I’ve written about this growing trend before and there are indications it is happening in other countries.
In Japan, half a million people live isolated in their bedrooms, unable to face the outside world. These modern-day hermits are known as the hikikomori. Since April 2018, the Japanese government has been conducting a nationwide study in a bid to fully understand this strange phenomenon.
There are finally some fruits of this studies and some programs that are really working. It appears many of those suffering from this condition remain so because of fear that compounds to the point they are afraid of the outside world. Afraid to meet others. Even afraid of speaking.
I, however, take issue with the reporter that cause this all ‘disturbing’ or ‘frightening’. These are sick people that need help for sure, but what they crave is a sense of belonging and human contact without the skills or help to know how to do it.
I personally believe the proliferation of technology that replaces genuine
human contact with simple online presence are creating gulfs in our human need for real belonging, connection, and meaning. As evidence of this, it’s usually not until those suffering are connected with a real human being to help them out.