While riding a crowded Seoul subway back home, I overheard a conversation between a French guy and his Korean girlfriend. They were speaking in French, and probably not suspecting that I am French myself.The guy said: "Look at them, they've all got their nose on their smartphone, even the ones standing, all browsing their Facebook, messaging and whatnot. Such a bunch of autists." ... ... Well, well, well, what shall I say?
It's quite funny how technology adoption can be viewed as an issue by those who are less used to it. I chose to write this article not because of this guy in particular, but because his views seem to mirror those of a lot of people who don't know how to react in the face of changes.
It was pretty apparent from the guy's tone that he despised the passengers for using their cellphone, instead of, oh well, whatever. Would that guy say the same thing of someone reading a printed newspaper on the subway? Something tells me he wouldn't, because there is probably some law that states that reading printed documents is okay, while reading stuff on a phone is totally wrong.
I do wonder what the guy does on while riding the subway alone for 40 minutes. I bet he talks to random people like all non-autists do, right?
Or might be that he keeps his phone in his pocket, because unlike in Korea, pulling shiny expensive gadgets out of your pocket on the Paris subway can get you physically assaulted.
And that's actually the point I wanted to get to by writing this piece: even in my French mid-sized hometown, I would never feel as secure to get a smartphone out in public as I am in Seoul. In Seoul, it's a nonexistent concern. And that's something priceless.