10 January 2012

Indonesian Internet Social Culture Phenomenon

Before the booming of smartphone, here internet is mostly held by internet cafe, universities, workplace or subscribed home internet. Now everyone want a tablet or at least smartphone to replace their ordinary mobile phone and people start enjoying the "boxed" internet.

Boxed? the reason behind internet access mostly didn't came from true curiosity but rather a trend or prestige. Recently, I watch a commercial TV ads which illustrate how a rural newcomer always get everything for free in Jakarta because she have connections from facebook. Not surprising, here connection is too important, a mandatory survival asset for anyone. Which probably lead to common acceptance of nepotism and eventually corruption as a hobby.

The Rings
On regular basis it's natural to see someone in facebook have hundreds of "friends" and if they are university attendances/graduates we could expect a thousand friends to be not uncommon. I admittedly got nowhere a hundred friends and still hardly define most of them as friend. Social network such as facebook, youtube and twitter are the top three most accessed here and I bet indonesian users has major percentage too. For people who enjoy internet before smartphone era they are likely also a kaskuser. Kaskus a thrilling indonesian community forum who also define culture on it's own way (actually it's the kaskusers themselves since the website is nowhere technically great), by the means of a rather simple forum users has been trading among community although it's more like an auction.

The constant dependency of those social rings mean most internet users unlikely doing research on their own, it's expected that most will trust what their friend said rather than googling themselves. Although language is possible barrier why they get stuck, it's not as comparable to why baidu is popular among chinese or why yahoo (japan) is popular among japanese cause we use latin word not kanji! So why? why can't they break the chain and fly free? Because they don't want it... feed me feed me that's what they ask from the internet

Peculiar Habits
Ever heard of "pertamax" word? a possibly kaskus inherited culture which is a pun that literally means "first", on foreign sites they sometime actually using "first", yes the habit of first commenter who wrote nothing but that word. More importantly why I bothered to mention it? because it show no sign of decreasing which is embarrassing. Many times in indonesian sites commenter (different individuals) are repeating the same piling up request like they are keep shouting "feed me!" "me" just "the particular me". No big deal people once a noob after all... no this is an ignorance habit with pathetic attitude. Stop it already

Anonymity and security awareness is also much less regarded here, the fact that many young girls get kidnapped from dating via facebook is very amusing and yet the case still continuing as the preventive action lose to internet (smartphone) booming and parental ignorance a.k.a noobs are born everyday. As I mentioned before prestige is another important asset after connection. Having a smartphone certainly lift your level of reputation even if you're not smart enough to operate, that's another issue. Typically enough having a car even if it just parked most of the time is the effective way to show who you are but that's off the topic.

Most users in facebook will also talk about almost everything verbosely (and it still happens). Despite all these habits, I rarely found an indonesian language spamming company in my email's trash, ironic huh? well someone will start that :-)

Youtube's popularity even trigger bad TV habit. A popular TV program regularly take youtube videos and exhibit them with almost no validity verification (with proper disclaimer wording: "...of our version"). Hey hey in a country where research is not respected an unwritten rule apply: what you see or what you heard is what you trust.

Arguably Indonesia play important role in social network in quantity at least (and again as potential prey for consumerism) but I hope people start leave that culture and practicing comparative search via google or try to read wikipedia at least for goodness. It's embarrassing to see most local (indonesia features) photographs in wikipedia being contributed by foreigner instead. (Ugh it struck my pride) how lazy we are!

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