to initiate a marriage life. Lovers end up spending a colossal amount of money to demonstrate to their partners that they really love them. Thus, the media has been pushed to classify certain activities that involve an exchange of products and services as romantic in the process of the commodification of romance.
The media has become a strong determinant when it comes to romantic relationships. When leisure collaborates with romance, love is transformed into a material consumption, as well as entertainment. In the media, people are always exposed to romantic scenes, which only demonstrate fun activities, but they rarely demonstrate undesirable acts that occur when love grows sour. According to Karandashev, romance is an expression of love without words, where culture does not play a critical part in its expression (3). Nowadays, marriage proposals are influenced by what people gain from the media. This implies that much of what lovers tend to demonstrate to the public through love does not come from the heart; it is just a product of the media.
The media has been utilized to express love as a commodity that has been awarded a specific value. Love has largely been commodified through the advancement of capitalism, as well as consumer culture. Love is termed as a third-order requirement, with regard to the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. However, in a capitalist society, consumers can never be satisfied with what they get, as needs are largely embedded in the consumer goods and are influenced by the display of commodities. People no longer see themselves surrounded by fellow individuals, but rather in an environment full of objects (Vannini 5). Consequently, objects lose their functionality, and are no longer privately consumed for pressure, but rather to meet social differentiation. The media has transformed love into something insatiable that people who cannot afford to offer much do not enjoy it.
Couples seem to spend much of their time on the social sites, as they endeavor to express the feelings of each other. In particularly, long-distance couples are the culprits of social sites, but they have benefited from the media, as the technology strives to offer individuals a variety of ideas to express love and to maintain such relationships. Partners can send virtual flowers through the internet, or they can utilize Skype to communicate to each other through visual pictures. Social network sites have become useful to partners in a long distance relationship because partners can chat with each other directly without involving a third party. Technology has increased the frequency at which such partners can keep in touch with each other.
Love has become a commodity that can be purchased at a certain value, as lovers endeavor to please their partners through material expressions. Romantic love is part of many people’s culture, and does not depend on material possessions, but self-fulfillment. However, lovers are nowadays evaluating their partners based on their capacity to create a lively marriage proposal, which is replicated from the media. If people could evaluate their love with words rather than commodities and services, then they can enjoy their romantic love without fear of losing their connections after marriage.
Karandashev, Victor. “A Cultural Perspective on Romantic Love.” Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, vol. 5, no. 4, 2015, pp.1-21.
Vannini, Phillip. “‘Will You Marry Me?’Spectacle and Consumption in the Ritual of Marriage Proposals.” The Informed Argument. New York: Wadsworth. [Reprint of article appeared in Journal of Popular Culture, 38: 167-183], 2006.