Fo­cus on the peo­ple with you

HWM (Malaysia) - - FEATURE -

In Tai­wan, there’s a phrase, di tou zu (低头族), which lit­er­ally trans­lates to “a group of peo­ple with their heads bowed down”. It was coined in ref­er­ence to a so­cial phe­nom­e­non where we spend a large amount of our time with our heads bowed down to­wards our mo­bile devices.

You don’t have to travel far to get a taste of this. Take a ride on the train, en­ter a cafe or restau­rant, or even just take a short walk near your home, and chances are you will en­counter peo­ple with their heads bowed down, look­ing at their phones and com­pletely obliv­i­ous to their sur­round­ings, and per­haps worse of all, their part­ners.

A re­cent sur­vey showed that 70 per­cent of smart­phone users check their devices within an hour of get­ting up, and 56 per­cent said they check their devices an hour be­fore go­ing to bed. More wor­ry­ingly, 51 per­cent of users said they would check their smart­phones con­tin­u­ously even while on va­ca­tion, and 44 per­cent also said that they would ex­pe­ri­ence anx­i­ety if they lost their phone and couldn’t re­place it for a week.

Isn’t it ironic that in the pres­ence of friends we choose to keep to our­selves and in­stead ven­ture onto so­cial me­dia plat­forms to seek in­ter­ac­tion? Isn’t it also ironic that in­stead of speak­ing to each other on din­ner dates, we are ob­sessed with tak­ing the best pho­tos of our food so that we can share with oth­ers on Face­book or In­sta­gram?

For 2016, let’s be­gin by sim­ply putting away our phones when we are to­gether with friends or fam­ily. Stop wor­ry­ing about catch­ing up on Face­book up­dates; they will al­ways be there for you. Stop tak­ing pic­tures of food and start en­joy­ing them. Stop tweet­ing and shar­ing about what cool stuff you are do­ing and with whom and just soak in the mo­ment. For­get about chas­ing Face­book likes, retweets and new In­sta­gram fol­low­ers and just fo­cus on the peo­ple with you and live in the mo­ment. Trust us, you’ll be all the hap­pier for it.

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