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Facebook narcissism

Dear Editor,
Whilst I can appreciate the irony of someone sharing an article on the narcissism Facebook has created on Facebook, nonetheless, the article was quite interesting but seemed to lack a few key points.
It stressed that because people only share the good stuff of their lives on Facebook people who spend too much time on it become depressed thinking everyone else’s life is better. Another point was becoming friends with people you don’t know or barely know, also that your life is far more public and maybe to people it shouldn’t be. Other points raised were oversharing on Facebook, that people are not interested in every little thing you do, and finally that it will make you less productive at work.
However, this article failed to address a few issues; one of those being that some people post terribly inappropriate things or tag their friends in comments that could get their friends in trouble. It not only makes you less productive at work but less involved in day to day, face to face life. People forgo talking to those next to them to post on Facebook that they are sitting with that person; they forgo actually living to post it on Facebook.
I have a Facebook account and do use it to keep in touch with friends and family overseas and also try to keep the friends list to people who are actually friends and people I know and whose lives I want to know. I know some people who wake up in their morning and check their Facebook from their phones before they even get out of bed. I cannot see how this is living a normal life and how these people will develop real relationships with people but instead live a virtual life.
This is obvious when I go out and see couples or groups of friends at dinner or a bar and everyone is on their phone and nobody is talking to the person or people they are with. Some people get positively lost and angry when unable to use Facebook, the outage of Facebook a few weeks ago was a bigger national tragedy for these people than any other thing - it quickly became clear who needed to get off Facebook that day by the posts of the Facebook addicts.
I remember when reports of Facebook addiction first came out and I pooh poohed the idea. Well, no longer. I do not plan to cancel my account but I certainly plan on curbing my use further and get out there and live a real life.
Signed,
Facebooked out


Crosswalks are for parking

Dear Editor,
It would seem that many drivers in Chiang Mai, motorcyclists especially, consider the crosswalk as the point at which to stop their vehicles whilst waiting for the light to change. Today I attempted to cross the street at the light and had to wind my way through a multitude of motorcycles simply to get across – otherwise I would have been forced to actually walk out into the middle of the intersection and face oncoming vehicles.
I cannot believe this is down to education since I spied more than one foreign driver doing exactly the same. I suspect it is rather more related to the need to be ahead of everyone as if that extra 5 seconds will alter their lives forever.
So, in a plea to the motorcyclists out there may I ask that you consider that there are other people using the road besides yourselves and leave at least a small gap for pedestrians to cross the street?
Thank you
Speaking for pedestrians everywhere


Don’t people see what they do?

Dear Editor,
This was almost a Chinese tourist complaint, not so popular now that the low season is really really low, according to my friends in business. However, the other day I was driving into Nimmanhaemin from the Super Highway and these Chinese tourists had stopped their bicycles on Nimmanhaemin effectively blocking the entire lane of oncoming traffic at rush hour. They didn’t even seem to notice that they were in the road or that traffic was coming to an almost standstill because they thought that was a great place to look at their map.
But then later on I saw three girls walking side by side down the road and not on the pavement which was clear enough to use and also blocking an entire lane of traffic. I was thinking to myself that it was more Chinese tourists but no, they spoke Thai. I don’t know if they were Thai tourists, I suspect so simply because of their casual attitude towards traffic but have no idea really. Probably just too inconsiderate and self-centered like the Chinese tourists to see or care that they had blocked traffic.
I also saw a group of what I think were German tourists crossing the street at the intersection without even looking to see that the light had turned and they were crossing in front of oncoming traffic.
I don’t know why these people who do this kind of thing can’t see or understand that there are consequences to their behavior but I am happy to reassure your readers that is not just the Chinese, it appears to be endemic to every nationality.
Signed
What to do with tourists!


Stricter tests for driver’s licences

Dear Editor,
I recently read that the government had implemented a new test and stricter requirements for people applying for a driver’s licence. I also read that around 90% of those applying failed the test. I don’t know if these were new applicants or renewals or both but that is incredibly high and, judging by the standards of some driving I see on a daily basis, completely unexpected.
I hope that the government stands by this policy and forces people to become better drivers as it certainly must help the accident toll if people actually know how to drive!
However, since the new military run government seems to be cracking down on illegal activity and forcing people to follow the law I hope sincerely that they also force the police to do their jobs and enforce traffic laws. I must say that since the coup I have not seen the usual helmet and registration crackdowns, ostensibly to earn income or at least that is what everyone tells me. But then neither have I see the police do anything around town at all so perhaps they are all just sitting in the police stations waiting for instruction or expecting the Army soldiers to do it for them.
Thailand has an appalling accident rate and an even worse death toll – I recall reading a few years ago that the rate of road fatalities is more than double the world standard. I also know there is a very big problem with drink driving and a lack of enforcement as well as education as to why you do not drink and drive. It is not just the Thais who think it is ok to drink and drive but also many foreigners who live here. The police need to set up checkpoints for this at night and the laws need to be strengthened to ensure that people do not drink and drive.
Here is hoping that the military government tackles this long running problem as well.
Signed,
Hopeful for traffic laws


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Facebook narcissism

Crosswalks are for parking

Don’t people see what they do?

Stricter tests for driver’s licences

Note: Letters printed herein in no way reflect the opinions of the editors or writers for Chiang Mai Mail, but are unsolicited letters from our readers, expressing their own opinions. No anonymous letters or those without genuine addresses are printed, and, whilst we do not object to the use of a nom de plume, preference will be given to those signed.
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