Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Yoon’s “The representation of mobile youth in the post-colonial techno-nation of Korea”

“…Representations of the mobile phone as a threat to culture have frequently appeared in the dominant media discourse based on several presumptions” (Yoon 111). Yoon goes on to name the presumptions that the mobile phone encourages too much consumption, that it threatens learning and literacy development, that it dismantles family ties and bonding, and that political use of mass media of mobile phones can cause social disorder. While I do not see the last presumption as a bad thing, I paid close attention to the idea of reclusiveness in American youth. A friend of mine tutors at a high school, and weeks ago he told me how anti-social the freshmen class is. He said “all they do is text” and classrooms were essentially quieter despite the clicks of button-pushing. I then thought of my frequent visits to India, and how everyone seemed to have a cell phone during the last visit. But the cell phone there was only for the sake of location. The mobile phones had all the capabilities of texting and camera, but I noticed that people did not keep cell phones on them while at home. I thought of Yoon mentioning the anxiety people have when the phone is not attached to them. I understood clearly because the same phenomenon happens to me. While convenience of a cell phone relates to its functions and what it can do, at the same time its dependence grows, which would mean the lack of having it at any point of time would cause anxiety. If the functionality of a mobile phone becomes more complex and easier, then the social behaviors that the media warn about appear more imminent.

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