Thursday, October 11, 2007


All the cool kids here in Mokpo Facebook; the current count for the Mokpo group is just under 80 people but compare this to's population of 109 for the entire province of Jeollanam-do and you can see that that it's the way of playing in the social circles of fellow ex-pats and their English speaking Korean friends.

I have mixed feelings about Facebook (I'm not alone either) and if it hadn't been for wanting to play in their reindeer games I would have never signed up. The Mokpo Facebook users treat the site as their social organization tool and I'm cool with that. But it's important to recognize that Facebook at best an interactive high school year book and shouldn't be shoe horned into other uses.

In North America discrimination by Facebook is illegal but that doesn't mean it won't happen and a little identity management, if just knowing not to be an idiot, is crucial. Facebook makes stalking so much easier and just because you know stalking is wrong, it doesn't mean that you won't do it, from the comfort of your desk, waiting for your torrent to download. It's the same issue for all of the other social networking sites, but here, within a Korean context, you do need to be more careful thanks to the different libel libel laws. Joe McPherson of ZenKimchi was charged and went though quite an ordeal before being found not-guilty.

Then there's the fairly recent development of public profiles, which transform Facebook from the high school year book to the high school white pages; the option is defaulted to off but really if anybody with an e-mail address can join is there any difference? So I've signed up, but will most likely let the account lapse when I leave Korea, like so many of my other online sandboxes.

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