Monday, September 12, 2011

Korea's Culture: Quickness

In Korea, we have a very unique culture: quick, quick and quick. There is a joking that when foreigners live in Korea, the first word they will learn would be "quick" because it is the most using word in Korea. Oneday, one of my friends from France told me that the quick culture in Korea especially hard when she eats with her Korean friends. Since Koreans eat so fast, she also needs to be in hurry to finish her dishes. In France, she eats almost 2-3 hours for dinner but in Korea, she eats half an hour for dinner, she said.

Then, how Koreans quick culture was formed in Korea? Some people argue that "the culture of quickness" is developed based on Koreans' need for economic growth in order to escape from its poverty and ruins after the Japanese colonization and the Korean War. Indeed, its industrialization after 1960s, Korea has been achieved economic prospericy with amazing speed. These days, it is also examined that the "quickness culture" enables Korea not only to enjoy its economic growth but also to be one of the highest Information and Communication Technology (ITC) access in the world (ITU, 2003, pp.1)

Korea as one of the highest Information and Communication Technology (ITC) access in the world

With its economic development, it was assumed that Koreans are not uncomfortable with the change. They tend to adopt easily for the new technology. When the internet was introduced in Korea, it was also well accepted to the society. Actually, internet was a great tool to work faster than before. When Koreans realized how the internet accomodate its working, studying and relationship, Koreans seek to faster use of internet. The Korean government and the corporations are coresponding well to this demand. They actively encourage this IT industry by educating technitions, funding the project and deregulate the policies on IT.

As a consquence, Korea become to have high ICT access in the world. According to the fortune, Korea boast its fastest internet speed in the world. The internet speed in Korea is 7 times faster than the world average and tremedously higher than Hong Kong, the second in ranking. However, this measurement also includes the internet speed through personal mobile. If this speed does not include the mobile internet users, the internet speed is much faster than this.

High Percentage of Mobile Users in Korea

Samsung, LG is the one of the leading moblie companies in Korea. They could develop their mobile industry in Korea with the increasing number of mobile users in Korea. Among young people in Korea, there is even a new word created for indicating the young people who use the text message for communication: The thumbs. Using their thumbs, Korean young people send the text message with other friends really quickly.

After the emergence of smart phone brought the life change in Korea again. People are networking through their mobiles and they communicate through their smart phone in real time. The social network in Korea has been developed. Cyworld (Korean Version of Facebook) and NAVER (Korean Version of Google) are the most famous social networks in Korea. In 2008, according to the Richard MacMaus, the users of Cyworld is 20 millions while the users of facebook is 60 milions. Comparing that the population in Korea is about 50 millions, the users of cyworld is almost 40%. (source from

Smart phone enable the Koreans to access the SNS from any place in Korea whenever they want. Many of Koreans use unlimited internet use through their phone which make easier to use SNS for their daily life. However, it sometimes intrude into other people's privacy life.

For example, few years ago, there was a girl who did not clean the dog dung in a metro. When people asked her to clean it, she igonored them and just left. When this was happened, one person recorded it and posted it into his blog. When others visit his blog through phone or computer, they copied and pasted to their own SNS and it spread in Korea. Her personal record, university she attends, her friends and so on was revealed and she was suffered from all the critics from all over the country. It was happened in 2005.

The other thing which was interesting through here is that the broadcasting company is using the source from SNS recorded by an ordinary person. When this incident became a hot issue in Korea, the broadcasting company use this video for their resources. It obviously shows that the SNS changes directions of news source from one way to bi-directional.

With its development of Internet, Korea society has been changed increasingly and furthermore, SNS is in the center of this change. SNS still is growing and becoming the more important tool for communicating not only with friends, family and aquaintance but also with society and the world. Through the SNS the society and world are getting smaller in terms of exchanging the information.

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