Reply To: The extended family(such as grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles) is less important now than it was in the past.
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University: Xiamen University
Some people still have an extended family and seem to live a happy life. Nevertheless, it is my opinion that extended family is out of time for the following reasons.
Firstly, nowadays people tend to live in other cities or even other countries because of work or study. They only spend a little time with their families, which means the most essential function of the extended family—communication with more relatives loses its value. For example, I study in another city, and I come back home only in summer and winter vacation. Furthermore, I can only meet my parents when they get home from work, and thus, I have less time to communicate with them, let alone other relatives.
In addition, the developed internet makes it more convenient and much easier to get in touch with our relatives. Everyone has a mobile phone by which we can contact our relatives whenever we want and wherever we are. Therefore, we don’t have to live together at all. If we need to ask our grandparents or uncles about something, we can utilize the socializing software to send them a message. For instance, I have a cousin of my age, and we often chat about our hobbies, our courses and something like that. It takes me a few seconds to send a message and another few seconds to get a reply from him, and it seems like we are talking face to face in a house.
Finally, another reason causing the extended family to be less significant is the convenient traffic. In the past, people spent a large part of their life on the way. It takes them quite a few hours or even days to visit their relatives living in another city. However, this can never happen today. I have an uncle who works in another country. One time, we went to visit him by plane, and it only took us 8 hours from our home to get to his apartment. Convenient traffic causes the extended family to be less significant, since it eliminates the long-time journeys.