Keep in TouchJuly 23, 2015

In 1995, Hal Salwen wrote and directed "Denise Calls Up". It was released before the advent of e-mails and mobile phones. Moviegoers would wonder if Salwen recalled the isolation (while finishing the script). It was about a group of twentysomething New Yorkers, who updated each other on the phone. It depicted the culture of absenteeism, which technology made permanent. There were numerous plans to meet, but only two were brave enough to show up.

There was no assurance that the movie would be a hit, but Salwen's gamble paid off. Maybe it struck a chord with viewers.

Social September encourages the young ones to go offline. Nothing beats personal contact. Many will attest most of their (young) friends won't offer a couch to sleep. Not that they are selfish people, but they may be too mindful of themselves. This is not the prevalent attitude among older people. Any senior citizen won't deny that dealing with solitude can be a Herculean task. It's no surprise that they have a bigger circle of friends.

This is not to put the youngsters in shame. It will be nice to keep in touch with the same people for many years. Numbers may not be important, but keep on repeating it during your golden years. Don't be surprised if it will leave you with a bitter feeling. As Social September is fast approaching, it will be time to reflect on friendship and relationship. Here are a few things to ponder:

Social media is not enough. It's nice to see the latest photos from your mates. You'll have a good feeling about chatting with them. It's a convenient substitute to the snail mail, which takes a longer time. Many will point out that they're too busy to pen a letter, but this can be touching. It's one way of telling your correspondents that they mean to you. And the whole world shouldn't know. (Facebook can't function like this, but private messages may be a good substitute.) A gathering is what matters most.

Never expect anything from anyone. To expect is to be human, but it can cause problems. It will be natural to mind one's business, even keep a distance. But it's impossible not to reach out. Get together and enjoy the moment. Try to meet now and then. Social media will keep you connected, and don't ever let misunderstanding get in the way. (Young people should know.) Never think you deserve a better person.

Good company makes good memories. Young people won't understand it because they have lots of things to do. Not that relationships matter, but it will dawn on them once they're old and settled. Don't reach that stage. Make an effort to have more circles of friends, if not acquaintances.

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