Monday, May 23, 2005

What's so important in your handphone?

Have you ever gone out with a friend, either to have a meal or shopping, or just simply meeting up, and your friend keeps looking at and fingering his handphone?

You and your friend may be walking side by side, but you feel like you are walking alone because your friend is constantly on the phone or sending smses?

You are probably not alone.

Perhaps, people nowadays are too busy. Time is so precious that we have to multi-task at any one time. We talk on the phone while typing on the computer. We talk to people while smsing. We read documents while eating.

We feel good about ourselves after that because we have spent the same amount of time to complete two or more tasks. We claim proudly, “We are efficient!”

But, perhaps you have missed a certain important part of the conversation with your friend on the other side of the phone line, while you were intently concentrating on the typing. Or you have missed typing a line, because your friend was saying something interesting that caught your attention.

People who are “well seasoned” with multi-tasking may argue, “I am so good at it, such things do not happen to me.”

Really? Not once? But how does your friend feel about it? Have you ever thought about that?

Let’s think of an imaginary (yet perhaps somewhat familiar) scenario.

>> A and B are out shopping together. A’s handphone rings and A picks up the call.

“Hi, C! How are you doing? Oh, I am out shopping……” B walks alongside A, looks at clothes in the display windows and looks at passersby.

“Oh yes! The last time I was telling you about that show, we should go watch it soon…”
B wonders who called A, B looks at clothes and looks at passersby again.

“My work is draining me, my boss gives me all the hard work to do……”
B looks at the watch, looks at the floor, looks at the ceiling, looks at A and wonders when A is ever going to put down the phone.

Finally, A puts down the call. B heaves a sigh of relief.
“Oh, am so sorry!” A apologizes (happily).
“It’s…okie…” B manages a smile. How else can B react?
“Let’s go shopping! Oh, but let me send this sms first!”
A takes out the handphone and fingers with it again. B stares in disbelief. <<

Are you thinking, B should really find something to entertain himself, while waiting for A to be done with the calls and smses? Well, if B wanted to do something on his own, he would not be out with A, and he would be shopping on his own. What is the point of being out with a friend who is not with you? And how does it feel to go out with a friend and feel neglected half the time?

Let’s face it, if this only happens once or twice during a gathering, we should not be so petty about it, because we are perhaps guilty of it too. But, if happens constantly throughout the entire trip, it is hard not to wonder, “Is your handphone, or whoever is on the other line, more important than me, who is standing right in front of you?”

I understand it is hard to put down the handphone especially in the case where somebody had called you. However, if you know that it might lead to a long chat, perhaps you should learn to excuse yourself and tell the other party you would call back. If the other party had asked you whether you are busy, and your reply was (or thought of replying), “No, not really, I am just out with a friend.” JUST? Perhaps, you should re-evaluate your priorities, and never ever let your friend know or hear that.

There may be far more important things for you to do, and out with a casual friend may not be on your *important things to do* list. But, when you are out with a friend, or a group of friends, be fully present. Try not to be pre-occupied with what you have to do after saying goodbye to your friend, who you have to call in an hour’s time, how to type that report due for submission etc. And for goodness’s sake, “dump” that handphone, unless it is really urgent business.

It is tough and I am guilty of this too, but for our friends’ sake, let’s just work on it.


At 11:08 PM , Blogger El Hombre said...

hahz..HAnwei here..heh..just saw your url on ya msn nick..hmm..interesting post u have here..haha..yeah..seriously i cant multitask at all..only can do 1 thing at a time..can NEVER type and talk over the phone at the same time..heh..

At 9:52 AM , Blogger yvonne said...

haha...good for you, that means you can really focus well on something while you are at it!

At 5:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a timely entry. Grinz.

jus e other day, a fren frm UK called me on my hp while i was having dinner with two other frens. It was a pleasant surprise to receive a long-D call and i happily indulge in my little chat..

about 5mins into my conversation, i could sense my two frens fidgeting and casting "looks" my way. Soon enough, Fren A said in a pseudo "teacher-like" manner: " Agnes, dont you know its very rude to chat on the fone when you are at the table with other people around?"

Much as i noe she was merely teasing me and saying it in half-jest.. but the statement speaks for itself.

Truth is.. many times, we take for granted little manners and basic courtesy.. ironically, at e expense of frens we love most, and we are most comfortable with.

It brings to mind, how i was once upset with a fren who FURIOUSLY sms-ed his way tru out lunch. It was distracting, i felt marginalised and insignificant in ways. cos it seemed as if he's only physically there with me, but his mind probably in Pluto or Jupiter. grinz..

yes, so ur blog came as a timely reminder to me again.. yes. as we progress with technology, let us stay rooted and connected. Not via gadgets, but quality time and personal touch. =)

me in my little bubble~

At 6:34 PM , Blogger yvonne said...

heh I guess sometimes if certain things happen too often, it becomes so common that we do not think of it as a problem anymore, that is, unless we become the "victims" of it one day...=)

At 11:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello.. yingzhen here.. ^^ really like reading what you write cos it makes me think... =) agree with alot of what you say too... do blog more often..!!

At 9:08 PM , Anonymous ron said...

hey you are right! I think a lot of us are so used to waiting for sms or calls that we look at our handphones more often than not... it has become an addiction!

At 9:13 AM , Blogger piglet said...

yeah i have the same feeling too..but i'm happy to say at least, most of the closer friends of mine have e sensitivity to cut their conversation way short in our presence. as for myself, more often i happened to be 'rude' to the other receiving end (usually victim=jared haha)..i actually dislike it when my my hp rings when i'm out w my frens, so usually i just let it be a 'missed call' or just picked it up hastily 'oh ok ok, yah yah, i'm outside..byby!!" as for smses, i will try to reply a short n quick one if it's needed.

At 9:38 AM , Blogger yvonne said...

haha..I also find handphones ringing rather a nuisance sometimes so my hp is usually on silent mode, and my mother always complains that she can't get me...haha...


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