In our jet-setting, fast-paced lifestyles, we often have a thousand and one worries crammed in our heads 24/7. We try to make time for everything in a neat and orderly fashion, but this idea just sounds so far-off, so impossible! Books, the television, or simply the environment we have grown up in all stress on a silent universal signal to us: Treasure your family! This idea is so clear, so bright, so obvious. However, have our modern lifestyles threatened to detach family relationships for the secular world? Do we really spend sufficient quality time with our families?

The most outstanding reason why we do not spend enough time with our families is as mentioned, we are too engaged in our own lives. For the adults, they struggle to cope with the increasing demands of the working world; for the younger ones, they fight for better and higher grades in school. Both are equally enclosed in a different competition with their peers, and push themselves for the better. Inevitably, stress piles up nonstop and we put aside family time to grasp all the time we can get to polish ourselves for that sweet moment to shine. After all, the lures of personal comfort and pleasure in life has attracted us on a scale that is unprecedented, like never before. We are drawn in an instant, like a magnet, and this encourages us to forget the deeper meaning of true happiness, which is love itself. A loving family is certainly the richest family anyone could ask for; where mutual care and concern puts a bright smile on our faces and in our hearts always and forever.

Another obvious factor contributing to the lack of quality time with our families is the influence of modern technology. Nowadays, it is uncommon to find a teenager or adult who does not own a smartphone. Smartphone ownership is becoming more rampant, even among young children, where some own one by nine years old, and parents holding on to the belief that this would give them good exposure to the internet-centered world. In fact, this only serves as a platform to manifest undesirable social backlash and addictive behavior to technological-based products from a young age. With one's eyes single-mindedly focused on the digital world, then interactions with people around him, such as family, will drop drastically. Researchers from Mobile Mindset Study, a recent survey found three out of five U.S. smartphone users don't go more than hour without checking their gadgets. This exemplifies the fact that mobile phones can distract people from the present moment, causing us to ignore those near us the most often - family. It is far too easy for us to view our virtual life of higher significance than one's real life, and end up neglecting our family members, who are real people close to us, who genuinely love us and take good care of us.

Finally, we do not spend enough time with our family because we take them for granted. We carelessly assume that they are supposed to constantly shower us with overflowing love. After all, do people not always emphasize that family will always stick by you, support you, and be the ones there for you in times of crisis? We need not worry about their feelings should we ever fail to appreciate them enough by ignoring them or replacing them with material things and friends. Because, mo matter what, family will understand, forgive and love us still. This distorted frame of mind is so childish yet so common these days. Many of us see our families almost every other day and hence get used to the cosy environment as we grow up, taking our easy and comfy lives for granted. Do we ever ask ourselves where does the income come from? Who always helps to cook the food, does the housework? Who is the person who smiles at you when you arrive home, tired, sweaty and grumpy? When my parents left for a honeymoon last month and left me to take care of myself together with my siblings for a week, I experienced an epiphany. How much they truly meant to me! I missed the one time my father joked around with me but alas, I was still immature and had ignored him rudely. I missed my mother's soft gentle voice when she woke me up for school but alas again, how I had always whined for another five more minutes to sleep. When they came back, I made sure I cherished such sweet moments and never forget that they would not last here with me on earth forever.

To conclude, even though our physical proximity to our loved ones for many of us does not pose as a barrier in our family relationships, our actions can still drag us away from our families. The desire for our comfort, our technology-dominated life and our careless attitude towards our family are namely three common mistakes we make to replace family time with. Bearing in mind that our families are silent givers of happiness who ask for no repayment, let us try to grow closer to them and appreciate them more and help them in return the best way we can, because we only have a limited amount of time to do so.