Letters to the Editor, April 17, 2017
We are losing the ability to communicate
I cannot agree more with Jasmine Cheung (“Smartphone overuse ruins relationships”, March 12).
Like your correspondent, I too appreciate the advantages that smartphones bring, for example, keeping in touch with relatives who live far away, such as the UK and US.
The benefit is of course the instant communication, whereas in the past, before the invention of phones, let alone smartphones, the only way of communication was through the writing of letters, and this took ages to reach the receiving party, sometimes even months.
Nowadays with software such as WhatsApp and WeChat, communication has been made a lot easier.
With video calls, we can easily talk to our loved ones, be it locally or overseas.
However, such advanced technology has also changed us for the worse.
Today, we find children as young as two glued to their iPads. As soon as they learn how to read, in order to stop them from throwing a tantrum when they go out, parents will equip them with an iPad.
In fact, you often find people not knowing how to interact with each other anymore.
Once, I was at a restaurant and saw a father and his two daughters each glued to their own handsets, and they hardly talked during the whole meal, as if they did not know each other. This seems to be a common scene today.
Once I also saw a couple dine at a restaurant without a word exchanged for the whole duration of their meal, as if they were total strangers.
They were just looking at their smartphones all the time, without having any conversation at all.
If that was what they intended to do, they could well have done it at home, rather than in the restaurant, which looked really awkward. And this trend is getting more and more serious these days.
I am afraid that sooner or later, we will lose the human touch and not know how to communicate or interact with one another anymore.
Eunice Li Dan-yue, Shanghai
Lam does not enjoy support of HK citizens
President Xi Jinping (習近平) has praised chief executive-elect Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and emphasised that her job carries with it heavy responsibilities. By meeting her in Beijing, he has given her the official stamp of approval.
However, I do not think Lam has received the stamp of approval from Hongkongers. In the chief executive election, she was the preferred candidate of the central government.
She may be ideal in the eyes of the leadership, but not in the views of the people of Hong Kong.
She won in a small-circle election, where many Hong Kong citizens were not able to vote.
I admit that Lam has got abilities and is very experienced as an official.
However, I hope she is able to prove to Hongkongers that she can tackle the problems faced by this city.
Carrie Lam will enjoy more popularity if she is able to do this.
Lovelyn Wong Lok-yiu, Tsing Yi
People should aim for greener Easter break
Whenever the Easter holidays come around, they generate a lot of waste. I hope that during future Easter breaks people will try to be more environmentally friendly.
It is nice for parents to buy Easter gifts for their children, but they have to consider greener options and try to avoid purchasing items that lead to the generation of waste.
They can still buy a present that their children will like and that is also kinder to the environment.
For example, one of the most popular gifts is an Easter egg and there are a lot of them for sale in supermarkets. Parents should take care when making their selection and buy an egg with less packaging.
Also, if the egg comes in a cardboard box, then they should ensure that the box is recycled.
If possible, they should choose an egg produced locally, rather than one that has been imported. An Easter egg that has been made in Hong Kong or a nearby factory on the mainland has a lower carbon footprint than one that is imported and brought in on a plane or a container ship.
Some people use plastic eggs as decorations in the home. There is nothing wrong with that, if the eggs are used again the following year.
I hope in future people will have a more environmentally-friendly Easter.
Jojo Wong,Tseung Kwan O
Exams, tests help schools to focus better
The concern group Parents United of Hong Kong has vowed to get rid of the Territory-wide System Assessment (TSA) (“Activists set up campaign to get rid of school exam”, April 6).
The issue of the TSA has proved to be a hot topic across our society, with different stakeholders expressing their opinions. As long as Hong Kong places a great deal of emphasis on exams, students will suffer from a lot of stress.
The TSA was originally planned to test students’ levels of competence and the effectiveness of teachers. However, in order to ensure good results, schools adopted drilling for students sitting the TSA test.
This put students, teachers and parents under a lot of needless pressure and led to some young people suffering from depression.
However, it should be recognised that TSA reports provide important information about students’ weaknesses and strengths. Without tests, schools cannot determine who has higher abilities and who needs help. Exams help teachers to improve learning plans and also enable the government to provide focused support to schools.
However, the government should get schools to cut back on drilling and ensure students have enough time to rest. It should ensure a comfortable learning environment for them.
Katherine Wong, Kowloon Tong
Teach teens about danger posed by drugs
There has been a rise in the number of people arrested and charged with drug-related offences in our city.
Drug addiction is a serious problem, especially with teenagers.
People who are convicted of drug offences and jailed may find it difficult to find work after their release, because many employers will not hire someone who has served a custodial sentence.
The government should hold more talks in schools so that young people are taught about the threat posed by drugs.
Rene Chik, Yau Yat Chuen