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“Shekong”: the social phobia affecting young Chinese

According to a survey, more than 60% of Chinese youths find it difficult to socialize with others and find it difficult when meeting people offline.
China Youth Daily surveyed 2,000 people aged between 18 and 35, 64 percent of whom said they felt "stuck" or stuck during social interactions.
Specifically , 27% of all respondents said they have problems with offline social activities, 17% said online socializing is also challenging for them, while 20% said both online and offline interactions are challenging. difficult for them.

Only 30 percent said they had no difficulty making social contacts and the report did not specify what the remaining 7 percent said.
The word shekong – which means “social phobia” – has become an increasingly popular buzzword among young Chinese online, who may say they are afraid to socialize in the real world. It is an objective difficulty in breaking the ice, in making initial contact with other people.

“When I meet strangers, I usually don't take the initiative to speak. I limit myself to answering passively,” replied one boy interviewed. The survey also found that 40% of respondents try to avoid solicitation, 30% do not, while the remaining 30% say it depends on the situation.

“I will shy away from activities with a large group of participants, such as team building, because there are too many people. I don't know most of them. This kind of interaction costs me a lot of mental effort,” Ren Wen, a postgraduate student in Beijing, told the newspaper. “I don't see any difficulties when communicating online, but I don't know what to say when I'm with a lot of people offline,” she added.

Of those who avoid social contact, 60% said they dislike events with pre-set goals and 50% said they were too stressed out with work or life to have energy to socialise. Other reasons include lack of social experience or unpleasant memories of social events.

Guan Jian, a professor of social psychology at Nankai University, told the newspaper that online communication and sharing has become part of the daily life of the current generation of young people, who have no desire for contact with real life.
“In traditional society there was a high demand for social activities, such as visiting friends and relatives or organizing ritual events on important days. We relied on the social network built this way when we had difficulties in life,” Guan said.

“But things have changed. For example, today if you want to move house, you can order the service on an app, rather than asking for help from relatives or friends as was done in the past". But he warned that the connections created online are "weak and virtual" compared to personal contacts.

What future does a society have where social contact is feared?

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The article “Shekong”: the social phobia affecting young Chinese comes from Scenari Economici .

This is a machine translation of a post published on Scenari Economici at the URL https://scenarieconomici.it/shekong-la-fobia-sociale-che-colpisce-i-giovani-cinesi/ on Sun, 07 May 2023 14:08:52 +0000.