Perspectives June 2017 | Youth Hong Kong
Looking to the Future
Becoming part of you I
f you grew up in Hong Kong after 1997, technology has always been an integral part of your life. Samuel Lau considers how technology continues to change us all.
I began to surf the net as a primary school student around 2007. In those good old days, I could already chat with friends through MSN, play online games and have my own blog on Xanga. That might sound a lot, but for most of the time I was not on the internet. Nowadays, we all rely on it. “Everybody has a cell phone, whatever is in your pocket or brain, you basically can’t live without it …. it’s part of your body now,” said Mamoru Oshii, the wellknown director of the film “Ghost in the Shell.” It was one of the most thought-provoking ideas I have ever heard. I am definitely a pro-internet person. The internet is so efficient. If you have a business idea but lack technicians and partners to launch your programme, you can go to Linkedin to build your network. If you are passionate about learning, you can find Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) like Coursera. If you want to be a superstar or an opinion leader, you can start uploading your videos on YouTube. All you need is about 100,000 followers according to the long tail concept [see box.]
I think of internet access as a social benefit. With the rise of social media and networking platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, people around the world can find and contact each other much more easily than before. Even locally it helps to build networks and I was surprised to learn that the Chief Executiveelect considered for a long time whether or not to go on Facebook. Most of the world’s politicians did so long ago, even President Xi Jinping. Are we slipping? What about Hong Kong’s online commerce? We have great infrastructure but our system has not moved on. Take the Octopus card. It was the most innovative payment system in the world when it was launched in 1997. Today, the most innovative is not homegrown. It comes from mainland China. With Wechat Pay or Alipay you can use your mobile