The city of connections: urban social networking in Seoul
Choi, Jaz Hee-jeong (2008) The city of connections: urban social networking in Seoul. In MindTrek: 12th international conference on Entertainment and media in the ubiquitous era, October 7-9, 2008, Tampere, Finland.
This paper investigates intersections of youth, technology, and urban space in Seoul. It examines what the author calls 'transyouth': in the South Korean context, they are between the ages of 18 and 24, situated on the delicate border between digital natives and immigrants in Prensky's  terms. In the first section, the paper sets out the technosocial environment of contemporary Seoul. This is followed by a discussion of social networking processes derived from interviews conducted in 2007-8 with Seoul trans-youth about their 'lived experiences of the city.' Interviewees reported how they interact with and within the city's unique environment. The paper develops a theme of how technosocial convergence (re)creates urban environments and argues for a need to consider such user-driven spatial recreation in designing urban technosocial environments. This is explored in three spaces of different scales: Cyworld as an online social networking site; cocoon housing - a form of individual residential space which is growing rapidly in a number in Korean cities - as a private living space; and u-City as the future Seoul.
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