Love: just another capitalist ruse

Ethen Smith, Feature Columnist

Roses! Cupid! Chocolate! As Valentine’s Day draws near, symbols of love are inescapable. But let’s be honest, beautiful bouquets and romantic confections have been around for a while at this point; most stores rolled them out as soon as Christmas was over.

The time between January and mid-February is where
love and capitalism fill the air: children give their parents warm hugs, lovers go out to romantic candlelit dinners, and Hallmark and Hershey’s make millions from the pockets of those desperate to impress their significant others.

As it does with most things, the quest for a profit has corrupted poor Saint Valentine’s holiday and transformed a day intended to celebrate sincerity to a soulless cash grab that exploits love rather than glorifies it.

Roses, chocolate hearts, and cards with canned messages fill the shelves and line the aisles, tokens of perfect presents to those with someone special, or symbols of loneliness to people who have not been struck by Cupid’s arrow. It seems today, Cupid has not been doing his job very well.

In a study conducted by Cigna, a worldwide health services company, about 47 percent of Americans said they feel lonely or left out with Generation Z being the loneliest of them all. This staggering percentage has mostly been attributed to the prevalence of social media in Gen Z’s culture.

Of course, smartphones have also revolutionized the way people look for love. With more and more people using dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble, the idea of love has been commoditized, and dating apps are simply marketplaces.

Dating apps simplify and speed up the dating process by eliminating the action of meeting people. They give people a neat sorting bin of potential partners so that the user can find love easily and quickly.

Valentine’s Day is now a soulless cash grab of a holiday; it is a reminder to lonely people that they really are alone; it is a holiday that prostitutes love.

Hollywood makes movies showcasing true love, pacifists cry “love thy neighbor”, and Gen Z is struggling to even meet their neighbor. There are even apps that let you have a baby with someone while skipping the whole getting married and divorced part.

Maybe, right now, we’re too good for love! Maybe we are too smart for it or something. Why would someone risk spending months-to-years with a person who might cause severe emotional pain if things do not work out?