People in the past used to be more dependent on one another, whereas nowadays they lead a more independent life. Do you agree or disagree?
Some people fear that modern life is damaging our relationships with friends and family and resulting in more loneliness and isolation. However, others believe that we are now more interdependent than ever. In this essay, I will examine whether our lives are really more independent than in the past.
It’s easy to see a trend towards increasing independence. First of all, traditional families are in decline. People increasingly do not live in large, extended families, and more and more people live alone. Secondly, people move more, for work or other opportunities, and change jobs more frequently. As a result, friendships and links with family may not last. A third issue is that traditional values of consensus, obedience to authority and respect for elders are changing. They are being replaced by individualism, materialism and self-help philosophies.
However, there are also many things which haven’t changed. Deep down, human nature still seeks affection, advice and support from others. Even if people are physically separated because of work or other commitments, they still seek out the help and companionship of others. A second point is that new methods of communication allow us to keep in touch easily. Facebook, Skype, email, mobile phones and messaging allow very quick and inexpensive communication and feedback. Furthermore, although people may not depend on family as much as in the past, colleagues and professional and social networks can provide even better interaction.
In conclusion, I would say that although it appears that some traditional patterns of support have diminished, people are still intensely social and we are learning new ways to live in groups. Who knows? Some of these may serve us better!