Let’s get a little cultural!

Hey all!

So, in past English classes, the class has talked about in particular how technology has truly changed our lives because it has given us the potential to talk and connect with anyone or any kind of information at any given moment of the day. This has created a virtual web or people and information that may be traded any and all the time. However, I disagree. I know technology has the power to do wonderful and amazing things, but I also believe that it hinders our ability to truly communicate. Now because of texting and social media, I can be socially awkward and talk to anyone. Many people may see this as a gift, but personally, I see it as a curse. Yes, it gives us this ability, but because of that, we never learn to communicate in person. Now I am able to cower behind a computer screen and talk to people, while never learning how to get over my social fears and talk to people. I feel like because of this ability, we have become a culture or lazy human beings who have “virtual parties” in our chairs, without getting out and experiencing anything. I mean what happened to the block parties?

Did those just disappear because we didn’t want to move from the couch? I feel like we as human beings have lost our ability to talk and communicate with each other in person because we have this wealth of knowledge right at our fingertips. So I want to encourage everyone to get moving. America let’s move! Let’s become active once again! It’s fun (so this counts as a fun post) to get up, get active, and get to know each other! How do you know people that you meet online are who they say they are if you don’t meet them in person? Yes if we all did that then we wouldn’t have the show Catfish to entertain us, but come on, lets go meet up. Let’s build some community, fun, and memories together. Some great places to do this is festivals, or large public places where you can get to know people while possibly learning, or getting food. Which is exactly what I did this weekend. This past weekend I went to a Japanese cultural festival with my mom, uncle, and grandma. It was the first one they had ever had, and it was held in the park behind the Huntington beach central library. It was packed with people who were there to absorb some culture and just have a great time. Perk! I also got to try a famous, Samurai Burrito!

It was pretty good, but I’m not sure if I would wait an hour and a half for another one. At the festival, they were also serving shaved ice, okonomiyaki (japanese pancake) and ramen burger. I really wanted to try the ramen burger, but apparently everyone else had the same idea because the line was at least 2 and a half to 3 hours long, but everyone kept saying how delicious it was.

I absolutely loved going to the Japanese cultural festival. It was a great experience because I learned a lot about my culture from first-hand experience, not from my computer screen, which in turn will make it more memorable for me. I also reunited with some friends that I had parted with after middle school, I met new people, and did I mention I got some delicious food. After eating, we sat down and watched a “band” playing on these big taiko drums.

The drum looked like this. I learned that they are made of true leather and hand crafted from wood. However, due to the extreme expenses (the drums would cost thousands of dollars), many groups had begun using recycled wine barrels for the outside of the drum. This would greatly reduce the cost of the drum. I listened to beautiful music and was in awe of the different sounds, and what emotion the drummers could play to.

All in all I had a great time at the Japanese cultural festival and was proud of its turn out. A little bit more of my faith in humanity had been restored. I want people to know that having technology at your fingertips is okay, but take everything in moderation. I am guilty of this as well, I lost my phone earlier today, and I honestly feel a bit naked. But I feel that our growing dependence on technology is frightening. We’re all becoming introverts, which in turn is causing us to hide behind our technological devices. We know so many facts about each other because we can connect through social media, but we don’t know each other personally. We are all losing our sense of community. Humans are social creatures, in order for us to remain so we need to socialize, which will ensure our survival as well as teach us to be the best we can at socializing and having fun. I hope you all begin to think about the impact of technology in your life, and hope to rebuild a sense of community with your fellowmen once again.


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