So for you of those who do not know, I am teaching a “Sociology of Facebook and Online Social Networks” course at UCLA. Link to my course site: http://sociologyoffacebook.com
Anyways, I assign weekly “experiments” which are to be done online which pertain to the weekly theme. So for this week, it was about the “Online Persona” and how easy it is to assume a false identity. My experiment: Pose as a Japanese Girl.
TLDR; I talk with a Sociologist who wants to travel abroad in Japan, who doesn’t like American culture and prefers the Japanese one. I convince him of my 21-year old Japanese girl identity, living in Tokyo.
(done on Omegle.com — a site that randomly connects you with strangers to chat)
You’re now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!
You: How you? ^.^”
Stranger: What about you?
You: Little tired….. T__T but o.k.
Stranger: Hard day?
You: Yes… very hard …
You: I had a fight with my boyfriend
Stranger: Never fun.
You: How was your day?
Stranger: Usual. Did nothing.
You: Where you live?
Stranger: In the United States……. ehhhhhh.
You: How is America??
Stranger: Living shouldn’t be just sitting around. I thikn that’s something done too often in America.
Stranger: Ehh, it’s alright if you live somewhere where you can do things often.
Stranger: How about you, miss?
Stranger: Ahhh. I’ll be there in a few months.
You: Ohhhhhhhhh really why??
Stranger: It’s a work-study trip.
Stranger: I plan on teaching English in Japan.
You: How exciting!!!
You: How long?
Stranger: This summer? 2 and a half weeks
Stranger: I have a feeling that, deep down, no foreigner is really desired for much longer than that.
You: We love foreigners
You: They bring such rich culture with them
Stranger: Perhaps… but I do not really desire to bring culture
Stranger: I wish to adopt culture
Stranger: I want to throw away what makes me American
Stranger: I dislike it.
Stranger: We’re vile. Rude. INhospitable sometimes.
Stranger: The peopel you meet in Japan, who are foreigners. They are most likely running away from what I am describing…
Stranger: Did you know about the girl who was raped in Japan, by a marine from here?
Stranger: She was murdered.
Stranger: Those kinds of things cannot be overlooked.
You: Oh no…
You: I haven’t heard
You: What happened?
Stranger: I’m not sure. But she was 15 years old. Raped and killed.
Stranger: The man who did it is in prison right now…
Stranger: But they were going to let him off. WHY would you let him off.
Stranger: I do not know.
You: But not all Americans are bad
You: You seem very nice
Stranger: Yeah. You’re right.
Stranger: I’m probably running for the wrong reasons.
Stranger: I could live here, I could stay.
Stranger: But I don’t want to.
Stranger: Is that okay? Am I allowed to live in Japan? Or… will it be a problem some day
You: No its fine!
You: Maybe you check visa status?
Stranger: I try hard to study and understand/read Japanese… I slowly develop, I understand culture and I am relative. I am a social scientist in college.
You: I’m not exactly sure…
You: What major?
Stranger: Social Science, concentration in Sociology
You: Where is your school?
Stranger: My PURPOSE, miss, is to understand cultures all around the world.
Stranger: To live and experience them, and to know why it happens.
Stranger: Why we’re all different.
Stranger: School is in Illinois
Stranger: A state here
Stranger: the University of Illinois
You: Sociology sounds like a wonderful major!
You: It is very important to understand different cultures.
You: Sometimes we can get too comfortable with our own culture
You: The world is a big place!
Stranger: Yes. Sometimes it becomes ethnocentric.
Stranger: I feel like
Stranger: I appreciate Japanese culture more
Stranger: I know its negatives. The ups and downs, I understand that.
You: Uh huh.
Stranger: BUt the contrasts between American Society and Japanese society are very …
Stranger: Differences are big.
Stranger: Where there are differences. There are similarities.
Stranger: But the important things, are all fundamental to me.
Stranger: so I chose to move.
You: I see
You: I have a very good saying for you:
You: “Home is where the heart is”
Stranger: I’ve been preparing this goal for 9 years. I hope I can be good enough for your society.
You: Oh congratulations!
Stranger: Home is where the heart is. I believe that.
You: I went to vacation in Europe in summer too
You: 1 month!!
You: Backpack only trip
Stranger: Oh my goodness. that sounds fine!
You: Very life-changing experience
You: I always think Tokyo so boring
You: Same thing
You: But I always thought Europe was so wonderful
You: Paris, Rome, Venice!
You: So romantic
Stranger: Haha… is it perhaps the places we have never seen, that we are most accustomed to seeing?
You: I read many book and watch many videos
You: Haha yes!
You: But after going to Europe
You: Very beautiful
You: But, I love home more now
You: Traveling is very good for the soul
Stranger: You now can appreciate where you are.
Stranger: You see, contrasting and comparing gives us a very clear view of reality.
Stranger: Now we know where we want to be.
Stranger: This summer, I’ll visit Ashikaga, just north of your place.
Stranger: And I’ll be an hour from Tokyo, yeah.
Stranger: We’ll see if I’m going to live in Japan permanently, this summer…
Stranger: I’ll be able to decide.
You: I will pray for you!
You: Good luck!
Stranger: Thanks. I appreciate that.
You: Anyways Stranger, I have to leave now
You: I loved talking to you!
Stranger: If all I ever know is your name, would you tell me so I can remember you?
You: Good luck on your life journey!
You: My name is Hiromi
You: Your name?
Stranger: Thank you, Hiromi. I’m Joe.
You: Nice to talk to you Joe!
Stranger: I’ll remember you.