Is the Japanese culture of smartphones really that different from other countries? Tourists have already noticed this …
Life has really changed since we all moved from being smart to smartphones. Now we all have tiny computers in our pockets that we can use to stay in touch (and watch funny videos with cats). But in Japan, where there has always been a unique culture of smartphones, the transition from clamshell phones (they have gara-kei) to smartphones was even more pronounced.
So, what do foreign visitors and residents of Japan notice in the Japanese culture of smartphones? A recent article from Yahoo! Japan listed the 10 most common observations of foreign authors.
1) “In Japan, people are very respectful of the rest of the subway.”
In Japan, talking on the phone on the train is considered extremely rude and, as a rule, not allowed. Even the guys from Top Gear were convicted of using the phone on the Shinkansen train during one episode! People also tend to care about when and where they are on the phone, since many Japanese prefer to avoid inconvenience to others and not attract public attention. In many other countries, some people do not care who listen to their conversation …
2) “It can be seen that many adults play games for smartphones”
Who said video games were for kids? The assumption that only children will play games on their phones is very narrow, and in a country like Japan, where a huge industry is built around games for smartphones, such thinking does not hold water. Since many people here travel a long time by train, playing games on smartphones is a convenient way to pass the time. You will also notice that adults of both sexes also play on portable consoles in the train.
3) “Lots of people prefer the iPhone”
When smartphones first became popular in Japan, many people began to choose the iPhone, and they became incredibly popular. Nowadays, you can already see the full range of models in the hands of people, as other companies produce their own smartphones as the market grows. Samsung, Sony and LG occupy rather high positions in the list, but there are also models made only for Japanese mobile operators.
4) “No one uses the speakerphone for calls”
We all had a situation where it seemed that everyone was walking and talking with themselves. In Japan, people either use headphones or hold the phone closer to their mouths. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the Japanese do not want to attract attention or do not want to look like they are talking to their imaginary friend.
5) “They communicate by sending food photos”
For the Japanese, lunch or dinner, a good start to the conversation, because they exchange photos of their food every day. Thanks to Instagram, the number of photos with food has increased hundreds of times.
6) “Many people use their phone while walking”
In Japan, the phenomenon is known as aruki-sumaho (literally “walking smartphone”), in Japan, this phenomenon is usually not taken seriously, and, nevertheless, it happens absolutely everywhere. In populous cities, such as Tokyo, remote work from your phone can become an accident due to the negligence of pedestrians. The subway is even more dangerous when one wrong step can lead you to the railroad tracks. Some Japanese smartphones even have a built-in function that warns you and sometimes prohibits use completely when your phone detects that you are going. Of course, this is just an extra feature.
7) “Many people use images of their children or popular characters as their avatars”
Many people in Japan have a strong sense of privacy, and many use pseudonyms on the Internet, and also refuse to use their faces on social networks. If you have ever visited a dating site in Japan, you know that you can find a lot of people who replace their photos with pictures. For us, this is not a very strange phenomenon, but many people in Japan have a clear distinction between their work and personal life, it is often necessary.
8) “People get angry if you try to look at your smartphone while you work”
We have all heard that the Japanese are working very hard. However, we do not all know that this is often just for show. Japanese companies are notorious places of wasting time, meaningless prolonged meetings, excessive paperwork and many failures. However, it is important that it looks as if you are working hard. That is why you can often see how store employees run, like headless chickens, from one end of the store to the other, to perform some routine task, even though it may be dangerous. One quick glance at a smartphone can ruin the illusion of zeal.9
9) “People often use their phones during dinner”
We think this item applies not only in Japan but also in any other country where people have access to technology. But even despite the fact that the Japanese respect their employees and friends, yet the notice of work remains important for them in all situations.
10) “They do not use Siri”
We do not know how many readers use Siri, but in Japan, the bot called Wrynn, created by Microsoft, is popular in Japan.
In Japan, there are many interesting people who like to investigate new and even old ones, one of which we have already told in our recent article: https://asiarelax.ru/ekskliuzivnye-kadry-radioaktivnykh-g/