WhatsApp or WeChat can be the only work day link for busy Hong Kong families
- Face-to-face conversations are best but, for families with hectic modern work schedules, this isn’t always an option
I am writing in response to the article, “Key to a happy Hong Kong family could be a mobile messaging group on WhatsApp or WeChat” (November 11) and the letter from Kris Wong, “Can WhatsApp and WeChat really replace family visits and showing the elderly we care?” (November 12).
To answer Mr Wong, it is undeniable that face-to-face communication is key for good family relationships. However, people in our city are becoming ever more busy. They may not be able to talk in person for days despite living under the same roof. Many work until very late and they cannot spend time with their family, as children might be in bed by the time they return home. When parent-child interaction is kept to the minimum by force of circumstance, children may see parents as less caring, and that creates emotional distance.
A messaging group on WhatsApp or WeChat dedicated to the family can help members keep in touch, and chat any time when they are free during the work or school day. Children feel their parents are always available to listen to their concerns or thoughts, and parents too can give a reply or loving assurance much sooner.
Besides, being able to stay in touch this way means parents won’t face the dilemma of wanting to spend time with their children but having no choice but to work. Also, when children send photos about their daily activities, such as what they had for lunch, their friends and also the places that they visited, parents will know more about their day and this will create greater understanding and bonding.
In our rushed urban lives, a messaging group can help boost emotional connections within a family, no matter whether they meet face to face every day.
Chammy Chow, Tseung Kwan O