Does personal media make us anti-social?...and some personal SG experiences






That's the problem with people these days.

Why?  The internet, and personal media like the iphone, ipod, hand-held games, etc,  i've often thought, doesn't bring people together.  It just gives them an opportunity to just stick with people of similar interest, or interests that they are familiar with.

You could say that the 'information age' actually makes people more stupid as they tune out of difference and stick with the familiar.You could say that the 'information age' actually makes people more stupid as they tune out of difference and stick with the familiar.   And with enough people sharing their interests, they view it as evidence that they are capable enough.  Thus, stupidity spreads faster than any virus ever did.  And given that the corporations out there determine what is promoted and publicised, people tend to become, well, similarly stupid.


Anyway, in the singaporean context,

It's strange that people can sit together, and get on their 'facebooks', ipods, angry birds, etc.

I recall sitting with a bunch of indians and chinese not too long ago.  The indians were talking about blues and rock music, whilst all the chinese - their wives and friends - at the table, without exception, took out their iphones and got on their facebooks or played some game.  The most surreal thing is that it happened every time we met - though i do know chinese whom don't do that, and the english-speaking chinese i knew in the 70s certainly weren't like that either.

Why?  Well, in the case of the singapore chinese of today, being taught to overvalue 'their own' culture, interests, perspectives, traditions, etc, it is not surprising that i encountered such behaviour.  Not good that.  If you think about it further, it is such tendencies that gives rise to political apathy, racism, xenophobia, and a whole load of other deficiencies.

The iphone, ipod, angry birds, etc, are just another means by which a pre-existing and problematic self-absorption continues to manifest itself in high-tech forms ;)But if you aren't someone with varied interests outside of the ordinary in singapore, you wouldn't experience that as you'd probably share quite a bit of similar interests or operate along similar perspectival lines.   You'll need to be different or exceptional enough to realise that difference isn't accepted.  The iphone, ipod, angry birds, etc, are just another means by which a pre-existing and problematic self-absorption continues to manifest itself in high-tech forms ;)

Like I told V last night, before the iphone/ipod came along, they would just turn away; keep silent and then change the subject; don't ask any questions about whatever you are talking about; etc - which is what i personally experienced over a decade. Now, thanks to the iphone/ipad, they can just play 'angry birds' and ignore you completely. I suppose the more vibrant can get along with such people if there are other vibrant people at the table. That way, they wouldn't mind when half the table pick up their iphones when they start talking as there are others whom will be able to respond to them.

For myself, i always get involved in others' interests via questions, observations, etc.  But reciprocity, i've rarely encountered, no matter how long I've known them.  You get smarter of course, doing what ed does.  But they'd think you stupid since they never listen to enough of your interests and perspectives to realise that there is much they don't know.  That's how they can maintain the illusion of their own competence. Amusing isn't it.

Don't be like that.  Doesn't make you smart, or a nice person.



ed



9 comments:

  1. Get out of SG, if you don't like it !!!

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  2. and might as well delete your fb too !!! and please accept the true that YOU'RE OLD !!!

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  3. Oi xiao ay, le gong si mi jiao wey? He wu hey xia liao wu buen tiey bo? Le ay bai ma si lao liao ma si yong facebook eh. Le bo su kak mao liao le ay si kang kong zi kuan jiao wey.

    如果你不会闽南话,让我于华语跟你解释。噢,你在这里讲什么鸟话?他的年纪比较大有问题吗?你以后也是会老的,而且以后的老一辈用facebook也是一件很普遍的事情。如果你不喜欢,那你就别浪费你的时间讲这种鸟话。

    For the benefit of those who doesn't understand those 2 languages above, my statement to this bugger is "Oi, what are you talking about? Any problem with him being old? You will also grow old in the future, by which time using facebook among the older generation will be the norm. If you don't like this website, you don't waste your time saying this sort of nonsense". The first paragraph is in Hokkien, while the second paragraph is in Mandarin. I'll only speak to those who talk sense and who understand English in English. Other than that, I'll have to use monosyllabic languages, such as those above to those buggers who have dreamt in their Qinese ivory towers, or who have been so used to the Qinese way of doing things, so as to wake up their blardy idea. This is an attempt to present different perspectives in languages that are so used to the monocultural way of thinking.

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  4. Haha. Mark. You could work as a translator in the UK, or in singapore amongst those who don't understand the lingo. Thanks Mark:) Your 'knuckleduster' response brought a laugh to me. Nice. Most apt. ;)

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  5. Haha no problem. :) Anyway nah I could only translate from simple English to simple Mandarin or simple Hokkien as my Mandarin standard has dropped quite significantly from the time when I was taking Higher Chinese (CL1) during my secondary school time. And my Hokkien isn't very fluent either. Last time I was quite fluent in my Mandarin while my English was quite bad. Now it's quite the contrary though I still speak in Mandarin at home with my family members. I might have to brush up my Mandarin one day, while picking up new languages such as Malay, Tamil, French and German. The latter 2 languages are quite important if I decide to go on to pursue a PhD in mathematics in the future, as these languages are useful in translating some old mathematical texts in French, German or Russian. I wish I could be fluent in all 4 official languages, including Malay in Latin script and Malay in Jawi scipt, as well as in Hokkien in order to twist and turn interchangeably so as to give him an even better "one time good one" and make him feel even more tak boleh tahan. Haha.

    Haha yeah. I suppose people often take "aging boy" as a politically correct phrase. But I take it as an empathetically correct phrase as describing someone "old" has a negative connotation to it, such as not being able to keep up with time, absolving oneself from learning new stuff, etc. I think it's better to remove those stereotypes by using a nicer adjective to describe someone who despite physically aging with time, one engages in activities that constantly make more of oneself.

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  6. No more nonsense from you A-whatever. If you are capable of rational discussion, you are welcome here. If not, i suggest you go slap your mom for giving birth to an idiot. All nonsense will hereon be deleted.

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  7. English improving and Mandarin worsening? Very unusual that. I've never heard of that sort of reverse 'progress' before. My linguistic life is simple. I'm crap in all languages except English...haha. Picking up Malay might be a good start. I've thought of that myself. You might find Tamil a bit of a tongue-twister i'm afraid. I have great difficulty pronouncing most Tamil words. I dare say I can speak some Hokkien words like a 'beng', but my Tamil is atrocious...but i can order a tosai without a problem;) Unlike yourself, i speak English to my parents. My dad speaks to me in Tamil, and i respond in English. Strange..i know;)

    I'm sure they would have translated old French/German/Russian texts into English right? You're not going into mathematical history are you? Or are you just curious to know if you can make more sense of old stuff which current mathematicians can't. That would be great. No reason why you can't make discoveries others didn't. With this attitude of yours, i'm sure that is more than a possibility.

    Actually, i'm really an 'aging boy'. My life paused since i was 18 as i ventured into other stuff - like what you're doing now - and i'm just about to start life from 18 onward now. I suppose that explains my vanity, style, loving dancing and doing all kinds of '80s' stuff, and learning new stuff all the time. The present times are a bore. No character. Anyway, we can talk this stuff over on facebook if you like.:)

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