The special face of Hong Kong
by Adele Leung
It is so easy to socialize through technology and with machines in Hong Kong. In a way, I feel this option of virtual socializing, has made it more comfortable with a lot of people, than having true communication with real people here in this amazing city.
Personally, I have been “spoken to” in the same house with family through texts and emails rather than through speaking. Most significant expressions within my family have been conducted to me through whatsapp, rather than face to face.
Is this truly what communication has come to, or rather, not come to?
Have socializing through a virtual platform made it easier for people to avoid rather than commit to true communications? Where every “uncomfortable” topic or detail they feel can be made more comfortable by expressing it through a way that does not require us to see or have eye contact with the people we wish to communicate to, and perhaps then words expressed do not bear as much responsibility?
We all have to express. Expression is everything. Everyone knows when expression is repressed, how much stress and strain we put our physical, emotional and other bodies under. But what is true expression? And have we taken an advancement in technology to perpetuate something which has the immense potential to connect people, and abused it in a way that is actually separative rather than unifying?
Texting apps available on smart phones as well as meeting through social platforms can definitely create a more convenient type of communication, where people can be brought together even when they are miles apart and in different time zones; or even within the same time zones, when the physical limitation of not being able to be at more than one place at a time (yet), we can multitask such as holding a meeting through skype while at the same time purchasing groceries for a dinner party. More than any time, we are now in a world where boundaries are no longer solid, family, work and life have the possibility of becoming one and unifying rather than completely separate ideas.
Hong Kong has a special flair of embracing technology. Here technology is welcomed rather than shunned because of fear. Everywhere in the city, people are seen serenading their hand-held machines. No fret, when we have no real socializing going on, there is always our friend, the machine, who can comfort us with a feel-good movie or excite us in a video game. Could it be that we have already felt sufficient that an inanimate object can ease our loneliness, with the added benefit that it does not come with all the messiness of relating and intimacy with people?
It may “work”, for a time. What I mean here is, untrue and unreal relating may distract us from the emptiness and the yearning to truly relate most of us feel. But in what expense does this distraction brings? And, what about the long term consequences? Personally, I have experienced an almost complete reliance on technology to even “see” another human being (apart from my child) during one year of my life, and that is even not regular or reception is never reliable. Honestly, how can reception through these unreal intimacies ever be smooth, when it is exactly a true intimacy that we fear? If I was not even willing to let people in who are physically close to me, how do I expect to nurture a true relationship that is miles apart? Geographic proximity is not the key, my choice to love out as well as loving in, is.
In a city where high rises decorate the skyline, it may be sad, but necessary to acknowledge that we are not a city that is built in true love. To maximize space for the highest financial return could not be a choice that is made out of true love. Yet, we are all loving human beings in the city, every single one of us. True, it may be harder for us to realize this for ourselves, with the circumstance and environment that is conditioning and running through us (if we do not choose otherwise for ourselves) every moment, but that does not refute the fact that, we are all love.
Everyone who allows themselves to truly feel, will know the essence of every single human being in this planet is unequivocally the same, and equal.
When technology is used not with the intention of true love, very easily it can become a tool for us to perpetuate lovelessness whether we are aware of it or not. Is loveless relating better than no relating? Is relating that is not out of true love, even relating at all? Perhaps it should be called separating, instead.
In the depths of our hearts, we all know the importance of true intimacy and true relating. We all feel our emptiness from time to time, even here in this sleepless “Pearl of the Orient”. Emptiness simply cannot be filled by more lovelessness. In-truth, our own emptiness cannot even be relieved by another person, or by our numbing or avoidance tactics. True intimacy and true relating have to first begin with ourselves. Emptiness can only be truly filled when we remember and consistently connect to and live our own love. With true relating with oneself, there will be the possibility of true relating with another, and another, and eventually, with the world.
In this present day, we seem to confine “intimacy” and “relationship” to only physical and romantic ones. Every single relationship, whether romantic or not, begins with the relationship to ourselves. True intimacy between a couple, does not magically happen with closing the bedroom door, but with each and every moment, both parties choosing to connect with themselves that extend to the sharing of this connection within the bedroom. Similarly, every other relationship that is not romantic, happens in the same way (just without the bedroom part).
Hong Kong, the magic is not out there . All the love, the beauty, the connection, the joy, the glory, the harmony are all right there, inside your heart. You are so special Hong Kong, truly, in SO much more than you realize.