The holidays are an important time for helping the needy and I would encourage every one of you to do so. Volunteer organizations abound for humans (especially typhoon victims), for cutesy animals (Hong Kong Dog Rescue) and even bears (Animals Asia). Please help with your good intentions—and more importantly with your time and money. This week, however, I wanted to talk about a different class of needy: those who are not in need. These are people or things that don’t need your time, attention, and affections—give it instead to someone who needs the help. Needy Internet Articles When the hell did this happen? Every day on Facebook I’m bombarded by things like, “This man opened his mouth. What he said will change your life”; “You won’t believe what happens when this war veteran is asked a simple question”; “Is this the most offensive interview ever?” No. No no no no no no no. My life wasn’t changed by a three-minute video; I will indeed believe that somebody at some point stood up for something; the most offensive interview is probably one where somebody got shot in the face, not had a mean thing said to them. I guess a surfeit of superlatives is the new “this one weird trick will cure neck fat,” but it’s the diction equivalent of READ THIS NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW. Don’t. Needy Electronics Here is what I assume goes inside the mind of an engineer designing a new product. Hey, this clock I’ve invented is amazing. It can tell time and has a Bluetooth speaker to play music. So you can wake up and listen to your jams. You can even pre-program it. Lives will be changed. Poverty—a thing of the past with my clock/speaker. Millions will know my name! Oh wait—the battery only lasts eight hours. Oh my gosh. Executives might miss their meetings, teens will be devoid of their jams, children will be slaughtered in the streets. Mankind will grind to a halt. Unless—yes, I’ve got it! When the battery is low I’ll have it beep, every five minutes, with a flashing red light as well. Beep. Light. That way people will drop everything they’re doing to replace the batteries in my clock/speaker so society can continue and we’ll avert a “Walking Dead” zombie apocalypse. Needy Rich People If you have over US$100,000 in your bank account here is a list of things you can’t complain about: your helper, being poor, not being able to afford something, how life is tough (economically), a bag you want, a TV you want, a piece of electronics you want, the kids that you decided to have and understood the economic implications of which will require money to go to a private school, the cost of a drink at a bar you knew would be that expensive, the increase in taxi fares from $20 to $22, and that your partner has a bad personality but is hot since you decided to value hotness over personality and sanity. Needy Jobs It’s 11pm buddy, put that BlackBerry down. Unless you’re a lawyer, consultant, or investment banker (and hey, you chose money over lifestyle, so shut up) the boss doesn’t need that report right now. If you’ve somehow been Jedi-mind-tricked into a career like advertising where you get paid nothing and work terrible hours, it sucks to be you—but you don’t need to bring down the rest of your friends with you. The holidays are about shopping, the cognitive dissonance of Christmas which is supposed to be cold but it’s weirdly hot, eating too much, and most of all family. Your job can or will wait for you, and if it doesn’t you should figure out how to make it. When I worked crazy hours the analysts would all gather to share stories about how few hours we slept as a badge of honor. In reality, it just means you’re a moron. Being urgent is not the same thing as being important, and being busy, too busy to think, is not the same thing as being fulfilled. Happy holidays. Yalun Tu is a columnist for HK Magazine. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or @yaluntu on Twitter.