Chinese New Year. The amazing festive season that is now upon us; the moment to celebrate unity among relatives and family members – the moment of warmth and love.
However, here’s the brutal and sad truth about celebrating Chinese New Year in this generation.
Family members young and old, gather around the table, ready to feast during what’s supposedly called a ‘reunion dinner’. Only to be completely distracted by the devices they hold in their hands – completely oblivious to the joyous presence of the family members that surround them and instead rather look at moving graphics on infinite-scroll timelines.
Worst part of it all? This is not an uncommon sight. Look around you and you’d see the entire house or other families in a restaurant doing the same thing, almost each and every one of them staring down at their electronic devices, fully engulfed in the digital world, not knowing how to socialise with the people present in the very same room – yet oh so happily snickers to something someone had said on social media. And mind you, this does not only apply to the millennials. The adults who told you to get off your phone a decade ago are the very same ones now, doing the exact same thing. Tragic.
How is it that we are currently in a world where digital communication has now overtaken real life interaction to this level? Is smiling to yourself on your phone really more satisfying than chatting to your cousin/aunty you’ve not seen for an entire year? Oh well, maybe we can try it again next year! Right?
The unfortunately typical CNY scene
If your family does not do this then good on you, cherish the time you have together and embrace every second of it. Unfortunately for me, as I walk around the house, where there were 15 relatives of mine seated around, I tried sparking conversations by joking “How’s about everyone stop using their phones for a second?” only to get heads looking up at me for a second, before having their attention turned back to the brightly lit phone screens.
Exasperated, all I can do now is write this post – in hopes that everyone who’s living in the digital world even during this Chinese New Year, to disconnect and actually spend time with their families – and at the same time, my family and relatives who pays too much attention to their phones to stumble across this post on their feeds. Maybe, this time they’ll actually “listen” to the message I’m sending out here than having had said it through my own lips IRL.
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