One of the characteristics in Taiwanese society is the tendency of its people -- from the president to the social elite to peddlers and servants -- to rely on external judgements to determine their self-worth.
\nIn psychology, constructing self-identity from this kind of dependency on others is like a bottomless pit that can never be filled. It can cause an individual to live in an empty and anxious norm, and create difficulties with relationships because indifference and estrangement are used to defend oneself, or one falls into a cycle of abuse and violence. Such conduct perfectly represents the current phenomenon of Taiwan today, doesn't it?
\nThe social problems caused by people confused between applause and criticism can be seen everywhere. Take gender relations for example. Men's eagerness to be seen as strong in the eyes of women makes Taiwan the biggest consumer of Viagra in the world.
\nMeanwhile, the superstitious belief that by selecting an auspicious delivery date you can become the mother of an elite child has resulted in Taiwan having almost the world's highest proportion of caesarean sections.
\nThe advances in medical technology which allow men to have optimal sex and women to choose when to give birth, however, cannot make people good lovers, husbands, wives or parents.
\nWhat is worse is that overemphasizing technology as a mean to pursue public approbation can engender a less intimate relationship between a couple or among relatives. After all, lacking the element of love, gender or family relations will inevitably be dehumanized, and all sorts of social problems will arise.
\nWhen reading the major newspapers, we see exaggerated reports about sex, about gender and about domestic violence. Rape and domestic violence that are the result of vanity and a search for social status are among the gravest social problems today.
\nProblems in politics and the media are also the result of people clinging to public opinion as a way to guide themselves. Examples of politicians' craziness in pursuing publicity are everywhere, and some politicians aren't even aware of their lack of subjective selves.
\nAs examples, one could cite Diane Lee's (
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