SNS in Japan and the US

I join face/book for SNS. My frIends in f/b are entirely in Japan and the US. I have noticed they use it in different ways.  The US people often appeal their belief in some religion or in some political party while japanese scarcely do that way but post on something interesting or amusing around himself/herself, that is, if I could say in this way, something trivial. Of course, there are many exceptional cases in both countries.

What has made this difference? So far, it seems to be because of the heterogeity of the society or the preference for the homogeity in the society. The US is often told as a melting pot of races. The heterogeneity is a prerequisite for life. In such a society, it is recommended to appeal own idea or belief. On the other hand, Japan is believed to have been a homogenous society as for the race. Of course, there has been an argument against such a simplification. There have been a variety of minorities in the society, who are believed to be suppressed even at present. As a historical tradition, however, our society has regarded the homogenousness as a virtue. We have aimed and behaved to share somethig together but not to express own opinion different from others.  This seems to be the reason for the difference.

I don't know which is right or appropriate. Both might have their reason. I feel that our society is now getting more freedom in expressing own opinion even though it is not so obvious  as in the US is not recommended at all. I don't know if it is the right way to go or not. At least, we need to be trained to discuss openly here in Japan. Expressing own opinion different from the majority often is inclined to be taken as insanity or, at least, being out of the "atmosphere". The open mindedness to the minority seems quie insufficient. Maybe, it will be changed little by little. On the other hand, so far as I read in f/b, the appeal of own idea or of belief in the US is often too direct or too conclusive to accept the existence of the other ideas or beliefs. It doesn't seem to allow any further discussion. Especially, religious matter sometimes makes me sick.

SNS such as f/b is not suitable for a tool for thorough discussion. It seems to be the case that we scarcely could make any detailed discussion in any internet media like f/b or twitter etc. There seems to be rasion detre for such as blog or even conversational CW on the radio. Me? Of course, conversational CW comes first. But f/b as well from time to time. Couldn't it be the first step for further discussion? Does it still remain an inner circle especially in Japan?


  1. Hi Shin,

    I signed out of f/b many months ago. Some people say I am a Luddite. I found the one-line posts to be rather empty and trivial at times. At other times they were inflammatory and designed to shock or outrage. Maybe I am a misanthrope as well! My daughter was sad to see me sign out. F/B is her window on the world, like so many other young people. Now we communicate by telephone and email without the whole world seeing our correspondence, which is as it should be. SNS is general seem to provoke misunderstanding between people and extreme points of view. There is a great deal of hatred, both xenophobic and religious.The internet has really not done much for peace and tolerance, unfortunately.

    By the way I sent you a DVD today which I hope you will enjoy. I hope you have a DVD player :-)

  2. oh just to reassure you Shin, it is NOT 17th century French harpsichord, you will be pleased to know :-)

    1. John,

      I was almost moved to read your message. It is just what I have thought about this one sentence media in the internet. To understand each other, discussion is necessary. But such as f/b won't allow any discussion. Only just a few words or a sentence. It won't let us understand the other deeper. So far, I won't quit f/b. I would do with it as it is. No more expectation.

      Being desparate for such as f/b is quite normal reaction, I believe. It is an expression that you seek for any real relationship with people. No misanthrope at all.

      I hope CW conversation will survive as it has been. Hopefully, it will turn out not to be like f/b.

      I will look forward receiveing the DVD. Not 17th french? What is that? I will enjoy it with my wife for sure. Thanks in advance. Maybe, I will try to take video with my camera for the practice of piano trio if possible and send it to you. No, I do never insist ours is comparable to the performance you sent to me!

      Enjoy the rest of your holidays.