'Generations lack communication in digital era'
The author of the best-selling book “You Are Suffering Because You Are Young,” said interaction between generations has become ever more limited despite today’s era of digital media and social networking services. The book outlines the difficulties the younger generation is facing today.
He said the older generation needs to make a greater effort to understand youngsters to enhance communication with them.
“Despite the development of digital technologies, communication between the generations is dwindling. Human networks have expanded but they have become shallow and superficial,” Kim Ran-do, author and ecology professor at Seoul National University, said in an interview.
“On social networks, people now have countless friends to ask where to find a good restaurant but don’t have a single friend that they can spend the night sharing their problems with,” he said.
What is worse is that the older generation has a lack of understanding of the current economic and social challenges that the younger one is facing.
“They simply assume that the young are going through the same experiences they had when they were younger, which is definitely not true,” he said.
Kim’s book has been popular among young people because it provides words of comfort. It became a best-seller upon its release in 2010. His lectures are highly favored among students, and Kim has become a mentor-like figure to the youth in the nation.
Kim spoke on the same topic at the Culture Communication Forum held from Aug. 4 to 6 in Seoul, hosted by the Corea Image Communication Institute. He participated as a representative at the forum where experts of culture and communication from around the world were invited to experience Korean culture and exchange ideas on communication.
Kim said times have changed and Korea has achieved great levels of economic growth since decades ago. The new generation has been able to enjoy greater material wealth and therefore the previous generation believe that they are better off, he said.
“But with fewer job opportunities in the tough job market, the young now face cutthroat competition. They also lack the comfort that extended families used to provide, as these have become a lot smaller. At the same time, as people become hooked to their smartphones, true communication has virtually disappeared,” he said.
“Young people lack the fundamental resources, money and relationships and ultimately the opportunities they need to succeed. The older generation should to try to understand what the youth of today are going through, and reach out to them.”