Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Social framework

Our society is seeing a rapid transition in social relationship, from a close-knit, coherent and intertwined social fabric to an isolated, fragmented and self-centric style of living. Mutual relations are perpetually getting overwhelmed by rampant use of social media and electronic gadgets leaving little scope for frequent physical interactions, sharing, caring and complementary exchanges. Nowadays people prefer to call, or text on phone using short-messaging or social media services to communicate and seek updates about the welfare of their near and dear ones rather than making a personal visit for a one-to-one interaction. Paucity of time, prevailing circumstances, current social distancing norms as well as widening physical distances play a major role in restraining personal interaction and taking recourse to virtual exchanges. However, of late it appears that the intensity, intimacy and depth of bonding among relations are gradually dwindling due to a whole lot of inherent and overarching factors. For instance, with constantly rising population, people who were earlier inhabiting selected pockets of villages, towns and cities have over a period of time migrated towards outskirts and suburbs, building new houses and settling away from the hustle and bustle of urban localities. This in turn resulted into widening gaps making it difficult to visit relations too frequently. Ever-increasing traffic woes resulting into painstaking long jams have made it even more cumbersome to travel even short distances. Information technology revolution that enables free video calling and seamless online meetings has considerably minimized the yearning for personal meetings. In spite of having revolutionized digital connectivity, technology can be partly blamed for expanding physical distances and divides. Fiercely competitive times have also made people somewhat self-obsessed spending most of their time either in their own work or other daily domestic chores concerning their families. All this has resulted into a crumbling social fabric and waning inter-personal relations. In general it has been observed that lack of care and concern for each other, diminishing love and affection in relations is fast turning into a stark reality of our contemporary world. It is a sad thing that unhealthy competition, one-upmanship and ego-clashes are now ruling the roost. There used to be frequent family get-togethers earlier during festivals, weddings and other auspicious occasions, sometimes merely to consult each other while bracing up for any big decisions or changes in their lives but now, people have become more independent and prefer to take all their decisions themselves without consulting others. This might have its own merits as well as demerits. While it ensures self-sufficiency sans any interference, at the same time it broadens the divide between relations and could sometimes lead to bad decisions too. As they say, man is a social animal who ought to have social circles, emotional bonds and community linkages. Sharing and caring, mutual respect, longing and love, coherence and compassion are the hallmarks of human relations that seem to be fast disappearing now into thin air from the realms of our social framework. One of the major reasons for fractured relationships could also be attributed to unreasonable expectations and unduly judgmental behaviour. While it is quite natural to expect help, empathy and concern from relatives in times of need and distress, it may not be fair to expect an intense involvement of the kin in each and every matter owing to their over-occupation with their livelihood worries and domestic chores. Nevertheless it is quite reasonable to expect a word of appreciation and adoration from your near and dear ones in joyful times of noteworthy achievements and also a word of solidarity and sympathy in times of distress and grief. This is what friends and relations are meant for. It does hurt deep within, when relations turn indifferent, apathetic and unconcerned in such significant moments of one’s life. Mutual relations should be absolutely free from all sorts of bias, ill-will, hatred, jealousy, strife and discord. They should be governed by the principles of love, affection and harmony. We need to give due respect to the elders and shower unconditional and selfless love and affection to the youngsters. Nurturing egos should not gain precedence over valuing kinship.