We all are experiencing a detached, aloof and colder society around us. Each one is busy with his/her Smartphone in hand busy on Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter and Skype. The fact is most of these Facebook friends remain just people from the past, or some newer acquaintances.
It is very difficult to keep mobile phones away. We care damn for people in close relationships like those in a home, marriage, class rooms and social functions because there is always temptation to sneak or overhear something on the phone, we want to gather news about somebody, or gossip. The best part is on social media nobody is interested in others, the relationship with others in a group is as cold as fridge water, it is just that you feel that you have association with so many people, which I call un-attached, distant relationship.
So many couples discover that the spouse is cheating, is having multiple relations so the social media gave rise to infidelity. It is as though we hold our blood relationships at a distance. Our relationships have in true sense become dysfunctional. We are dry with no emotions left. We have become withdrawn from people around us because we constantly check for messages even when engaged in a fruitful discussion. Even when we are at dining table, eating food we tend to look at messages. Sounds crazy, but this is reality.
Visit any home in the city on the weekend and see what is happening. People just don’t talk to each other anymore. Husband will be watching soccer and constantly checking his phone for Whatsapp messages. Wife will perhaps be in the kitchen cooking, but busy at the same time looking at her phone. People are getting terribly self absorbed, emotionally unavailable, inaccessible, unresponsive, and indifferent. We see a society lacking in empathy and compassion.
Some people think aloofness makes them appear cool, smarter and more attractive. They feel they are independent people, self-made people; hence they like to stay away or avoid any drama that seems unnecessary. What we call drama, is not a drama each time. It’s just that we don’t respect emotions of others. When we see an accident, when we see somebody getting beaten up, as bystanders we are not powerless to help, instead we chose to remain aloof, detached, sadly we are taught to let go, not get involved. Social apathy has become routine. And, I am sure, when we need people to come to our rescue, even we might experience aloofness from others.
Our children observe us and they too learn, among other things, that emotions are dangerous since they cannot be predicted. Each emotion has different consequence; each emotion cannot give comfort, security and kind feeling. Parents are busier, engrossed in their own world. Children are left on their own; their love towards parents, siblings, friends in early age can be shattered and replaced by ones of fear, despair, and irrelevance. One solution available to a child in such a situation is to distance himself from his emotions. If we look at the child’s conflict at the deepest level, I believe the central component is the gap between his caregiver’s profession of love towards him and the child’s secret, usually unspoken belief that his caregiver does not love him.
Let us not forget that social engagement is considered as an important element contributing towards successful ageing. There is undeniable evidence that involvement with societal activities has positive outcomes for people in older age. Studies have found that people who are socially active enjoy good mental health, better physical health, fewer depressive symptoms, higher cognitive function and improved personal well-being. There is also evidence to suggest that detachment from societal activity has negative consequences on life outcomes. Social detachment has been shown to be associated with higher rates of depression and mortality.