A morbid disease has been plaguing Japan for years. The Japanese youth is becoming increasingly averse to relationships, sex or any form of intimacy. Social scientists call it the ‘celibacy syndrome’. Yes, it may sound weird. But the majority of the Japanese youth prefers to never get married at all. What’s more, many are forsaking the practices of dating and casual sex. A higher percentage of its population is virgin than ever before. A certain study showed that 25% of Japanese women would never get married at all, whereas a staggering 40% would never reproduce.
What are the repercussions?
Fewer babies. More old Japanese men and women. Japan’s population is aging very fast. That’ll put a lot of pressure of Japan’s younger generation. A small working population will be supporting a larger retired population in this country- a problem never witnessed before in the modern world.
What is the cause of this weird transformation?
It is hard to tell. But social scientists consider the rise of materialism to be a prime suspect. Indeed, Japan is very good at commodifying everything, from consumer goods to human relationships. It is a society which has reached an advanced state of technological prowess. Smartphones and virtual reality were all common in Japan well before they penetrated elsewhere. The Japanese are addicted to technology. It is a society obsessed with gaming, anime, and digital entertainment.
Since people have developed relationships with gadgets, their relationships with fellow human beings have taken a hit. Youngsters shrug off things like love as futile and stupid, branding them as “western concepts”. While millennials from the rest of the world are hooking up on dating websites, Japan is resorting to virtual tools and otherworldly preoccupations to fill up the romantic void.
Can the disease spread?
Unfortunately, it can. The changes that occurred in Japan are occurring elsewhere too. Our attachment to technology is reducing the time we spend with friends and acquaintances. Indeed how many times do we WhatsApp each other instead of meeting up or speaking over the phone? In several countries, the elderly population is on the rise while the younger population is dwindling. Japan may be reflective of a major problem the world will face in the future.
Once upon a time, not too long ago, remaining single was considered an epic failure. Today it is threatening to become a mega trend. Indeed, it is a mad world we live in.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.