What did Carlton, the CEO of Arbeon,
try to solve in creating
Boom. The entrance of social media!
"Are you suffering from KA.FA.IN Blue?!"
Is this story about coffee? Nope :) but I believe that a lot of you have already heard of KAFAIN Blue. KAFAIN Blue is a newly coined term in Korea with the first syllables of Kakao, Facebook, and Instagram, and it means the relative deprivation and inferiority complex that social media users feel.
As communication technology continues to develop(Click), social media platforms have risen. Now, everyone in the world can go beyond the physical barrier to communicate not only with close friends and acquaintances but also with anyone they don't even know. It came a time when anyone could easily share pretty pictures while looking at pictures of a couple having a wonderful time at a beach on the other side of the globe, in the comfort of our own bed.
The impact of social media on communication, marketing, commerce, world news, and information was nothing less than immense. Social media platforms have made a gigantic contribution to completing the "global community," a concept that we only could have imagined in grade school textbooks!
But aren't you... a little bit exhausting...?
Everything in this world has two sides. Some people are starting to feel discomfort with the existing social media platforms that are so familiar to us now.
Let's take a look at the world of social media for a moment.
You can see the limitless supply of splendor, beauty, extravagance, delicacies, and the best-looking people on the planet. While not all contents are about showing off, many people tend to create content based on their happier experiences. Here stands the reason why everybody on social media uniformly looks like they are the happiest in the world. Of course, we cannot blame those users for trying to share their happy moments, but did you know that some users have been beginning to receive this trend negatively?
"Persona" is a theater term meaning the representation of the self projected to others. It is also often used as an "alter ego." Many people who upload their happier version on social media may argue that 'the version of myself who looks pretty and fun on social media is also me!" but to be honest, it would be closer to a "decorated," or "curated" version of oneself. This usage pattern of being conscious about other people sometimes advances ultimately to the cases of losing one's real ego. While one may say that "I am myself," that representation of oneself may be imposed by other people, bound by how other people see them.
Now, let's look from the perspective of the viewers in social media.
We open the social media app like any other day. As always, it is filled with images of pretty and awesome clothes, luxurious hotels, delicious-looking food, and beautiful beaches. How pretty. We may think about how nice it would be if we could experience any of that. However, we have our busy day of work ahead. Having the same experience with them either in respect of time or in respect of money is not very realistic to achieve. From that moment, one might start to feel the distance between the world one lives in and the world they live in. If it becomes serious enough, it may advance to the feeling of deprivation and depression while comparing the glamor on social media with one's own reality. This is the core message of the phrase "CAFAIN Blue."
Some may dismiss this sentiment, discounting it to be "typical for pessimistic people." However, it does not really look like that is the case. According to the research team at the University of Arkansas in the United States, their survey on the relationship between social media usage and depression over a 6-month period revealed that 26.9% of participants who use social media for 300 minutes or more per day and 32.3% of participants who use social media between 196 and 300 minutes experienced depression.
|I get anxious if I don't connect to social media for a long time||4 - 6 items|
Potential risk of developing depression via social media
7 items or more
Social media addiction and depression
|I frequently check social media during work or personal gatherings|
|I have a difficult time reducing the time I spend on social media|
|Getting no feedback on the post I uploaded on social media, such as a like or comment, makes me anxious|
|I feel depressed if I get fewer likes|
|I frequently have trouble sleeping after seeing a post or picture from another person|
|I take a selfie for social media once or more a day because I want to hear a compliment on my looks|
|I feel that I am behind the trend if a restaurant or a place that I'm not aware of becomes viral on social media|
|I have purposely visited a restaurant or tourist spot after seeing its picture on social media|
|I need to take a picture when I have fancy food, and it annoys me if someone eats first before I take a picture|
[ Self-assessment table for social media depression ]
Can I rather focus on
the "here and now" of my experience?
If the existing social media are defined by the usage pattern of looking at "other people (not me) experience things (that I haven't experienced) at another place (where I am not)," we have recognized that more users than people tend to believe are fed up with it.
We are bound to be conscious of other people when we try to post something on social media. It is a part of human nature. In today's world, it has come to the point where people who don't care about how other people think are often considered to be more suited to the existing social media.
Carlton Myeong, Arbeon's CEO, concentrated on this phenomenon. He had a vision wondering, "What would it be like if we created a social media platform 'centered on my experience' and not 'other people's experiences?'" In order to create a service centered on "my experience," the spotlight should have been given to the users' "current state." He also came to realize that all human beings are placed amid some object and space. If the communication takes place where users can hear and feel, Carlton thought it might resolve the deprivation users feel while using the existing social media, and he decided to create this service.
The birth of Arbeon,
the social media closest to us!
Yesterday's social media have flourished as successful business models by aggressively exploiting the "human nature (of desiring external validation)." It is true that numerous users around the world take advantage of tremendous enjoyment and information through Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. This fact proves their excellence in enriching people's life.
Meanwhile, Arbeon is a service aiming to provide a culture where everyone can communicate with "my own experiences and feelings, relevant to myself, at the place closest to myself." One thing you need to understand is that these two services are similar but completely different and cannot be compared.
Look around you for a moment.
The place where you are right now and an object in front of your eyes are connected to you in some way. Wallets, keys, cosmetics, and drinks are representations of your preferences. Home, office, amusement park, or tourist attraction are representations of the situations that you find yourself in. As you can see, objects and places can be a medium of expressing your other self, and communication through this medium can form the story of the "true self (ego)."
Do not forget that your precious day-to-day routines can be enriched with enormous communities, enormous expansions, and enormous connections :)