Why doesn’t anyone pick up the phone anymore?



I live in Hong Kong and this morning there was an earthquake. As it happens, it wasn’t a very big one and most of the population slept right through it, waking this morning to hear about it in the news. When I got to work, I logged on to Facebook to find a post from my mum; “Darling, are you OK? Need to know…”

Mum, quite seriously, if I wasn’t OK do you really think it would be my priority to log on to Facebook? “Facebook? Really? Love you too, mum.”

To be honest, this isn’t the first time that my loved ones have shocked me with their level of laziness. And that’s exactly what it is, laziness. After 2 years living abroad I reckon I’ve almost seen it all and I’m sure there are plenty of expats that can relate.

Look, I love my family with all my heart and I have no illusions about the fact that they are busy and they have things going on too. But how hard is it to pick up the phone? Put a card in the mail? Reply with more than 1 line to my emails? Texts? Dad – I’m talking to you. His reply? “Stop whinging and go blog about it!”. The nerve, using my attempts to stay in touch, against me like that. Urgh.

I know there are some of you saying; “Long distance calls are expensive!” and “Leave them alone, you’re the one that moved!” But in my defense, I have done my part. Out of guilt and worry about leaving them all to pursue my dream of living overseas, I bought the iPhone and downloaded the right apps to appease the budget concerned; Viber, Whatsapp, HeyTell and Instagram. I sourced the best webcam and made sure my internet speed was sufficient enough to satisfy the requirements of a quality Skype call. I started a blog to keep everyone updated on what I was doing in my new life. Birthdays? I’m your (wo)man when it comes to making sure that a gift arrives on time. And Christmas? No body appreciates what a logistical nightmare this can be from overseas, because if they did, I’d get more loving and that’s a FACT.

“Did you get my text?”

“Text? What text? Must be those damn international communication lines.”

Hey! It’s not Telstra’s fault, it’s YOURS. You got my text, but because I’m not going to bump into you at the coffee shop and confront your ass, it was easier to ignore it because you knew I’d eventually call out of pure frustration.

I love living overseas, it’s fantastic but it can also be incredibly tough. Especially when you have younger siblings and every time you see them they are a foot taller, have had a personality transplant and instead of playing with Barbies they are buying heels higher than yours and wearing makeup. And for this reason, I will continue to beat my head against a brick wall. However, I will also continue to give my favourite people a gob-full when they wish me a ‘Happy Birthday’ via Facebook. PICK UP YOUR PHONE PEOPLE, it’s attached to your hand anyway, you used it to post on my wall.

Emma-Louise is a writer and editor living in Hong Kong. Follow her on Twitter here and read her blog here.

What’s your preferred method of communication with loved ones – phone, text, Facebook?

nailed it

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