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Untact Culture in the Age of COVID-19
  • By Jo Soo-bin, cub-reporter
  • 승인 2020.09.21 02:26
  • 호수 280
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Untact Culture in the Age of COVID-19

▲ Untact Culture (source: Gettyimagesbank).

COVID-19, which has spread all over the world, has been an ongoing crisis for the past eight months. As a result, the period of social distancing has been extended indefinitely, leading to the emergence of a new culture called ‘untact culture’. Untact culture is a compound word that adds the negative prefix ’un’, to ’contact’. ‘Untact’, taken literally, refers to a non-face-to-face culture that minimizes human contact. Untact culture is rapidly entering the daily lives of people without the distinction between public and private areas. What are some enjoyable parts of untact culture that can be incorporated into daily life?

The ’Room Corner Challenge’ is a type of challenge that can be done in private spaces. Room corner challenges refer to a variety of challenges that encourage public participation through SNS at home. Examples include the ‘Flower Bucket Challenge’, which delivers bouquets in a relay to help flower farmers, the 'Thankyou Challenge' to cheer on medical staff who are dedicated to fighting COVID-19, and the ‘Stay Strong Campaign’ which supports the early end of COVID-19. This variety of challenges have become part of the trend of room corner challenges. There are challenges that help the public, and there are challenges that are just for simple fun to encourage people to participate in the challenge.

There are forms of untact travel and virtual marathons that people can enjoy outdoors while avoiding the dangers of social contact. In June this year, the Korea Tourism Organization selected 100 tourist attractions across the country under the theme of "Untact Tourism." The untact travel sites were selected after reviewing previously unknown tourist destinations, individual and family-based themed tourist attractions, outdoor tourist attractions, and tourist attractions that limit the number of visitors because of COVID-19. The tourist industry and tourists themselves are responding to changing daily routines for relatively safe healing.

A virtual marathon is a virtual race in which participants use “RunDay”, a GPS-based recording application, to measure distance according to the course length they have selected for regardless of the location. Virtual marathons are held on a national basis, unlike regular marathons, because there are no space restrictions. RunDay users can check real-time rankings and records, send encouraging messages through cheering functions, and enjoy virtual marathons. This has led to the participation of many people as they can exercise while practicing social distancing.

Finally, untact cultural activities such as online concerts, untact musicals, and online exhibitions have started to pop up. A great advantage of untact cultural activities is that there is no limit to the number of visitors, unlike in person activities which have to deal with space restrictions when accommodating many people.

In June, BTS held an online concert, with about 750,000 fans buying tickets from Weverse Shop to watch through live streaming. Following this online concert, musicals have also been watched online through live streaming or pre-recorded videos made at home. The musical "Mozart" has recently begun charging for streaming for the first time in Korea, and other musicals are also hopping on the trend of holding untact performances. Online exhibitions are an alternative that allows people to safely view the works of artists without the risk of catching COVID-19. Online exhibitions display the artistic works and their explanations on museum websites, and viewers can find YouTube videos of artists explaining their work piece by piece. In addition, for those who want to see exhibition works in detail, several museums offer major exhibitions through VR.

As changes from COVID-19 have become routine, some have predicted that human history will be divided into before and after COVID-19. The biggest change is that with minimal social contact, untact culture is becoming more widespread and diversifying. Distancing in the untact era, such as the unprecedented zero-tolerance of sports games in Korea, new spending methods, and virtual performances, has naturally become the new norm.

By Jo Soo-bin, cub-reporter

By Jo Soo-bin, cub-reporter  hyun185415@naver.com

<저작권자 © The Campus Journal, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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