In a country where television dramas reign “Queen” (as opposed to “King” — women really have strong influence in this country), you would think that all that television watching and less social interaction as a result would decrease peoples’ ability to be social. However, it won’t be all the television watching that will probably do it. It will most likely be the way they communicate these days instead of calling each other on the phone.
From 1st graders to most 6th grades and almost every living person over the age of a middle school student, South Korea has cell phones in each of the hands of its’ consumers. On top of the ubiquitous nature of the cell phones in the country, Koreans don’t just use them to call their friends, but to be frank, to save costs on the cell phones, they send text messages instead. Kids and adults alike type faster on their cell phones than they do on the keyboard. They communicate sometimes faster via text than via live conversations. You see constant vibration of their phones or hear the “received a message” voice coming from everyone’s phones & then the consumer jumping right back on the phone to deliver a message back. A lot of students have mastered the one handed typing.
The text messaging phenomenon is an interesting one. When you think about it, people are communicating via a delayed message like emails where sometimes miscommunication occurs and tone, feeling, the opportunity to immediately respond, sensitivity and a multitude of other things that are more effective in live communication are lacking. People get used to telling their coworkers or bosses they disagree or can’t make it to work via text message instead of face to face. Koreans also express their love for one another via this medium instead of “in person.”
It may also a good thing because people now have the courage to say some things they may have kept hidden as well. This medium makes it definitely more easily. It will be interesting if this cultural phenomenon actually positively or negatively affects the soclialization and communication in this country. I wonder if it potentially increases efficiency in business or education, but we’ll see about that over the next decade or possibly century. It is definitely fascinating to see it in action…