Of Pixels and People

Almost anywhere you go – may it be on a public transport, or even at the shopping mall – just ask yourself: do you always keep your head down? From what I’ve seen, most youngsters in society these days never like showing their faces to the world. They always keep their heads down in public. One would think that perhaps they were lacking in self esteem, but…no. In fact, most of them keep their heads down because they are busy staring at the tiny little wonders in their hands known as mobile phones.
The whole situation got my attention when I first sat down to enjoy recess with my classmates. I usually spend my recesses with my roommates instead of my classmates. So one day, before our class enrichment was scheduled to begin, I decided to join them for lunch. When I had recesses with my roommates, we would talk to each other, tell each other jokes, sum up the events that have happened to them so far in a day (for we were in different classes), and laughed really hard when something hilarious was mentioned across the table, and we always hung around in the canteen until class was about to start. I expected the same thing with my classmates.
I ended up returning to my classroom after spending only 15 minutes in the canteen. To say I was frustrated and disappointed would be a bit of an understatement. We got our food, sat down, and when I attempted to start a conversation, the rest of them were just staring at their phones. No words were exchanged. It was absolutely silent.
And it was since that day, that I got particularly agitated when people spent their journeys – WITH friends – staring down at phones and not talking. Although once in a while, we would do that – it wouldn’t hurt to multitask and communicate at the same time now, could it? Spoken words would mean more than pixelated fonts on small screens because they can express emotions much better. If this continues on, there would be lack of communication – human interaction – with each other, and our ideas and thoughts – our FRIENDSHIPS, even – would only exist in the virtual world of text messages.
Put away your mobile phones during recess, it’s a time to talk, not crush candies and run from mutated gorillas – do it at home, when you’re alone and bored, maybe! Keep your chin up more often, make people think you’ve got confidence in yourself, because even if you don’t, it’s okay – it’s not like your phones could possibly get it for you!
Treasure the times you talk to your friends. Because when it comes to a day when you’re all far apart from each other, you’ll realize that pixelated fonts in text messages…will never be enough compared to seeing their smiles and talking to them in person.
– Loo Yan Ling (2U)
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