동국포스트

Saturday,July 20,2019
Last Update : 3:56 PM ET
상단여백
HOME Culture Current
"Snack Culture": Wanting Fresh and Simple Entertainment

   
 
  ▲ While waiting for her friend at Dongguk University, a student is enjoying her spare time with "Snack Culture," especially a web-toon, through her smart phone.  

  /Photograph by Kim Ji-seun

  

   On a subway, Student A is watching something on her smartphone and smiling. Despite smiling to herself, nobody is looking at her in a very strange way. This is because many of people around her are doing similar. What is she watching actually now? She is enjoying entertainment such as short videos, a small number of pictures, simple illustrations, and short articles using the smartphone. There is some common ground between all the subjects that she enjoys with the smartphone ? briefness. The phenomenon, where people enjoy short bits of entertainment in a wide variety of formats, is called “Snack Culture.”


What is “Snack Culture”?

   Like Student A and other passengers on the subway, a large number of people in Korea enjoy their leisure time by doing something just like eating snacks in their spare time. Such pattern of spending free time is called, the “Snack Culture.” It is an English word coined in Korea, referring to media contents that are easy to access and fast, just like eating snacks.

   The culture has a huge impact on a variety of fields such as IT, fashion, food, and broadcasting. Media contents of “Snack Culture” are relatively shorter than original contents ? generally, 43 seconds for videos, ten pictures, 17 illustrations, and 30 sentences for articles. Because of its briefness, it is not burdensome for modern people to enjoy their spare moments. Typically, web-cartoons and web-dramas dominate among digital users as their preferred choice of “Snack Culture.” Also, Pikicast, a smartphone application, is one of the most famous source of media content in Korea. It offers a wide range of diverse, interesting information and amusement simply by showing several pictures and short sentences, and its popularity has increased dramatically.

   Like Student A and other passengers on the subway, a large number of people in Korea enjoy their leisure time by doing something just like eating snacks in their spare time. Such pattern of spending free time is called, the “Snack Culture.” It is an English word coined in Korea, referring to media contents that are easy to access and fast, just like eating snacks. The culture has a huge impact on a variety of fields such as IT, fashion, food, and broadcasting.

    Media contents of “Snack Culture” are relatively shorter than original contents ? generally, 43 seconds for videos, ten pictures, 17 illustrations, and 30 sentences for articles. Because of its briefness, it is not burdensome for modern people to enjoy their spare moments. Typically, web-cartoons and web-dramas dominate among digital users as their preferred choice of “Snack Culture.” Also, Pikicast, a smartphone application, is one of the most famous source of media content in Korea. It offers a wide range of diverse, interesting information and amusement simply by showing several pictures and short sentences, and its popularity has increased dramatically.


Impacts of “Snack Culture”

   As modern people have become attracted by “Snack Culture”, the culture has a huge effect on many different areas. Firstly, it influences life style of youth and university students who use more smart devices than any other generations. Huh Eun-jin from the Department of Philosophy said, “I enjoy using Pikicast application. Thanks to ‘Snack Culture’, I can have fun in my spare time such as break time between lectures and even in my free time.” She added, “I think ‘Snack Culture’ is valuable for the youth because it provides useful information and new entertainment at the same time.” Moreover, “Snack Culture”, especially videos, affects the advertising industry.

   As many younger people enjoy short videos, a number of conglomerates have put advertisements in media that are used for “Snack Culture.” For example, CJ Oshopping, a major Internet Shopping Mall, grafted its advertisement and “Snack Culture” together, in a series of videos called “One-minute home shopping.” It showed an immediate response, from 250,000 views to 300,000 views for one advertising video. In addition, many other major companies started to invest large sums of money in content production. In case of Naver (www.naver.com), it announced that it will invest five billion won in a web content company for three years, from 2016 to 2018.


Cause of “Snack Culture”

   There are several reasons why “Snack Culture” is wide-spread in modern society. First of all, in these days, modern people are too busy to spend their time enjoying culture. Particularly, university students and youth have to focus on their future by studying and trying to gain diverse experience. Therefore, instead of going outside to enjoy their time, they prefer to stay inside and use their smartphones to enjoy their spare moments. 

   In addition, the popularization of smartphone helps “Snack Culture” to be wide-spread around the society. Statistically, 83 percent of Koreans possess their own smartphones, which indicates that almost all people are able to access new media content through their smart devices easily. Thus, this allows “Snack Culture” to take hold.

   Moreover, the development of technology has also played an important role in rise of “Snack Culture.” Professor Lee Ho-kyu from the Department of Journalism & Mass Communication noted, “Easy accessibility of the Internet contributed to the ‘Snack Culture’ boom in Korean society. Thanks to easy accessibility, anybody can be one of the members who creates and contributes to the development of new culture.” He said that not only experts but also amateurs get some opportunities to show their abilities in creating media content through the Internet. Then, this results in an increase in the variety of media content.

   Professor Lee further explained, “Web-cartoons are a representative example of the new content that is being created by amateurs. Instead of being edited by a publisher, several cuts of cartoon can be uploaded on the Internet in a breeze. This allows the creation more and more new media content.” Also, the invention of a digital clock has enabled people to differentiate seconds and minutes. This, in turn, allowed them to break down time into smaller pieces, leading to enjoyment of their leisure for a shorter periods of time.”

   With the constant development of “Snack Culture” and the increasing number people enjoying it, it is now no longer just one-dimensional culture that delivers information in a simple way. Instead, it is becoming to be a rather more complex form of culture. Since the media contents based on “Snack Culture” require not only new, unique information but also interesting stories and entertainment, there is much attention being directed towards the fields where “Snack Culture” can be applied. Regarding this, Professor Lee said, “Nobody cannot be sure about the future of ‘Snack Culture.’ Yet, we can guess that advertising industries will continue to use the method of ‘Snack Culture’ as their distinctive strategy to arouse audience’s interests.”

김지선  jiseunk@dongguk.edu

<저작권자 © 동국포스트, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

김지선의 다른기사 보기
icon인기기사
기사 댓글 0
전체보기
첫번째 댓글을 남겨주세요.
여백
여백
여백
Back to Top