Isolation and Sadness – Western Hikikomori
I recently watched an NHK documentary about the Hikikomori, who are basically people who voluntarily isolate themselves for more than six months, without going to school, college or work, and avoid communication with others unless if they live with family members. We can consider Hikikomori as a way of giving up on life, triggered by events linked to stress such as job loss or excessive pressure from the family or society. Most of those who suffer do not seek help or even hide from those around them.
Currently, our society is in one of the greatest advances in telecommunications in history, where connectivity is the basis of personal and professional relationships, making it possible to develop knowledge, accelerate activities and increase proximity to themes or people that were previously distant or non-existent in our daily lives.
Our technological proximity does not prevent us from becoming new Hikikomoris of the 21st century, where we isolate ourselves and forget how to relate, communicate or even respect those around us. The display of screens and their content on social media places us in a universe full of information that directs us to over consumption, to assume unilateral positions on events or topics, extreme exposure to specific themes under our interest and proximity to distant problems that seem to be near the corner.
Gradually we lose the habit of relating to others, even surrounded by people, concerned with knowing what is happening on the other side of the screen, and thus leaving aside real connections with other individuals that usually develop us from the sentimental to the intellectual level.
The isolation and sadness of a Hikikomori will become increasingly common as people consume content that leaves them dissatisfied with their own life or increases fear and panic based on events far from their living circle
Technological advancement is destroying the main form of happiness of human beings, which are their interpersonal relationships, we can go into more details by watching the Harvard study that lasted 75 years and was presented by Robert Waldinger at TED:
NHK Documentary on Hikikomoris – Available until August 2023
Art: Ghost in the Shell (1995)