In 2012, the smartphone penetration rate in South Korea was 64%. Statistically, it sounds awesome, being “land of technology” and all that. In actual fact, that number happens to be more than double from the previous year and is a 60-fold-leap compared with 2009.
Today, South Korea has more than 30 million mobile phone users as the devices have become a vital part of everyday life in the country. However, it’s becoming clear that this “keeping up with the times” has as many advantages as it has its disadvantages.
Children and adults cannot seem to get their hands off these devices and doctors are beginning to voice their concerns with smartphone addiction. As a matter of fact, Korean doctors are calling it an addiction. Shin Dong Won, a doctor at Sunkyunkwan Hospital said, “Smartphone addiction has now become like any other addiction. Some have even said it’s like holding drugs in your hands. And personally, I think so too.”
Of course, the fact that there are tens of thousands of apps out there isn’t exactly helping the drug-like addiction either. And Han Ji Min (an elementary student) can relate. The student said, “After church sometimes I want to play with my friends outside but all they want to do is play games on their mobiles. It’s not fun anymore.”
What has the world come true? Technology, what have you done? We take this moment to remember the simpler times when all we had was board games e.g. Monopoly, Scrabble and card games e.g. “Snap”, “Happy Family”, “Uno” and good ol’ Saturday/Sunday morning cartoons. And “batu seremban”, and “congkak”, you name it.