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Citizen Voices

Growing Hookup Culture Among Youngsters Can Have Serious Consequences

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Our culture now influenced by globalisation is changing at a rapid pace. As a result, we are letting certain things creep into our culture which will not have a good impact on future generations, unless these issues are taken seriously and properly understood. Our lack of attention to new norms is potentially a very serious threat not only to society as a whole but even to our individual lives and our moral codes.

‘Hookups’ and ‘breakups’ are a very common social dilemma these days. Surprisingly it’s the school going teenagers who are getting involved in such activities. Justin Gracia, an evolutionary biologist, described this ‘hookup culture’ as a cultural evolution that is deeply rooted in the western world. It is now growing its roots in our country, as the East-West gap narrows.

Technological advancements and easy access to gadgets have brought school going kids out from their parents’ watchful eyes, giving them the opportunity to indulge in immoral relationships. We let our children do as they wish, providing them with all the gadgets they want, and then we complain. We have Wi-Fi facilities wherever we go. Every other teenager is using Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram, wasting his/her time in unfruitful friend-making.

Our social media, television talk shows, dramas and movies are also having a bad impact on the minds of young kids. Every other drama serial is based on ‘love’ or it displays a culture where a guy and a girl meet or talk secretly without their parents’ knowledge. Surprisingly a few popular cartoons are also based on plots where the male cartoon characters try to impress female cartoon characters in almost every other episode. This thing is very alarming as most of the parents don’t bother to know what their children are watching on television during their most impressionable age.

There is another aspect to this problem. When the experiences of casual hook-ups and dating end, they leave the youth feeling sad, empty and regretful. Some recover early while a large majority finds it difficult to get over a breakup. Those who find it difficult to move on, indulge themselves in other harmful activities like drugs, ending up in deeper trouble. It’s like a vicious cycle, one event leading to the other.

It has been statistically stated by various researchers that the greatest contributor to this hook-up culture is a desire for physical pleasure. However, there’s also a large number of youngsters who “hook-up” because they hope to start a magical relationship full of love or for emotional gratification.

What’s worrisome is that our school/college culture is turning this into an activity that all the “cool” kids indulge in. You are admired and become popular if you are dating a girl openly. People talk about you, even those who secretly hate the idea of dating. On the contrary, if you don’t have a girlfriend, you are liable to face bullying and name-calling, like “mummy daddy”. This peer pressure leads to disastrous experiences in which both boys and girls suffer.

Since brushing stuff under the carpet is the norm in our society, we do not acknowledge the magnitude that this problem has acquired and its imminent harmful consequences. If we really love our youth, we need to acknowledge this culture as a rising social problem, make it a social issue priority and discuss ways to tackle it. This is the need of the hour so that our youth can become productive individuals who can make positive contributions to their society and nation.

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Naya Daur