Are You Watching Videos at Double Speed?1)
Modern people's consumption patterns are different from the past. Rather than using a single brand and product for a long time, they tend to use what they want when they need it. This phenomenon is often seen as an example of liquid consumption. Liquid consumption is a concept defined by British economists Flora Buddy and Gianna Eckert in which the pattern of consumption has changed from solid consumption, which means a rigid consumption pattern, to liquid consumption. As the cycle of change is short, it is difficult to predict what to choose in the future. Consumers focus on using something regardless of what they own because they only have to use them when they need it. This can be observed through the expansion of the rental market. In January 2022, the convenience store CU introduced a "pick-and-pick" service through which various devices can be rented for three days. According to CU, the rental service recorded 488.5% of usage in the three months since its launch. The short-term rental services and other available products proved attractive to consumers. This tendency has also been seen in media content consumption. The author of People Who See Movies at Fast Speed, refers to short-form content. People want to get information quickly from media and move on to something else quickly, so they engage in liquid consumption.
This change is related to oversupply and the consumption characteristics of Generation Z. The author of the book mentioned above says that behind media liquid consumption, there is modern media supply mode and time cost economics. This means that the characteristic of seeking efficiency among much information has changed the consumption trend. It is revealed through the popularity of short-form content. On the other side, there are various problems behind these changes. As consumption trends have quickly changed, the consumer's consumption pattern cannot be predicted, which leads to the feeling of insecurity about how popular their products really are. This unpredictability could lead to an increase in non-regular workers. Non-regular workers can be easily fired when product sales are low, unlike regular workers. Therefore, it is more economical for companies to employ temporary workers only when the consumer's preferences change fast. Consumers are also not free from problems with liquid consumption. Public culture critic Jeong Deokhyeon said, "Slow speed is part of the content, and emotion is important as well as the story. Enjoying content at a fast pace is hard to see as proper cultural consumption." He pointed out that the phenomenon of preferring only brief videos could lead to the wrong media consumption of modern people. As the consumption pattern centered on liquid consumption continues, new responses to problems seems to be needed.
1) Lee Junbeom, "'I'm Swamped' Young Generation Who Watch It Quickly and Briefly [Now, Generation Z]", KUKI NEWS, December 25, 2022
Kim Jang Yunsun / Culture Section Editor
Lee Gayun / Society Section Editor