Reply To: Were people friendlier in the past than they are today?
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University: Nanjing University
In my childhood, recalls from my grandparents about their “good old days” have all been etched deep in my mind, even down to the smallest details. Those stories presented purer and closer relationships at that time. However, huge changes of society have transformed people’s feelings and behaviors today. Therefore, I have to admit that people in the past were friendlier than people are now.
Needless to say, social reality has made human relationships more complex today. In today’s money-oriented world, friendships may be built on the basis of business profits or personal gains. People are gradually getting accustomed to such a modern way of making friends. In most cases, once they complete business tasks, the relationship established before will readily break down. Also, lack of trust forces people to wear a smiling mask and communicate unfaithfully. Therefore, distinguishing between true and fake friendships becomes difficult.
Besides, heavy burdens from work and study make time too limited for people to express friendliness. After all, everyone has to cherish time to fight for their survival and prosperity. To them, following the tight schedule seems more urgent than maintaining relationships with others. In many cases, people only focus on computers instead of chatting with others, which makes their relationships much worse.
By contrast, simplicity and openness may be the best words to define people’s relationships in the past. For instance, before the establishment of market-based economy in China, most of the school leavers were assigned long-term jobs by the government. Such stable work renders harmonious working atmosphere because of similar working goals and fewer competitions among people. Under this circumstance, people find it easier to make good connections with their colleagues.
Unfortunately, people’s friendliness remains decreasing today. So I think it is a must for us to discover the hidden friendliness and express it bravely, just like our older generations.