Saturday, April 27, 2013

Beauty & Beast in WhatsApp

I have had WhatsApp for quite some time now and it has been on limited use. That is because I cannot type as quickly as those who use text everyday. I was not used to the abbreviations that were being used. Even now, I tend to spell every word when I text. I have tried to use “CU” instead of “See You” but I just felt uncomfortable using the abbreviation. Every now and then I would garner enough courage … or would that be gall … to use one of the text abbreviations and then start worrying whether I used it correctly or whether I was understood correctly.

This brings me to my recent experience with WhatsApp. I had switched off the notification alert sound because it was getting on my nerves. It sounded just when I was at a meeting or at Mass. Every time I looked at my handphone, I see a list of messages; even when I had quit the app! As there were usually more messages I disregard than take note of, I had missed some important messages. It was like email with spam all over again. I had moved out of hotmail many years ago because it took me more time to scan the junk mail filter for authentic messages than to answer authentic mail. Now it appears in what I consider a very convenient, reliable, cost-saving and, dare I say it, time-saving app. The beauty of it is that when I am in another country, it is a useful, inexpensive and convenient way of sending messages. The beast is that I might have to rummage through all the messages to see which ones are relevant.

Being instant has its advantages: time is saved. Yet I may end up making a hasty reply that could inconvenient others. just now, my brothers had wanted to celebrate Mothers’ Day with dinner on 4 May. I know that Mothers’ Day always falls on a Sunday. So I just assumed that 4 May was a Sunday. Guess what? It’s a Saturday. I must have upset some plans because of my overly quick reply. Again the beauty of being a time saver but my impulsiveness had changed it into a beast.

I used to think that I would be okay with technology. As I grow older, I realise I get less efficient. Sigh!


Anonymous said...

Having read this blog entry, i am not sure you will be seeing this anytime soon Fr Kenson (laugh out loud)with the exception of LOL, i too like to type out my smses in full. Enjoyed your recent homily... you mentioned something about veils - i'm not a fan of bringing them back and i don't really like the tone of this article but here it is anyway

God bless.

Fr. Kenson Koh said...

A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, as the link you have provided shows.

"The moral law requires all women to wear the veil on their hearts."

That seems suspect. I am not a moral theologian but I am reasonably sure that there is nothing like this literally found in the moral code. I had spent some time (although I should not have) looking at the links. The most balanced one is this:

I admire Monsignor Charles Pope and I am sure that though he prefers women to wear veils, he would be aghast that we become stricter than God! However, I do believe that there must be something said about modesty in the Church by both men and women. The letter to the Corinthians concern the custom of the land. In certain parts of the world, women and men go topless and I have seen pictures of a mass being celebrated in those villages. That is the custom. If the priest asks that the women cover up to protect him, I have no doubt that the women would do so. However, the missionary did not seem to have that problem. If in the remote chance that Singapore allows nude beaches, does that mean that worshippers can go topless in church?! God forbid!! I am ranting again :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Fr Kenson,

Thanks for your response. and for looking at the the links - i am glad i spent no time on them. lol

Just wanted to highlight the quote
1 Corinthians 11:3-10,16
I think you're saying like C S Lewis did that "The Christian rule of chastity must not be confused with the social rule of modesty..." The rules of propriety may vary may vary from place to place ....the topless woman and the fully clothed may be equally chaste (or equally unchaste) Thanks again n God bless

Anonymous said...

Interesting - have a look!