Technology in China is different than that of the United States. Though the same technology seems to exist in the United States, it seems much of it is more efficiently utilized in China. For example, China is heavily monitored, and the hundreds if not thousands of cameras that watch the streets are all recorded in high definition, unlike in the United States.
Communication technology, however, is different. Most popular social media platforms used in the United States (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) are blocked in China due to the government’s desire to censor. Based on my own observations, WeChat seems to be a very large medium used in China for communication. In China, everyone asks other individuals for their WeChat barcodes or usernames rather than asking for phone numbers – that is how popular the application is.
At first, I thought WeChat was just used for texting, phone calls, and posting pictures and statuses, yet it has many more functions. On our third to last day, I discovered organizations can be followed and personal interactions can be made through television shows on the application.
One night, I was watching a Chinese game show and noticed that every now and then a pop-up would show up notifying the audience to shake their phone, which allows WeChat to connect to other individuals shaking their phone’s at the same time. This tool is used to connect audience members with other fans in order to build a friendship by discussing the happenings of the show. This was actually one of my favorite ideas because it is like following a hashtag on Twitter; however, you are connecting to an individual more so than one conversation, so you can always go back and talk to them again and at later times via private conversation.