2Q18 vs 2018: The Mongolian Parallel World of Shielded Nomads and Demandable Urbanites Part 2
Luxurious Individualism of Mongolia
I recognized few years back the effects and the use of the media that is surrounding me is becoming difficult to spot, because it plays a fair part in my life.
When I open my Instagram and type the word @instameetulaanbaatar, the results are shocking. I know for a fact that all those accounts and people’s life reflected through Instagram pictures are of my home, Ulaanbaatar.
However, I no longer believe it is my hometown, after scrolling through the pictures longer than five minutes. Those pictures show elegancy and luxury, the things that I do not encounter when I walk down the streets of my hometown, instead I see people struggling.
I see 14 and 15 year old kids stressing over the “pretty and nice looking” pictures on their facebook and instagram.
It is heartbreaking to witness when the Instagram and Facebook is used as a tool mostly to gain a social status which is also invisibly resulting the youth to focus on such unimportant factors of the globalization.
The well known accounts who are most followed tend to have much luxury captures and lifestyles reflected through their pictures.
I often wonder what effects this is going to have on the youth of Mongolia. Can we situate our youth in the right direction toward the right definition of development and globalization? But before answering this question, let’s dig into the current situation and the facts.
The 21st century is a technological era that supports the individual’s ability to thrive in the society with the support of a social status that is gained through the media itself which highlights personal ambition and individualism.
The technology and the media is a tool that helps us to diversify our personal ambitions. It gives us, the individuals, an access to cosmopolitan individualism which is one of the significant factors of the globalization.
The number of Mongolian students to study abroad rapidly increased while the Mongolian fan page of Game of Thrones, and One Direction on Facebook members exceed over 15000.
One more student crosses the Mongolian border to pursue education, one more member is subscribed on the fan page of Game of Thrones. An Instagram, a Facebook and a Twitter is widely used in everyday life of city dwellers as well as English. English is taught in most of the public and private schools as a second language.
Each year, new English language training centers are being established in the market that also consults students to study in America, Korea, China and the list goes on.
One of the reason that the youth is fleeing to abroad is from the pressure of the society that experience in abroad is being essential to pursue a qualified career and a guaranteed life. Also, the personal confidence and the variety of knowledge and opportunities that are offered in abroad should be addressed.
Nevertheless, after analyzing the number of Mongolian students who are studying abroad and their value of the social media, and social identity being valued more and becoming more popular between them, there is a definite affect of the media in the globalizing world that is effecting them to value cosmopolitan individualism.
The youth of Mongolia is using the media and consuming such technological distraction in their lives. It seems as if that they are sinking in the “Machinic Perception”, because such technology offers them a new image and a distraction from the real reality that surrounds them, giving them the ability to shape and create their own reality through media.
Mark Dueze in his journal “Media Life”, he writes “As media become pervasive and ubiquitous, forming the building blocks for our constant remix of the categories of everyday life they become invisible — we become blind to that which shapes our lives the most”.
Intensely growing technological media is automatically planting the idea that the cosmopolitan individualism shielded under the globalization and diversity is more important than the value of the national identity.
The youngsters are dreaming about such luxury and materialistic values as if it is a development, because everyone they see and surround them is also doing the same in a way it turned invisible.
The influence of the mass media can be manipulative yet also a significant factor that takes place in the development of a country if people are aware that they own the media but not the media owns them.
The real reality of Ulaanbaatar city which shows 60% of Mongolian population still struggling to have an access in their home. Obviously this real lifestyle cannot be ignored by anyone who have been in Ulaanbaatar and the two different lifestyles of Ulaanbaatar which resides in one city.
I only ask people to acknowledge the reality rather than creating a smog of built reality around themselves by the social media.
The best example is the movie “Coraline”. In the movie, a girl named Coraline struggles to face her reality of moving to a new house, and busy working parents. She is constantly bored and unhappy.
In her new house, Coraline finds a small door that leads her to a parallel world of her reality where everything is magical as the way she wants her reality to be.
The film perfectly reflects the idea of creating this other non existing reality to distract ourselves from the real facts of reality that actually surround us.
The media and the technology has this ability as the same way the Coraline crawls through the secret small door into a fake reality which offers us such non existing reality that lures us far from the significant factors of our lives.
However when Mongolian air pollution exceeded the normal state, parents started to protest against the silence of the government. In the case of the intense air pollution of Mongolia, the tool that gathered people to protest was Facebook. This is one of the case that media and the technology played a significant role in improving citizen’s welfare by the citizens themselves to be heard by the government.
The media itself is an educational tool that can be used to march towards the development if one acknowledges their surrounding reality first. In order to use media and technology as an educational tool rather than using it as a distraction from our surrounding reality, one has to be aware of how much the media can take part in our lives.
Team or else Me
To address the right usage of media between the youth of Mongolia in a globalizing world, the value of nationality must be addressed. Value of nationalism is lost and difficult to define in the society that we live in today, since our society is driven by the individualism and it demands us to do so.
In the case of Mongolia, the two parallel worlds are, one being tilted to the importance of the individualism too much, not a team. Other part being tilted to the spirit of the team too much taking no actions that has to be taken by each of them.
We have to understand that the idea of individualism takes significant place in order to put the spirit of the team (the nationalism) into an action.
That is why, the bridge that connects the two parallel worlds of Mongolian society has to built in between them.
We are aware that national identity is much deeper idea that runs on spiritual, philosophical and sociological levels that cannot by defined by a simple example.
The nationalism is not only about the value of the culture or the spirit of the team, it is also about how we perceive ourselves which connects to the core idea of the individualism.
It seems like we are trying to consume this feeling of how we are perceiving ourselves through media. Media distraction can be manipulative and it might be changing how we see ourselves especially when the youth is trying to develop their own identity in a world full of non existing realities made by each and every one of us.
Reality has to be acknowledged, we cannot run away from it forever. I hope people use social media in a good use not to depress the other peers of their school to gain social status.
Let me end the article by the quote by Mark Zuckerberg:
“Change starts local. Even global changes start small — with people like us. In our generation, the struggle of whether we connect more, whether we achieve our biggest opportunities, comes down to this — your ability to build communities and create a world where every single person has a sense of purpose”.