Hong Kong: one of my favorite places to visit. Vibrant and full of energy, with such a lively food scene - from Cantonese dim sum to extravagant high tea - and the shopping! I always feel like I am in paradise...
Except during my very recent trip there when I felt like I was scrambling to save myself from being injured from all the selfie sticks that had invaded the place. I kept bumping into people who were singularly focused on taking selfies of each other or themselves. From my hotel to a block down the famous Tsim Sha Tsui area it was like a selfie mine trap! I would be walking and suddenly someone would stop in front of me. I would step back and bump into another selfie obsessed person's back and I was just like, "Crap, this is insane!"
It was quite a study of the human nature and what a selfish society we seem to have become. Many are so self absorbed, complacent with the way things are going and most have ceased to care.
And I thought to myself: what a struggle it must be for those in relationships, trying their best to get to know each other on a deeper level and to grow their love.
Oh, the Vanity that love faces in this digital age!
Reminds me of the Greek mythology of Narcissus, a beautiful man who was fixated with himself and his physical appearance. Legend has it that he died by a lake because he was too obsessed and in love with his own reflection to go elsewhere. He stared at his reflection until he died
Which sheds light on the challenges relationships face in this modern day of superficiality and narcissism. We have become a society of people that are self absorbed and oblivious of those who happen to be with us, who may be trying to make conversation and getting our undivided attention.
Perhaps you can relate. Let's say you are traveling together in far off lands to a beautiful country and surrounded by beautiful scenery and you can't help but get carried away! Your partner is so excited to be with you, believing that you are there to spend quality time with him and bond.
But, lo and behold, the selfie stick comes between you two and you are so singularly focused on primping and posing and taking your photos, running all over the place and stopping here, there and everywhere, totally unaware of how you're making the other person feel. In the meantime your fellow traveler is left in solitude, not included, and not invited to be a part of the fun you are having.
And so there you are, enjoying the trip thoroughly, clueless of how your actions are affecting your relationship. This continues for days and before you know it, your partner has had enough, and thinks this is never going to end and he starts wondering again and again why is he there and why should he be wasting his time stroking your ego?
All your partner wants of you is your involvement, your attention and to share the journey with you. He craves to bond and wants to be involved in conversation with you. He wants to share his thoughts and observations and excitement with you. He wants to express his love and hopes to have it reciprocated.
But you, you are not sensitive to his feelings and expect him to play along with your wants. It's all about you. The trip, this life with him, is only about you and what would satisfy your ego and serve your needs.
Ouch, that hurts!!
Love in the digital age can be challenging. We have so many distractions that we connect with each other so very differently. Gone are the days when couples shared their time, their meals, and even had face-to-face deep conversations and invested in the art of deep listening.
Technology has affected how we experience love and how we communicate. We seem to text more than talk, we skype instead of meeting face-to-face. We face-time with our partner and we think we're spending quality time with them.
The way we connect today may have changed. The selfie culture may be here to stay. The digital age will see many more advances. But let us be mindful not to let technology ruin our chances of bonding with our partners or come between our relationships.
Above all, let's stop allowing it to take over our lives and affect our long term happiness with our loved ones.
© Rani St. Pucchi, 2016
To learn more about Rani St. Pucchi visit www.ranistpucchi.com