Thursday, April 15, 2010

The American Thumb Tribe

Friday, 11Am

Kyongwon Yoon's article on the state of the mobile youth in South Korea and the idea's of mass consumption led me to a few conclusions.
1. The world has become too reliant on technology. Our culture, in particular, creates an idea of necessity for the newest and latest product. For one not to have the newest Apple product is for one to be a leper. My 11 year old nephews have had high-tech cell phones since they were eight, the question I posed to my sister was, "who the hell are they going to call, the wiggles?", they've since become the trend setters and now all of their friends have similar phones (which further exacerbates the problem, making distraction, laziness, and procrastination more readily available), but my claim still stands: what is the necessity of having a mobile phone when you're in the sixth grade? Exceptions of course are made when it comes to cases of emergency (its what I had when I was their age), but to have unlimited access to text messaging and calling at that young of an age is almost irresponsible, as Yoon explores in his essay. That amount of technological access without the maturity to back it up, or even the necessity of it, promotes laziness and can even promote a delay in social communication (by which I mean face-to-face communication). Instead, culture has become insistent on e-mailing, texting, IMing, and -maybe, if one is lucky-phone calls. The art of normal social interaction is starting to deteriorate, 15 years ago, when one said I'll meet you at this place, at this time, that's where you were (not that I remember, but so I'm told, and something Wendy has mention in lecture), today on the other hand, texting at the last minute has become to norm and cancelations are pretty rampant. Communication between family members may also become strained, for example, my parents will text me... even when we're all at home, they ask me to do something via text when they're in the very next room. If they're doing that at 60, what will the next generation bring, child rearing through a video phone?
2. The necessity of the phone or new technology in general has become a drug. People all throughout the world, as noted by Yoon, feel an anxiety when they are without their cell phones or other media devices- as if one can't go a day without the precious device that brings such pertinent and thrilling information like, "i'm going to the ratty," "i'm walking through the mall", or, the most common, "I'm well, how are you?" Yet this drug may be even more dangerous than any other addiction, smokers, alcoholics, and hell, even crack addicts take a break every once in a while; they don't always have access to their poison of choice, but technology is a constant, you are surrounded by it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. It may be the only constant left. For even if your phone is dead, you computer crashed, your printer is out of ink, whatever the circumstance, you're bound to have someone around you with whatever resource you need. Now this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it has plenty of pro's for its cause, information can be given faster, every one can be in contact with one another; you don't have to lose contact with the people you care most about, just because you live on the other side of the world, in fact, because of technology, the world has grown smaller, but- the great verbal eraser- the cons can be very extreme, you don't have to take as much responsibility for your actions, you can be constantly anxious of the next text message or phone call, and you can be easily surveilled, people can know what you're doing, where you're going, and every other minute detail within a matter of seconds, the curtain between the private and public spheres can be easily drawn and exposed.
.. I have more to say, but in the essence of time, I will post something even more substantial later, just for fun.

No comments: