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 old stories, even smallest details, have all left a deep impression on me. Those stories presented purer and closer relationships at that time. However, relations among people are drifting away nowadays, though they are geologically more connected. Therefore, I have to admit that people in the past were friendlier than people are now.
First, human relationships become more complex in terms of business. In today’s money-oriented world, friendships may be built on the basis of business profits. People are gradually getting accustomed to such a modern way of making friends. In most cases, once completing commercial bargains, the established trust could readily collapse. Invisible to 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 make time too limited for people to express friendliness. After all, everyone has to cherish time to fight for their survival. In order to meet deadlines, people prioritize in finishing their work rather than maintaining relationships with others. Under this circumstance, people grant friendly chats as just a waste of time. Instead, they focus on their tight schedules, which makes their relations more isolated.
By contrast, simplicity and openness may be the best words to define people’s relationships in the past. For instance, before the maturity of market-based economy in China, most of the graduates attained long-term jobs assigned by the government. Such stable work increases cohesion in groups since workers have fewer competitions. Under this circumstance, people find it easier to make good connections with their colleagues.
In a word, 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.