Reply To: The extended family (grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles) is less important now than it was in the past.
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In the agriculture-intensive society, people often lived in a big family in order to survive, cooperating to solve formidable obstacles. On the contrary, it is not uncommon for a family to be separated within an extensive boundary now. Such a tendancy has made close connection in family fade away. As a consequence, extended family members play less important roles for us than before.
In the first place, the physical distance has let extended family increasingly unimportant now. The seperation takes credit for less communications which lie a foundation for family connection. For one thing, modern transportation tools reform the concept of distance. High-speed trains and modern airplanes enlarge the perview of people from local to international. With the help of these convenient traffic instruments, extended family members can travel in an extensive region, expanding the gap between different members. Before the industrial revolution, people needed to live together with their families so as to resist surviving threats and accomplish a better future.
But now, empty nest syndrome, attesting to the distance within extended family, is not a rare phenomenon. As long as basic living requirements are fulfilled, it is easily for teenagers and adults to be tantalized by various modern attractions. They travel to different parts of the world while giving up such a tight rope with their extended family.
Aside from physical distance, mental difference is also an issue that worth considering. Extended family members who live in divergent environments easily foster a diverse ideologies. In other words, it is equivocally for us to identify temperaments and mindsets with extended family members who are awash with various perceptions. For instance, my uncle once worked in Guangzhou, but now he has taken profession in American for several years. This fundamental change has reshaped his mindset and interests, a change that eliminates my common topic with him and made us seem like strangers.