The Soongsil Times
COVER STORY
Kakao in Society
park chae eun /shin seung yeon  |  parkce918@naver.com
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[168호] 승인 2017.01.18  22:07:20
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 Have you ever imagined a world without the Kakao application? Just thinking about it brings us discomfort. Kakao has a lot of influence in various fields. Our society is heavily reliant on this application. Meanwhile, there are various information that you are unaware of. The Kakao Talk profile image expresses a person’s personality. It can be analyzed in five types, namely, reality, idea, character, mirror, and satisfaction. Emoticon can also be divided into three types of emotional expression. Some companies use the chat room as a marketing tool, such as the Yellow ID. There are many interesting features aside from the chat function. However, it also has disadvantages.

Now, let us talk about the details as mentioned above. Kakao Profile Image A Kakao profile image tells something about yourself. We want to show ourselves and search for our friends’ pictures to figure out them. We are communicating subconsciously with Kakao Talk. By choosing the right profile picture, you will be able to tell what kind of personality you have. However, in lots of cases, there are some users who upload meaningless images. There are five types of person that use Kakao profile image.

 

1. Reality - Reflecting Type

This type shows an image that represents a person’s characteristics in the real world. For example, it reveals the person’s job and position. People think that the Kakao Profile Image is a tool for showing a person’s current state because they are unable to personally tell all their friends about their status. For this reason, they upload a photo of one’s face that represents their situation similar to an employee identification card. They use a specific and direct picture, thereby giving them a social presence.

 

 

 

 

                                               

 

2. Idea - Expressive Type

The second type of personality involves people who prefer to use a nature photo or abstract image as their profile picture. They think that a profile image is a form of public diary. They replace their photo with a new one according to their feelings at the moment. This type converts the respondents’ emotion to an image. Sometimes they use exaggerated images to reveal their feeling and personality. They dislike picture that does not signify anything, such as image of coffee.

 

                                       

                                

3. Character – Creating Type

They create an atmosphere with a picture of an actor or an actress. They use objects that already exist and reflect their emotions. They reinterpret the photo and think of it as a representation of themselves. When they experience negativity, they want to attract attention with a picture of a person who is crying. They use Kakao Profile Image to communicate with their friends.

 

                                       

                                     

4. Mirror – Reflecting Type

This type of personality shows the person’s present situation. They are more active in expressing their own thoughts, as compared to the ‘Reality - Reflecting Type’. They think that showing their true self is insufficient. As a result, they upload a profile image that can display various information about themselves. How popular and loved they are. They believe that using a default cover photo makes someone an immaterial person, so they always maintain a profile picture of their face.

 

                                    

                                    

5. Satisfaction – Faking Type

This type of personality shows an image that dodges or exaggerates the real world. The person prefers melodramatic pictures. It is a reaction brought about by their dissatisfaction of their real life. They feel like their talents are not being used to its full potential so they use Kakao Talk to express and show their talents. They think that a profile image should be artistic. They pay careful attention to small details, such as the foreground and background colors, and they utilize various effects, including black and white filters.

                                   

Kakao Emoticon Emoticon is a combination of the words emotion and icon. In other words, it is an icon that shows an emotion. It is a non-verbal communication that sends a clear message in digital space. There are other various purposes to using an emoticon.

First, we use emoticons to tone down the atmosphere. When we are in an awkward situation, using emoticons will help in easing the tension. In this case, we select positive and favorable ones. For example, when you want to inquire about something, you use characters that will express your request in a sincere manner. If it is a difficult request, emoticons will influence people to sympathize.

                                        

Second, people use emoticons to exaggerate their emotions. This type of use mostly expresses anger and sadness. It reflects their reality, while others receive an intense feeling. In this situation, users can communicate without words. For example, if your friend is late, you can send an emoticon that emits fire. It delivers your emotion more effectively compared to using text.

                                        

 

Third, people equate emoticons with themselves. They want to show a realistic description of their personality by using an emoticon. They think that emoticons can replace their identity, and they regard facial expressions as important. These emoticons are not direct; however, they have a significant meaning for the user. It gives more credibility to the users, as compared to that of people who use exaggerated emoticons. Yellow ID Yellow ID is a Kakao Talk business ID that enables businesses to communicate with their customers without difficulty.

