Commentary: Don’t go looking for happiness in the wrong places

These findings aren’t restricted to the US context. In the identical vein, hikikomori – acute social withdrawal whereby a person decides to cease going to work or faculty, and as a substitute spends most of their time secluded at dwelling – has turn into extra pronounced in Japan over the previous decade.

This phenomenon, in tandem with the usage of expertise to supplant social voids, has profound opposed implications on the propensity of a person to maintain current relationships, and limits the potential for brand spanking new bonds to be cast.

Initially, hikikomori was regarded as a culture-bound syndrome distinctive to Japan. However a number of research have proven its prevalence in locations as numerous as Hong Kong, Spain, Brazil, Canada, India, and the US. Hikikomori is now thought of to be a worldwide phenomenon.

Whereas time-series information on social disconnect and withdrawal in Singapore stays scarce, different parallel findings recommend {that a} tougher have a look at our familial relations and friendships is so as.

In 1990, Singapore’s old-age help ratio, a measure of the variety of individuals able to economically supporting an older individual depending on others’ help, stood at 10.5. This quantity drastically dipped to 4.0 in 2021, a sign of smaller households.

The current 2021 Marriage and Parenthood Survey by the Nationwide Inhabitants and Expertise Division additionally discovered that 4 in 10 single respondents between 21 and 45 years outdated had by no means dated. Many cited their restricted social circles and the dearth of alternatives to satisfy potential companions as their high causes for not relationship.

These illustrate how circumstances negatively related to social capital exist already in Singapore. Left unchecked, eroding social capital could end in different melancholic outcomes past mere unhappiness.

With hikikomori comes kodokushi – dying alone. The Tokyo Metropolitan Authorities estimates that in 2018, about 4,000 individuals died alone in Tokyo at dwelling. In Singapore, a 2020 CNA article famous that the Well being Sciences Authority handles as much as 75 unclaimed our bodies yearly.

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