While Mr Lee was still relatively new to XIOHOO and had only attended the Digital Video Editing class with XIOHOO prior to this interview, he very readily agreed to my request for a short Chit Chat. I found out that Mr Lee had stumbled upon XIOHOO through his wife who recommended our tech classes as she was pretty bad with social media herself.
In the words of Mr Lee, “social media isn’t our era” and mobile phone brands such as Nokia and Sony Erikson which became popular even back in the 80s aren’t as digitally advanced and powerful as compared to the present days’ phones. When enquired if learning about social media is important, Mr Lee states that it may not necessarily be so for a traditional worker that goes to the office but more so for socialising outside or communicating with the younger generation. The fluidity of travel and ease in mobility to move around have also been facilitated by social media to reduce the distance and barrier among people for greater communication. “People [nowadays] move around so much so social media [helps to] ease the distance,” according to Mr Lee. It was also revealed that Mr Lee’s son is currently situated in the UK and he uses video conferencing applications such as Facetime to communicate with his son. He can not only merely hear the voice of his son but see his face directly through WhatsApp video calls as well.
Despite the conveniences brought by technology, Mr Lee disclosed that a lot of personal touch is lost on a personal basis and that the more intimate act of face-to-face meet up is now replaced by calls on the phone. Mr Lee further shared with me the communication tools that were used during his generation such as the pager and big bulky mobile phones that were too expensive for one to own. In the early days, people used a pager with no caller ID or phone number display and instead of a beep that signified an incoming message which was likely coming from only the office. He explained that there were also call zones which were designated areas for calls in the certain office that had calling landlines. As I googled a little about landlines, I can’t help but get reminded of all the memes about how the first mobile phones were tough and we called the early Nokia phones “bricks”. Instead of the colourful graphics of Candy Crush, it used to be a pixelated snake on a green-tinged screen that many wasted hours playing on their first or their parents’ mobile phones.
As I was already too used to the world of smartphones where people stuck their heads to their phones after work whether is it to surf the internet to watch Youtube videos or to play the latest phone games, I asked Mr Lee what do the older generation adults used to do after work out of immediate curiosity. I was then answered with activities that all of us still do nowadays that do not require the use of phones such as going out with friends for dinner or playing badminton and exercising, watching the television and reading newspaper. Thus, there were basically fewer need to meet up for people nowadays as they can call for free and do things online. “Everything becomes faster with technology moving faster” and more things can be done within a shorter period of time. Mr Lee therefore also states that the children have become busier as well and it is more difficult for the older generation to connect with them or seek their companionship in their post-retirement phase.
When asked what his current routine in life is and some important lessons that he has learned as well as his thoughts on active ageing, Mr Lee showed me his determination and astuteness to plan ahead with proper planning and daily goals as common recurring themes throughout his answers. As he does not like to do last-minute work, Mr Lee mentioned that it is important for him to plan for his life and has been doing a fair amount of planning. While different people have a different definitions of happiness, Mr Lee highlighted that he will be happy once he hit 80-90% of his goals as there are some things that can’t be controlled and perfect. While family is key to keep you going, having different daily targets keep you motivated to get through the day.
He also states that physical and mental well-being tie in together as one will have the tendency to be mentally unwell if he or she is physically unwell. As a “human being can’t stay alone”, he will try to keep himself updated about his friends and socialise physically with them through a gym session or hike or even talks. He also emphasised to me that having a good mentality is important as you cannot think that you can’t do certain things and limit yourself just because you are old. Although fitness-wise he can no longer keep up with the rigour of vigorous exercise such as football and badminton that he does in his younger days, he still continues to challenge himself physically and jogs regularly and even did a marathon at the age of 44. He acknowledged that ageing is a process that can not be avoided and instead keeping mental alert is key to ageing well.
After reading this, are you also as inspired by Mr Lee as I am to take charge more of your life and work hard and take small steps to achieve your little goals in life? Let’s all strive for a strong positive mentality followed by good physical well-being as we continue to age each day and face new challenges in life.