Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Hikikomori-the new normal

SreeNair | 3:15 AM | |
When the volatile and ever-changing life styles aggravated by technical niceties coupled with the shift in civic consciousness go feral ,its necessary offshoot -the social withdrawal as the Japanese say hikikomori becomes the new normal.

The linear and monocentric growth of cities -historically the principal engine of innovative economic glut –is the hallmark of modern life. People live in snazzy and mammoth apartment complexes –graciously proportioned in the city hearts. People live  shut and shunted from the next door in their cozy cloistered closets ,blissfully disconnected from the neighborhood. The ubiquitous androids and the cyber spaces together have worsened the seclusion of the youngsters leaving them burrowed to their selves. They are now slaves of their-self. They are the victims and actors of cyber perversions. The  less fortunate who come from the outskirts and lower strata of society are no exceptions.

In an a typical instance reported from Pathanamthitta in Kerala a mother of a plus two boy has to resort to legal remedy with the State Women Committee .An elder women with whom the boy got befriended and tangled over mobile, eloped with her .Soon they were hammer and tongs over money .The scuffle that ensued  dragged them to the court and the boy  was sent down for 3 months. Only then the mother came to know of it.

The mother who led a hard scrabbled life ,had after much haggling, cajoling and coaxing  made her son to settle for  a mobile phone in lieu  of his ambitious project  to own a pricey motor bike.

The women’s court on passing orders in the case admonished the lady who had waylaid the boy  in to the immoral life and said that the incident is a blot to the society and an eye opener for the sparing fathers and the spending sons. These and other incidences point to the flagging communal values in our societal spaces. Our youngsters who hold back   and get holed in to their spaces glued to the mobile gadgets and the apps bereft of the social sharing’s and the neighbor hoods –are subjects of the  endemic disease of agoraphobia. According to survey results, 46.3 percent of respondents said they'd experienced phubbing at the hands of their significant other –a term  coined in 2013 and is a portmanteau of the words 'phone' and 'snubbing'. 

There is even a Stop Phubbing campaign group, which started in Australia and was set up to address the problem. While phubbing most definitely has social consequences, it also has a significant environmental impact as smartphones consume far more energy than most of us think.

The reclusive culture acts against the social mores and probity- manifesting itself in road rages ,the shameless audacity in flouting the law and cyber crimes .

People are much more thrilled by the two or three dimensional world of computers than getting thrilled by real world  around them. Today’s technology is already producing a marked shift in the way we think and behave, particularly among the young, and this shift is not positive either.A serious lifestyle change is needed.

The vigil should start from homes and schools. The doting parents who slip in to buying anything they want to quench their greed should teach them to abide by the rules of law and also to answer it.

For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thurst-Khalil Gibran


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