Reply To: Were people friendlier in the past than they are today?

dongyuanjushi
University: Nanjing University
Nationality: China
February 9, 2021 at 4:53 am

In my childhood, recalls from my grandparents about their old stories, even smallest details, had all left a deep impression on me. Those stories presented pure and close relationships in the twentieth century. However, despite more social connections through Internet nowadays, relations among people seem to be drifting away. Therefore, I have to admit that people in the past were friendlier than people are now.

First, human relationships become more complex, especially in business. In today’s money-oriented world, friendships may be built on the basis of commercial profits. People are gradually getting accustomed to such a modern way of making friends. For instance, in order to accomplish a successful bargain, both sides will show friendliness to each other. But friendship behind such smiles on the surface is unstable. Once the bargain fails to meet expectations of any side, their relationships may break up subsequently.

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 finishing their work rather than maintaining relationships with others. Therefore, people consider friendly chats as just a waste of time. Instead, they focus on their tight schedules, which makes their relations more isolated.

By contrast, simplicity may be the best word to define people’s relationships in the past. For instance, before maturity of market economy in China, most of the university graduates attained long-term jobs assigned by the government. Such stable work increased cohesion in groups since workers had fewer competitions. Under this circumstance, people found it easier to make good connections with their colleagues.

In a word, people’s friendliness keeps 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 did.