Fast Food Nation

Far more indispensable than food for the physical body is spiritual nourishment for the soul.

Mohandas Gandhi

It’s funny how in this age, with wireless connectivity and 3G technology fast becoming an essential ingredient of everyday life, the distance between people have grown further. I say funny, because I thought that technology is supposed to bring people closer together. Easier to call and say hello, or for a line to be dropped online. Life is supposed to taste nice, rather than undercooked and stale.

Someone suggested to me that technology does bring certain people closer together. It’s people’s social circle that have changed. Perhaps that is the case for some, but for me the bigger picture does not reflect this.

The general claim is that people are too busy. Admittedly, our daily schedule leaves little to the imagination. In place of meeting up with friends is a fair amount of unfriendly meetings, not something to whet your appetite. Perhaps that is true, but it doesn’t mean neglect is an excuse.

We have all the right utensils to stay even more in touch. Mobile phones are the order of the day. More and more people have laptops, fast becoming a necessary accessory amongst the hip and the happening.

Wireless connection zones are becoming as commonplace, allowing people to get wired with the latest and keep going on the go. Going online is as easy as ordering a latte at Starbucks Coffee.

Since you’re reading this, chances are you’re online right now.

Everything is becoming easier, more instant. It's more Big Mac with Coke rather than a seasoned fillet mignon (medium rare). The window of opportunity for people to keep in touch is opened wider than ever before you can practically jump through it. And yet you’d be lucky if people poke their head through to even say hello.

Why is that? Maybe you’re not the sort of person to just call up others on a whim. I can well understand that, but keeping touch doesn’t mean that you have to cook up a full-blown telephone conversation. A sprinkle of SMSes might be a better recipe, not necessarily to organize a night out (because, as we’ve already established, people can be quite busy), but just to say hello and whet your appetite.

I get the impression that some people are probably afraid. They are afraid of the perceived rejection if others don’t reply their SMS or answer their call. They prefer to get out of the kitchen rather than stand the heat.

No one is totally immune to this feeling. But along with this comes sense of fulfilling your duty. You’ve tried to reach out, do all that you can to keep in touch.

Maybe they’re right. Maybe the other person really doesn’t care about them. Or, more likely, they don’t have credit or the time then and there to reply. But at the very least, you would’ve done your part. You’ve played your role. And in reality, in all walks of life, that’s all that any of us can do.

Do our part, and hope that others will reciprocate.

It may not be face-to-face communication, but if you do wait for that to happen, then chances are you’ll be waiting for a while. We’ve already established that people can be busy with the things that are going on in their lives. A short call, a quick SMS, or even a one-line email is enough to do the job, to just say hello.

Some would argue that the need to do so is diminished by the fact that our loved ones know that they are in our hearts and minds, and we in theirs. I won’t deny that. We do think about others a lot. Our friends, our family, and most certainly our special loved ones. But unless we do something about it, unless we tell them, then they won’t know for sure that they were in your thoughts.

Only then will they truly know what and how you feel about them.

Life is good, but it can be so much better. Drop a line, say hello, and add a little flavour to your life.

Fikri Jermadi thinks that the Double Cheeseburger is good value at RM2.50 (before tax).

*An unpublished article written late 2005.


Miza said…
I put my paw on the double cheeseburger.
Fikri said…
I put my paw on them everyday while I was working at Mont Kiara. Them, because I have at least two during lunch.

Which meant that I had double double cheeseburger :>