by Moc Mien
In a conversation with close friends, my dear friend Nguyen Minh Hang laughed a lot while telling us about her 60-year-old mother who had joined Facebook.
The retired woman is a life insurance agent, and believes that Facebook will help her with effective online marketing.
Apart from e-marketing activities, she seems very active in connecting with people that include her daughter's friends.
"Now Facebook has become part of our life. We live in an apartment in which the members are just a wall apart. At times, I post a status on Facebook, and just three seconds later my mother makes a comment. She even follows and "likes" my friends' photos much more than me. Big surprise huh!!!" Hang said.
My friend's mother is not the only case I know. Tran Dang Viet, 25, shares the same experience with his father who is addicted to technology.
"My father can sit down for hours just to watch TV online, movie, listening to music and playing video games. He seems to undergo a 180-degree change in front of a computer," he said.
Years ago many parents complained that their children had very busy social lives and did not spend time with the family. Now things have changed.
It is very easy to see young parents in a cafe every Sunday morning. They surf the internet, reading the news and checking Facebook while their children are playing games on iPads. This happens in some other families where the elders watch TV all the time.
"Our working schedules differ much like the Sun and the Moon. We even go three days without seeing each other. Just by making a comment or "like" on Facebook, I can connect with my parents," Hang said.
Family connections are obviously affected by the advancement of technology. We have little time to talk face to face and instead communicate with messages of love.
"I find it easy to post a heart or a kiss icon on my mother's Facebook than hugging or kissing her. I feel shy otherwise," Hang said.
While trying to discover why parents and children are facing such a problem, I find that some parents are well aware of the freedom of young people in the context of an ever open society, so they tend to loosen their control over children.
"I respect them and try to give them as much space and time to live their lives as possible. So I hardly ask them about their lives," Nguyen Thi Kim Phuong, 55, said adding, "Instead, I wait until they say something to me. Of course, as a mother, I know how to be by the side of my child."
In contrast, Hang said that sometimes she feels lonely with the lack of family connections because her parents seem to ignore her.
"I need a little bit of control to feel that I am getting their attention. But it is hard for me to speak out. How can I have an intimate conversation with family members without the interference of technology? Does it seem that we are hiding from each other?" Hang asked.
No one dares to speak out that so many families, despite much love for each other, often communicate via the Internet.
"One day, I saw a sad status of my child on Facebook and the comments of her friends, and I felt ashamed that I was the last person to know about it," Phuong said, adding, "I called her and asked if I could help. Luckily, she opened up to me right then."
In modern society, the race of advanced technologies, which is considered one of the many ways to rate a developed country, has somehow brought about a drastic change in our lives. In one way, it separates us, while in another, it helps us to stay informed. The point is, how we use it to support our life.
"We love our family and want to spend time with them. We just need to be more sensible in choosing how we can be there for our family members," Viet said. — VNS