Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Stop texting! Let’s chat face to face!

Varsity reporters were astonished after first learning about a chat group with nearly 800 parents as members, who are all mainland parents with children studying at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Out of curiosity, reporters decided to explore this issue and write a story about it.

At first, Varsity reporters could not help thinking the chat group as a subject of ridicule, and thought such kind of chat group should not even exist. University students are already young adults after all. But it is very wrong for journalists to make a judgment before conducting research and interviews. Indeed we were wrong. After finishing writing the story, reporters are now touched by these parents’ overwhelming love, care and sympathies for their children who seem to have failed to communicate well with their parents. These parents do not mean to conduct long-distance monitoring of their children. They simply want to know what their children are doing and what kind of school life they are having in Hong Kong – a city where mainland parents find very different from any Mainland cities.

The story is like a wake-up call for Varsity reporters who are involved in the reporting duty. Reporters begin to think about their own relationship with their parents and realise they might have neglected their parents’ concern and care after leaving home to study in Hong Kong. Young adults often feel annoyed when responding to parents’ questions about their school life. Parents often complain that they have not received phone calls from their children for days. Mainland parents in the chat group actually know very well that their children feel annoyed and they want to be free. This is why the parents’ chat groups come to its existence. Mainland parents try to share information about their children’s school life among themselves and comfort each other instead of “bothering” their children.

Parents always treat their children with patience and care whenever children ask countless questions. Why parents would feel bad about asking their adolescent children questions? Is it because young adults sound impatient when responding to their parents’ questions? Is it because young adults always rush to hang up when speaking to parents on phones? Or is it because most people only care about playing mobile phones even when having family gatherings?

Perhaps it is time for both parents and their adolescent children to resume face-to-face conversation so that they can learn more about what each other are doing even they are living apart. Instead of texting in chat groups with other parents, both parents and children should make efforts to improve communication. If only university students can understand how much their parents care and worry about them and if only parents can understand their children are young adults now and it is time to let them be on their own to explore the world, their relationship will surely be strengthened based on trust. Love is the answer for their communication problem. Perhaps it is time for us all to put down our mobile phones and enjoy face-to-face chats with our loved ones. Love is the answer for all having communication problem.

Edited by Fangdong Bai