Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Social Network is Breaking

South Korean teens are not social enough, so says a new study of 36 participating countries.  Out of those countries, South Korea ranks 35th in social scores with regards to relationship promotion and social cooperation.  However, South Korea is second behind Denmark in conflict management, most likely due to their knowledge of various democratic solutions to problems.

The results of the study reinforce the fact that Koreans emphasize educational knowledge over social interaction with others.  This is easy to understand as a teacher in Korea--I watch my students shuttle from public school to hagwon after hagwon with nary a pause.  The question of "what did you do this weekend?" is more often answered with "played video games" or "studied" than "played with my friends" these days.  These students appear to come in more tired than when they left on Friday, having spent the weekend inside instead of outside enjoying sunshine and fun.

Results were gathered through surveys of student participation in local and school communities, grading all of the above elements.  Surveyors noted that having high marks in all social skills, especially in its internal/external applications, is essential for teenagers in today's multi-cultural world.  These skills will allow for teenagers to work and live alongside others of different social and economic status with as much understanding as possible.

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