Gone cold on calling

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 26 February, 2012, 12:00am

Once upon a time, a blackberry was a fruit and an android was something from a sci-fi film. And if you were going to be late for a social engagement, you'd phone the person waiting and let them know.

However, even though we've made such advances with technology, we seem to have de-evolved in the manners department.

These days, it's OK to text to say you'll be late, or that you won't be turning up at all. It's also acceptable to drop the person you are meeting with a nanosecond's notice, under the assumption that they are as glued to their technology as you are.

What if they're cooking dinner for you and miss the text? What if they're halfway through a trip across town to meet you? Don't some things require a phone call?

In Hong Kong, even marriages are ended via text. One local guy texted his wife of nearly 20 years telling her 'it's over' just before boarding a long-haul flight and switching off his phone.

Apart from being the lazy person's break-up tool, technology has also become an obstacle preventing many relationships from getting off the ground. It's too easy to hide behind. A faint heart never won a fair lady. Or man. What's the good of having 1,000 Facebook friends if you haven't got the time for a handful of really special ones, let alone a special someone?

As author Erica Jong said about finding love: 'The trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more.'

The attendant cousin of hiding behind technology is the principle of 'taking the better offer at the last minute'. And just because this habit seems ubiquitous in Hong Kong, that doesn't make it acceptable.