The Department for Gender Equality and Family expects financial support to help these people return to an active social life. Officials believe the move will encourage recluses to enroll in universities or find jobs.
According to official statistics, today 350,000 South Koreans (about 3%) between the ages of 19 and 39 avoid contact with society and do not even leave their homes. Experts point out that most of these people come from dysfunctional families. At the same time, about 40% of them began to shun contact with the outside world as early as adolescence. The lifestyle of these people is often reduced to satisfying a minimum set of needs, including eating and sleeping.
A 15-year-old man, on condition of anonymity, admitted to having suffered domestic violence and then withdrew into himself. Others became recluses when their families went bankrupt. For many teenagers, solitude becomes the most accessible way to hide from reality and escape the accumulated troubles. With this in mind, experts call for preventive measures against extreme loneliness when children are still in school.
The extreme degree of social isolation or even self-isolation is dangerous and, unfortunately, tends to grow. The situation has worsened during the coronavirus pandemic against the background of restrictions and bans on the activity of citizens. Moreover, the reclusive lifestyle is facilitated by the development of technology, when you can order food and other goods via the Internet without leaving your home. The authorities understand that if this problem is not solved now, the country risks losing entire generations.
Among other measures to combat isolation, South Korea offers to accompany young people with medical problems, for example to remove scars and other appearance defects that affect their self-esteem. In addition, physical education should contribute to education for a more active life position. To do this, people with social hermit inclinations will pay for sports equipment or visits to gyms.
At the same time, it is still unclear how the government will control the effectiveness of spending funds to combat this phenomenon. In other words, how can you know that the person receiving the stipend has actually embarked on the path back into society and is spending the money in accordance with its intended purpose. Apparently, the payments will have to be tied to the employment of sociophobes or their admission to educational institutions. These nuances are probably still to be finalized.
By the way, the problem of youth isolation exists in other countries. In Japan, for example, there is even a special term “hikikomori”. This word refers to people who do not leave home for a long time, order goods via the Internet, and in fact do not communicate with anyone. As a rule, they avoid contact with the outside world, entertain themselves by watching TV shows, playing online games or reading manga. Many Japanese recluses live for decades on money from their elderly parents, who receive decent pensions and bank savings from years of hard work in local businesses.
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