Thanks to the uncontrollable proliferation of mobile communications and online social networking, human life is no longer what it used to be. How we lived in the last decade just feels like it happened half a century ago. There are plenty of scholarly studies on the social, psychological and behavioural impact of mobile and online communications, but users hardly give a damn. Bringing one's mobile gadget and staying connected to the internet is almost a matter of life and death for modern urban dwellers. People nowadays tend to feel more uneasy forgetting their mobile phone than their purse. Perhaps some of you feel the same too.
Of course I am no exception. Ever since the popularisation of Facebook and WhatsApp, I am so used to communicating on these channels that I almost forgot what it feels like chattering with a friend over the phone. Email is almost restricted to work purposes. The telephone, be it at home or in the office, has almost stopped ringing as if it had gone dumb.
This is why I felt, and still do, so happy and surprised receiving a call the other day from someone with whom I only befriended a couple of months ago.
It was not a request for any help. It was not a call on any purpose or excuse. It was a genuine call of love and care, because she had seen the picture of my bandaged knee on Facebook and felt compelled to check out how I was doing. It was also a much-awaited reminder of the power of direct, interpersonal expressions of love, care, friendship and other forms of affection.
Making a big fuss of trivial episodes like this may sound a bit silly. But the inclination to hold my composure is hopelessly fragile. Not to mention that in global metropolises like Hong Kong we are running short, rather than having an excessive dose, of explicit care and concern for people who are truly important to us.
Thank you my dear!