오늘 병원에서 겪은 일.
내 뒤의 할머니는 병원안에서 할아버지를 잃어버렸고, 할아버지를 찾아달라며 안내데스크에 부탁했다. 얼마 지나지 않아서 보안업체 직원이 할머니곁에 와서 할아버님의 인상착의에 대해 여쭤봤다.
“키가 좀 크고, 머리가 희끗희끗하고 파란 점퍼를 입고…” 할머니의 설명이 이어졌고 보안업체 직원은 알겠다고 자리를 떠났다가 이내 곧 다시 돌아와서는,
“할머니, 혹시 할아버님 사진 갖고 계세요? 저한테 지금 카톡으로 보내주세요!” (전화번호를 알려드리며)
그렇게 받은 할아버님의 사진을 그 자리에서 바로 병원안의 모든 보안업체분들에게 보냈고, 할머니께
“조금만 기다리시면 할아버님 찾아드릴겁니다. 걱정마세요”
그렇게 시간이 얼마 되지 않아 정말 할아버님을 모시고 또 다른 보안업체 직원분이 오셨다. 정말 다행이다. 이럴때 스마트폰이 참 좋구나.
Yesterday, the bus tickets to Sokcho (a city close to the border with North Korea) were almost sold out. The news about Pokemon Go was rapidly spread out to people in Korea through various social media. Actually, it was impossible to play that game because of some issues of using Google maps in South Korea. But, Pokemon is found in Sokcho!!!
As you can see the map above, the yellow areas are restricted to play Pokemon Go but the pink triangle zone (Sokcho) is the only location that people do catch Pokemon in South Korea. Sokcho is too close to the border of North Korea, so some experts explained that Sokcho has not been classified as South Korea territory. Luckily (maybe?) we are now allowed to play Pokemon Go in South Korea but we have to go to Sokcho to play it. It takes almost 3 hours by car or bus from Seoul to Sokcho. But people are now heading to Sokcho to meet Pokemon through using their smartphones.
In accordance with the global Pokemon Go fever, the city hall of Sokcho prepared the Pokemon special package hastily. It provides the map of free wifi zone for Pokemon Go players who visit Sokcho city on its Facebook page and Twitter account. (see https://www.facebook.com/dreamsokcho/) Also there is a Pokemon Go team page (https://pokemongoclankorea.herokuapp.com) that allows Korean Pokemon Go players to join three different team group from all over the world to share information about Pokemon Go such as game tips.
Free wifi map by Sokcho city
And the social commerce such as Tmon (ticketmonster.co.kr) sells the special shuttle bus package from Seoul to Sokcho for Pokemon Go hunters. People can purchase cheaper price of shuttle bus tickets through this social commerce website by using their smartphones.
Tmon’s special shuttle bus package for Pokemon Go in Sokcho, image from (www.ticketmonster.co.kr)
My timeline of Twitter is now all about Pokemon Go in Korea. It’s been only 1 day since people have found Pokemon Go is available in South Korea (Sokcho). There will be more stories and photos will be coming continuously for sure. So far, it is very interesting and exciting to see this unexpected AR (augmented reality) mobile game phenomenon in South Korea because we couldn’t expect that we can meet Pokemon in South Korea at all! I will keep reporting the news about Pokemon Go in Sokcho. (The bus tickets were already sold out for this coming weekend…you know what this means…)
I cannot go to Sokcho right now but I still can see and read other hunters’ stories and photos through social media. Oh!!! and I can’t catch Pokemon because they didn’t visit Seoul for this time, but I can ‘find’ or ‘catch’ Yakult Ajumma through using Yakult Ajumma app on my smartphone.
I did focus group interview with 10 ajummas from 2014 to 2015. I asked them ‘How has your life been changed after using smartphones?’ And here are answers of ajummas (aged mid-50 to mid-60). The photos are not related to the interviewees at all. I took photos of ajummas on the street randomly.
The findings from focus group interview with smart ajummas will be continued via this blog. Thank you.
Ajummas are now becoming smarter, especially in the way of they communicate due to their use of new technology in their everyday practices such as smartphones. They are now smart ajummas and becoming smarter constantly according to the development of new technologies. However, it ought not be concluded that smart ajummas are named so only because they use new technology. They also actively attempted to acquaint themselves with new technology in daily lives.
The penetration of smartphones in Korea is significantly higher than the average in the world and it reach 83 percent as of end-March, according to the data compiled by Digieco (Yonhap News 2015). For me, Korea is like a heaven of smartphone because ‘you can do almost everything with your smartphone’ in Korea. But convenience is not only technology’s best friend, I mean there are always problems to use convenient technology, such as smartphones. Yes, smartphone is a double-edged sword, like the Internet! If you can do almost everything with your smartphones in Korea, this means that you can’t do anything without smartphones. (I won’t talk too much about smartphones because this blog is more about smart ajummas)
Anyway, smartphone is a pervasive mobile communicative devicenow. People use smartphones in their everyday practices regardless age and gender. Ajummas are no exception. There are exact data about penetration rate of smartphone users of middle-aged women in Korea yet, it can be assumed there are increase of using Internet among middle-aged women.
I know this is not a thesis but I think if I put an actual ‘data’ in this post, it might be powerful to support my idea why I can call ajummas as smart ajummas. I can’t just assume ajummas in Korea became smart ajummas because they use smartphones a lot. So I attached these data which help you to understand my argument (or thought) how I can call ajummas as smart ajumma.
For next post, I will explain in detail why ajummas should be considered as ‘smart ajummas’ today in Korea.
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.
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.