                                       

Today, many companies are using this. It is free and simple to use, and it appeals to the customers. You can use it by searching the Yellow ID or scanning a QR code. With the Yellow ID, a company can send messages to promote their products. Apart from commercial usage, organizations use the Yellow ID to provide information to their members, such as @ssustudentunion. It is also used for sending an inquiry. For example, plastic surgery deals with questions regarding the process of changing a person’s face, and the price for going under the knife. It makes 1:1 counseling simple. In addition, the company can respond to inquiries 24 hours a day. Yellow ID easily connects companies and customers.

   
 

The Benefits of Various Functions As you may know, Kakao has various helpful features that we canuse. Nowadays, aside from the Kakao Talk functions, Kakao is directly connected with our lives. It is widely used every day for different purposes.

First is the gift function. KaKao shop has many products that you can buy. It is easy to browse for items that we are interested in at KaKao shop. The shop is well organized with different themes, including birthday, college scholastic ability test healing item, anniversary, and delicious food. If you have chosen an item that you wish to purchase, you can pay with your credit card and send the item to your acquaintances or yourself. This feature makes gift-giving culture more active.

      

                   

 

Second is the Kakao channel and TV. The Kakao channel is a collection of news that have become issues of the day. Similar to its predecessor, Kakao TV has the same function that allows people to watch videos for free. You do not have to go to other sites, such as Naver or Daum, in order to watch the news. The news is classified well according to politics, sports, culture, economy, and so on. This allows the user to easily search for news topics. These features enhance the web accessibility for people of all ages.

 

                                      

Last is the Kakao Taxi. These days, many people use this function. Its instruction is very easy and convenient. All you have to do is download the Kakao Taxi application. Next, set up your starting point and point of arrival. Finally, choose the type of taxi and payment method. Now, the taxi that is nearest to you will arrive as soon as possible. Another advantage of this function is the safety text message. When you ride a taxi, the safety text message is sent to your family or friends. Its content is about the location and time of boarding, as well as the assigned Kakao Taxi number. It is much easier to use than the other taxi services. You do not have to wait for a long time to take a taxi. Due to these various features, people enjoy using Kakao.

                                    

The Dark Side of Kakao Everything has advantages and disadvantages. Kakao also has a dark side. Have you ever had a feeling that your privacy has been invaded? Many people are aware of this problem. Sometimes, people easily accept strangers as their friends. Even if you knew that person, you still think that you do not want to be friends with that person in Kakao. Some users were embarrassed when their Kakao Talk randomly referred their ex-lovers to them as friends. Unfortunately, Kakao could not prevent this from happening. Your profile photo and status are exposed to everyone in your list of friends. One day, you may find your private pictures and messages in a stranger’s possession and uploaded in Kakao Story. For this reason, people try to consider various scenarios that may change their attitude toward their acquaintances. It can cause mental fatigue. Recently, Kakao Corp realized this ‘someone you may know’ function, and they are constantly trying to fix this issue.

                                   

Another problem similar to the one stated above is the overloading of personal information. Kakao collects the user’s personal email address. There was no exact explanation where they are going to use it. The advised that the process of collecting email addresses is unfair. It is possible to provide services only with the user's phone number and device number. Collecting e-mails is against the principle of collecting minimum information.

                                  

The next problem is related to social crime. Sexual harassment in a group chat room emerges as a current serious problem. Kakao Talk’s chat room is convenient for creating a room and leaving it. Therefore, some people use this function in ill-behaved ways, such as initiating conversations regarding issues of sex. In a really serious case, sexual harassment occurs when the victims are in a chat room. These problems frequently occur among college students. On November 16, at the entrance of Y University Central Library, there was a handwritten poster with a message of sexual harassment happening among the male students. Conversations were taken from a group chat room from April 3-8, 2015. Its content included “share a sexual partner” and more serious information. A girl with the same major and school was mentioned in a chat room and her real name was revealed. It is a level of social crime beyond that of ordinary dirty jokes. Unfortunately, Kakao does not prevent the occurrence of these serious issues.

Park Chae-eun (ST Reporter) Parkce918@ssu.ac.kr

Shin Seung-yeon (ST Reporter) kirke1991@ssu.ac.kr

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