MAIL BAG [email protected]
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
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
Crosswalks are for parking
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
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?
Speaking for pedestrians everywhere
Don’t people see what they do?
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
What to do with tourists!
Stricter tests for driver’s licences
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
Here is hoping that the military government tackles this long running problem as
Hopeful for traffic laws