2018 ASEAN-Korea Youth Network Workshop

The Importance of Maintaining the Balance between Virtuality and Reality

——Benson Sun

Guilin Tourism University, China

A full and meaningful workshop had been smoothly held from 2 to 12 July, 2018 in Seoul, Korea and Manila, Philippines. As one of two Chinese participants, I feel so grateful that I have learned so much useful information and known another new world, which expanded the scope of my knowledge. At this moment, I would like to share some of my points of view toward my four favorite activities in this wonderful workshop.

The theme of this workshop is ‘Youth and Digitalization’. In my opinion, both youth and digitalization can stand for future. Youth is the hope for a nation and digitalization is definitely the trend of our modern society. During this workshop, I witnessed lots of brand-new technology which is being widely-used nowadays or about to be applied in the coming years. It seems that these series of technology are smarter and faster than human beings in terms of working. In the future, how do we maintain the balance between virtuality and reality is an issue which is worthwhile pondering for us.
Digitalization is changing our world

Two of my favorite activities in Korean program are visiting Seoul Transport Operation and Information Service, TOPIS, and VRight-Sinchon.

Digital technology, including AI and VR, all belong to virtual world from my perspective. When we moved to TOPIS, to be honest, I was amazed. In this high-end center, I started to learn how human beings know and control the world with the help of digitalization. The workers there just sit at the offices then they can have an overview even the details of the traffic in Seoul. Moreover, different data are shown in the big screen to make people enjoy a more convenient and transparent city life. Taking advantage of this sort of valuable data, the staff in TOPIS may find a way to conduct vehicle scheduling accordingly. This is how digitalization works. It makes city more effective.

VRight-Sinchon is a place which are collected various VR equipment. It was a lot of fun there. It is merely a 3-storey building, while you can ‘fly in the sky’ and ‘ride on the road’ inside. I am not joking. VR has made these amazing things happen! When I experienced the roller coaster and other similar exciting games, frankly speaking, I do not think I was indoor. It is too real to be virtual. What shocked me is that I can be different characters in different games. Probably this can explain why some of teenagers even parts of adults always binge themselves in their virtual world like computer and mobile phones.


Reality is warmer

Regarding the Philippines program, I like the welcoming dinner and Rappler visiting best.

Compared to Seoul, Manila is not that modern and digital. However, what I experienced in Manila gave me a deep thinking as well

I clearly remember the exotic instruments and enthusiastic performance during the welcoming dinner. My tour was tiring then. But the fair-sounding music and sweet smiles both refreshed me. I can say I cannot enjoy this kind of wonderful experience in the virtual world. We can have interaction, have an eye contact and have spiritual communication in real world, but all these seemly simple behaviors cannot be accomplished in the virtual world at least at this moment.


Welcoming Dinner Welcoming Dinner2

Another my favorite site is Rappler, which is a news agency based in the Philippines. In this information era, news has penetrated our life. News media, the bridge between communities and governments, have their own ways to develop themselves, flattering the government in spite of the people or telling the truth and facing the challenges form governments at the same time. Rappler not only tells the truth, but also tries its best to help those who are in need. I think this a respectable news media, which is highly socially-responsible.

Rappler Rappler2


I cannot deny that virtual world sometimes is more exciting and new technology promotes us to live in a more convenient life. Digitalization absolutely is changing our world. However, for those who are living in cyber space and those who are getting indifferent in love, friendship and truth, I would love to say, ‘my dear friends, please maintain the balance between reality and virtuality.

I firmly believe that only we have a clear mind at the same time embrace the new technology, can we avoid getting lost in this information explosion era!

The 2018 ASEAN-Korea Youth Network Workshop connected nations and ideas. It is also a platform that enabled inclusiveness. The staff and all the participants exhibited foresight, creativity and international perspective.