Digital (SNS) Swish of Skirt 2

About 3 months ago, I talked about Digital Swish of Skirt on this blog. As I mentioned in the previous blog, the swish of skirt means that mothers are getting overly involved in the schooling for their children, especially during 1980s in Korea. Due to the increase of using smartphones among mothers (ajummas), they are now getting involved in the schooling for their children through using their smartphones.

The use of smartphones brought a variety of advantages to our daily lives, this is so true. However, everything is a double-edged sword. Digital swish of skirt actually let mothers (ajummas) get involved in the schooling for their children easily. Through using various apps that are relevant to their children’s education, these mothers (ajummas) are able to control or help their children’s education systematically. They could share useful and voluminous information with each other instantaneously and directly.Without visiting every private educational institutes, these mothers (ajummas) can get information for their children’s educational needs. Besides, they are able to hear living opinions from other mothers who are in the same boat.

However, this SNS or Digital swish of skirt also have problems although there are a variety of advantages of doing Digital (or SNS) swish of skirt among mothers (ajummas). I don’t mean that these mothers are people who cause problems at all. They are too passionate about their children’s education (all of mothers are in the world) and the use of social media encourages them to get more involved into having the swish of skirt for their children because they are mothers and ajummas who love their children the most.

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This Digital (SNS) swish of skirt tired teachers out. Mothers (ajummas) left comments or questions about schooling on teachers’ Instagram accounts. And you also know that, the advantages of using social media (well, it sometimes could be ‘disadvantages’) is ‘you can be always on’ and ‘you can contact someone instantaneously through using your smartphones’ without having barriers of time and space. YES, YOU CAN!

So, teachers are actually working for their students and parents for 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, like a convenience store. Of course they don’t have to answer or react to every single comment or question of mothers that are left on Instagrams, but you know…it is a delicate situation for teachers I reckon.

http://news.sbs.co.kr/news/endPage.do?news_id=N1003462876

(News article about SNS swish of skirt, SBS.co.kr)

Of course I don’t mean that I don’t understand these mothers (ajummas). I fully understand how these mothers are passionate about their children’s education and what they want to do for their children. However, I think that we should concern about the use of social media on our smartphones more carefully. The one of biggest advantage of using smartphones is that it allows us to have instantaneous mobile communication but it doesn’t mean that ‘you can get answers from her (or him) whenever you ask’. Especially, the teachers are working in the school for working hours and after hours are their own time to enjoy themselves. At the same time, social media such as Instagram is a personal space where people share their personal stuff with others, so I think mothers (ajummas) should respect the privacy of teachers in Instagram. If mothers (ajummas) have any questions about their children, they should use other ways to contact to teachers rather than leaving comments on photos of Instagram.

Also, I expect that a useful and helpful social media should be developed that satisfy both mothers (ajummas) and teachers. This social media will help mothers keep continuing Digital swish of skirt for their children and at the same time this Digital swish of skirt won’t disrupt teachers’ privacy and their own free time after working hours. I think Digital swish of skirt or swish of skirt is a desirable thing if there is a good balance between mothers’ passion about their children’s education and mothers’ concern about teachers’ privacy in their private social media spaces.

So it is all about passion and concern I think.

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Digital swish of skirt

In the previous post, I talked about ‘Women in Korea (2)-1: swish of skirt in 1980s’. This education fever still remains in Korean society but mothers (ajummas) today followed different ways that I called ‘digital swish of skirt’. Compared with non-smartphone era which is from 1980s to early 2000, the use of smartphones change our life styles in many ways likewise the enthusiasm of education among ajummas. This means that ajummas could be able to get involved in supporting their children’s education easily through using their smartphones. There are various apps that helps mothers (ajummas) to share useful information about their children’s education for example, “Which Hak-won (private educational institution) do you go?“. This app provides people’s various opinions and useful information about private educational institutions for parents and their children. So it helps both parents and their children to choose better private educational institutions. This app determines the ranking of private educational institutions according to the actual statistical data. Parents can ask questions or answer others’ questions interactively through using app on their smartphones in real time.

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There are many types of apps for parents who concern their children’s education in Korea. I cannot enumerate every app in this blog but one thing that I can say is these types of apps for parents are increasing significantly. The term ‘swish of skirt’ is not used broadly today but I can see the swish of skirt phenomena still remains today. I call it ‘Digital swish of skirt’. Ajummas (mothers) are overly involved in their children’s education today through using education related apps on their smartphones. They becomes smart ajummas.

Women in Korea (2)-1 Swish of skirt in 1980s

The ‘swish of skirt’ means that mothers are getting overly involved in the schooling for their children. During the 1980s swish of skirt phenomena was serious social problem in Korea. Some mothers move into areas concentrated with of private academic educational institutions such as Gang Nam School District 8. Also the expensive private lessons were prevalent in that area so Korean government conducted crackdown people who were related to those expensive private lessons.

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Tutors who were involved in the expensive private lessons were brought to the police station in 1988
image from Kyung Hyang Newspaper, <http://news.zum.com/articles/25543690>

Mothers in 1980s, they thought that entering their children to good university (SKY, Seoul University, Korea University, Yonsei University) is their goal and duty as mothers because mothers believed that qualification (especially graduating a good university) determines their children’s lives.

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Mothers (ajummas) waited and prayed for their children to pass a university entrance examination withough leaving while students were taking the exam.
image from: Samsung & You Premium, <https://www.samsungnyou.com/7486/>

 

This education fever of South Korean mothers was continuously overheated to make their children entering the good universities. Thus, Korea stands the first regarding domestic expenses on education in the world. Since 1980s, women in Korea playing both roles, “professional mother” and “professional housewives”. They are like a superwomen. As I mentioned before, ajummas are superwomen.

We still have education fever and ajummas of course still concern their children’s education. For example, there are Helicopter mothers and Kangaroo mothers. They are overly involved into not only their children’s education, but also their private lives (e.g. hobby, a network of friends, jobs and even marriage).

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image from <http://www.opnews21.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=365>

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 image from <http://news.donga.com/3/all/20061121/8375428/1>

But I think the way of ‘swish of skirt’ changes into sort of ‘digital swish of skirt’ in these days. In other words, mothers (ajummas) in these days became smart for their children’s education. This means that many of ajummas (mothers) use their smartphones to search information and useful sources for their children’s education. I will talk about ‘Digital swish of skirt’ in next post.