as a weekly practice I listen to npr and do a little sketch on one of the stories. take a look, you can click on the illustration to make it bigger!

Friday, July 11, 2008

free speech in china? text me.

If Romeo and Juliet lived in modern China, their dialogue would probably be in 70-character text messages. That's how college student Wong Lei's boyfriend courted her. "He told me his experiences from the time he was born through college, all in text messages," says Wong, a college student. Text messaging is the most popular form of communication in China. Six hundred million Chinese have cell phones — that's twice the population of the United States and three times the number of Chinese with Internet access. Text messages are cheaper than a phone call by about half. No one in China has voice mail, so it's the surest way to get a message to someone.

The Chinese prefer texting to talking for cultural reasons as well, says Alvin Graylin, the CEO of mInfo, a Shanghai-based company that supplies software for mobile devices to enable them to search the Internet. According to Graylin, part of the appeal is that texting allows traditionally reserved Chinese to say more than they would in person.

Graylin says the Chinese have a hard time expressing deeply personal emotions. A text message allows them to do it without bumping up against old cultural norms.

-excerpt from NPR

No comments: