So, how is life treating all ? I am back after a short break from my summer travel. It was an fun-filled but “unleisurous” trip to Paris, Venice, Florence and Rome, rich in history, pasta, gelatos, wine and scorching summer heat. Oh, how I missed rice and Seoul J
Paris had always fascinated me, at least the way its epitomized in different magazines, but from my 6 days and 5 nights stay in the city something which did not match upto my french apprehension was their online behavior. I am talking of the french natives living life there. After living in Seoul for almost 2 years now and before that in New Delhi for about 3.5 years I have some observations about the online behavior of these cities. Over the last decade (since 2000) Korea’s internet market grew at an expeditious speed and the present value of this market worth US $ 12,000,000,000. Everybody wears this power on their sleeves. The top 2 dominant internet company in Korea are Naver and Daum. Naver is the google equivalent amongst Koreans. There are ample reasons why I make such a heavy comment. See below :
Seoulites are always glued to their smartphones – People say in Seoul sleeping is for losers (by the way I am one among the losers). Which ever place you step into you would find the Seoulites are always glued to their smartphones, after all it’s the home to world’s one of the most smartest technology, Samsung. It’s like the synonym to korea and leaves its trace in all walks of lives of people who dwell in this country. Why not, it has every thing. A standard day of a seoulite with his smartphone is like Morning news, Games on the way to work, Checking every minute emails, Social networking, Catching up with make up on the subway, Transportation maps, Reading e-books, Watching live TV, Korean Dramas (oh, how can I forget that), music and calling
Sourcing Information in Seoul – Though censorship is really strong, but however you can get practically all information over the net. One unusual fact about the internet speed is its connection with the content you are surfing . For example I surf lot of american and indian content (youtube videos, blogs, live news online, movie downloads) and find my internet speed increasingly getting slow. However, when I see sponsored korean ads or korean online TV programs the speed is just perfect. It is strange, but I had found later that the speed of the internet gets effected if international content is being surfed.Another thing, accessing porn sites are illegal in Korea and is considered as one of the top cyber crimes. Most porn sites are blocked.
Shopping – Like this country’s economy other aspects are growing rapidly as well. These other aspects are food, home décor, fashion and surely online shopping. It was the other day at work I was chatting with my colleague about how I have managed to get an offer on my favorite perfume brand.Elizabeth Arden from Jeju Island’s duty free shopping. I bragged about the fact that it was a rare fragnance and not commonly available. She said let me take a try online. She got it, bought it and in 3 hours it was delivered at her workstation. Such is the ease and trend of online shopping in seoul.
Gaming – This nation is simply obsessed and infatuated with gaming and are turning this passion into good revenues.Video gaming competitions are nationally televised and they draw lot of air traffic. As South Korea has one of the highest internet penetration in the world and being one of the most wired nations, players have a smoother experience. Gaming contributes to a very large extent to Korea’s GDP and games like Starcraft are very popular
Education – Study abroad is an enriching learning experience at a very younger age for any student. With time as I met more and more people I learnt studying abroad for Korean students is like an different achievement, yes it is to all – but here in a different sense. Achieving higher education in a foreign country allows students to broaden their knowledge about other people and culture and get exposed to international market. However for Korean studying abroad(Especially to native english speaking countries) initially came with the prejudice of social symbol now its more cooler. Have I hardly come across anyone who mentioned about the course they had studied or how they would implement their learnings into their career. Anyway, they did make english friends.