A young girl and I had the following conversation. Keep in mind that I kept my personal life out of the convo.
Girl: "If you don't have a boyfriend, it's time to call the dating service! Ha-ha-ha!"
Me: "Hey, that's not nice to say."
Girl: "Ha-ha-ha. Maybe you're not supposed to have a boyfriend...or have any friends...or be a person at all."
Me: "Oh, don't say that!"
I didn't take any offence to that of course but it just really really struck me. I know younger kids like to exaggerate and pick up on things really easily so watching "Everybody Loves Raymond," for example, is definitely a bad call because of the online dating/phone dating service commercials that constantly appear. But why is it that at such a young age, young kids are drilled with the thought of having to have a boyfriend or girlfriend from the media, older siblings, and peers? What's wrong with being single? What's wrong with not having interest in anyone? Absolutely nothing. This is almost like relationship status prejudice. Just because someone is single does not make them any better or worse than someone who is in a relationship. It's just a different mark on the road of life, a different transition, and perhaps a different pitt stop.
I guess the media is selfish but smart because they drill this perception in ways that can't really be avoided. For example, tonight I was watching "Zoey 101" with the young girl and it was the episode where every one's telling Zoey that Chase loves her and so she rushes to ask him if it's true point blank but instead walks in on Chase and his new girlfriend macking. Love is always entertaining and easy to relate to, but can the belief that everyone has to be in love at every moment of every day throughout the year be taken any further? If young girls, though I only have proof of one, are walking around believing that without a significant other one is not supposed to be a person altogether, what has the world come to?
Yes, younger children do reiterate everything they see and hear even though they may not thoroughly believe it but the fact that this perception has made some impact (perhaps small) on their view of the world, what other perceptions will come of this?
I believe that a conversation like this has a little more ethical depth then what I am covering at the moment. Though the little girl probably won't remember this conversation in a week, what will it allude to? Most likely more assumptions.
Basically, the point of all of this is that the media enjoys drilling young, vulnerable minds with societal "norms" so that when these young people mature, their minds are more closed than open.
The general assumption that everyone is interested in someone else at every moment of every day is like making the assumption that everyone has the same values. It will never level because no one person is at the same point in their life as someone else. We are all individuals and hopefully we stay that way. I mean, think of the world as a giant ball of sameness. There would be no competition, no different sense of style, no talents, no beliefs, no religion, no faith, no government (though perhaps communist), and you get the point. The world would suck if everyone was the same. It would be like living in a ginormous bubble where everyone looked exactly like you did. There would be no room for rule breaking or differences. Everything would be pretty blah. Who wants blah?