By Phuong To

    Something that I often get ask is ‘How come I can’t find you on Facebook?’. However, when I tell them that I don’t have a Facebook account, the room goes silent and everyone in the room gives me the strangest stare. I sometimes wonder what goes in there head at this moment, maybe a ‘has this guy been living under a rock’ or a ‘is this guy technologically inept?’ comes to mind. It is then that I whip out my old phone that the stares continue but this time it is sympathy. Occasionally, some people have develop tears in their eye and I even had a couple people come for hugs telling me that ‘it is alright’.

    Well, why is it that I don’t use or have Facebook? The answer is simple. I was there when it first started as a friend of mine got into using it. Initially, he was an outgoing person and liked interacting with people. However, after using Facebook for a while he started to change and was never the same again. He started to be glue to a screen for long periods of time constantly checking what other people are posting and replying. Now, he can’t hold a proper conversation without staring or playing around on his phone. The same can be said for when he is blindly walking while messing with his phone. A very dangerous act that should not be happening. It was an addiction that he couldn’t control which is also recently been recognise by health authorities but without a proper cure.

    From this experience I have an internal fear that if it can change the best of us, chances are I would not be immune to it. I would slowly be altered into this unknown being glue to a phone all day. Therefore, I have so far abstain from using Facebook which is liken to an endangered species on this planet. On the other hand, the benefits that I have obtained from abstaining is through interacting with those around me, whether they be family, friends, neighbours or strangers on the streets. Each random meeting is more memorable to me. Hence, I believe that it is only through eye to eye contact that one can socialise with another, not through a screen.

    (Photo by LPS.1 – Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons)

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