Friday, May 9, 2008

Could the net really bring us together?

I will be one of the first to admit that I am harshly skeptical of the Internet as a source of community. After these readings thought I find myself asking if the judgment I have so readily and hastily passed on the Internet as a form of community is just. The paper on Korean Netizens was especially thought provoking. The use of the net to speak out against hair length in Korean schools was an interesting insight. Korean high school students are already plagued with exam prep classes, often times starting at 6 AM and then studying into the late hours of the night. That coupled with the extreme pressures placed on them to perform are only enhanced by the pressure society and family placed on them to proudly represent the family in society make Korean youth prone to suicide and mental breakdown. The net gives them a chance to come together and speak out in a mini mutiny of sorts. The net lets them speak out in away that is not accepted else where in their society. The extent to which the net has connected the people of South Korea, from elections to soccer games to hair length, is inspiring to say the least.

1 comment:

deb said...

I totally agree that it is really inspiring that young people in Korea can organize and relate to each other through the internet. I think that the internet is a great tool for people who are frustrated with their communities to do something about it. Basically because the internet isn't owned by anyone, and it is quite easy to be anonymous. Although I think that more and more big corporations and government is trying to take control. For example in China a lot of material online is severely censored. I think that it is important the the internet remains a place of freedom, because it is difficult for many people to find freedom anywhere else.