There has been a trend over recent decades for families to become less close than they were in the past and this situation is largely accepted in society. This essay will discuss the reasons for this and examine the benefits and drawbacks of this development. One of the first reasons for a decline in the closeness of families is connected to the busy lifestyles that we now lead. Most people are having to work longer hours and often both parents work, so they simply do not have as much time to spend with each other as they did in the past. Another factor is the materialistic and consumer driven culture we now live in, which has led to less value being placed on family relationships. Modern technology also means that people are more interested in their online life than interacting with their family in their free time. It could be argued that this has benefits. If people are not so close with their family, they are free to pursue their own dreams and aspirations, and to focus on improving their own lifestyle. However, I believe that there are far more negative outcomes. The most important factors leading to a fulfilled and happy life are emotional security and comfort. Without these we are in danger of feeling lost. It is a difficult world we live in and we need the support of people close to us to cope with modern life. We are seeing a rise in mental health problems in many countries and this may well be a factor in this. To conclude, busy modern lifestyles, changing cultural values and modern technology are causing families to become less close. We should try to halt this trend as it has more negative than positive outcomes.