Daniel Thompson is an official CAPA blogger for spring 2016, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A sociology major at Lebanon Valley College, he is studying abroad in Shanghai this semester.
In this week's post, Daniel talks about social media, its impact on our lives and taking time time to enjoy our personal relationships as he's observed in Shanghai culture.
It has been a long week here in china. The weather has had a positive impact on us getting our schoolwork done and making time for personal conversations with family. It has been raining on and off for the past four days in Shanghai.
Being indoors without the distractions of the city made me realize how frustrated I can get with not having access to social media. Not being able to post pictures on Instagram or tweet on Twitter. It is so bad that Snapchat isn’t even opening up. All I can say, as we say in New York: “the struggle is real.” We hear comments from older generations all the time how we rely on social media too much. Since being in China, I can truly agree.
In my International Communication course, we talked about the potential outcomes of society relying more on internet communications then face-to-face contact and how Chinese would rather have a more personal relationship then just a follower online. At first I didn’t really agree with what my professor was saying and had thoughts that maybe he just doesn’t understand our generation to the fullest.
Going out this weekend, I paid more attention. I noticed more Chinese people talking or walking with friends and family then talking on the phone. Alex, who is one of my close friends here, pointed out when we were walking in downtown Shanghai, an area where almost no one was interacting on their phone at all, but looking at the scenery and eating with their loved ones.
That made me more aware of how special moments like these are tangible and important to realize. Not too many times in the States do we ever see a group of people in one place who can just enjoy life for one moment and not look at their phones.
Shanghai is such a busy city, yet it still holds a peaceful and beautiful day-to-day lifestyle.
I wonder what journey and obstacles this week will bring me.
Zahjian until next Thursday!
Daniel's journey continues every Thursday so stay tuned.