Is Music Making us Hikikomori?

First – a definition: Hikikomori (from Japanese), also known as acute social withdrawal, is total withdrawal from society and seeking extreme degrees of social isolation and confinement. Hikikomori refers to both the phenomenon in general and the recluses themselves. Hikikomori have been described asloners or “moder-day hermits”. Estimates suggest that half a million Japanese youths have become social recluses, as well as more than half a million middle-aged individuals. (Wikipedia)

So … where is the connection?

Well, have you seen how a large chunk of population consumes music lastly? Small plug-in, or large over-the-ear headphones you can see dangling on people’s heads everywhere.

1 Comment

  1. Marcus Lundgren says:

    As a former hikikomori, I can tell you that my love of music wasn’t what caused me to become alienated and alone,
    but due to the sheer time dedicated to my favourite pastime, I inevitably paid a price as far as my social life (or lack thereof) went.

    This is further demonstrated when I compare my past lifestyle with how I live today.
    I’m now married and have a lot less time to listen to music (or any other hobby). Which makes sense, since there are only so many
    hours in a day.

    I can’t speak for others who are or were in a similar situation as I was, but if I generalize, it seems to me that
    a lot of hikikomoris would gladly sacrifice their free time for a bit of company, intimacy and acceptance.
    But if they do find a partner or make a few friends, it’s difficult to know whether they will regret their decision to change
    their lives around or if they will embrace it.

    Personally, I have mixed feelings about it. I wouldn’t trade my wife for anything (I certainly know how to appreciate her!)
    but I also miss the days when I could spend as much time as I wanted to, just listening to and playing music.

    Ultimately, it’s a personal choice and a gamble. It can be worth it or it can be a mistake. Just like many other things in life.