livefieldnote

#bytesofchina - I am watching a person using her Huawei smartphone to video record a video on another shanZai Samsung smartphone. I asked her what she was trying to do, she said she wanted the video on her own phone. I then realized that despite widespread smartphone ownership in rural areas, people may not necessarily understand how to manage files or even have the concept of file structure. Later on, the woman asked me to become wechat contacts. I automatically opened up wechat on my phone and opened up my QR code, as this is how I always add or am added to new wechat contacts. She then looked at me in confusion as I placed my phone near her phone. It took me a moment to realize she may not know how to use the QR Code feature. She then asked me what I was showing her, I then explained that QR Code scanning was one way to add people on wechat. This moment reflects many ways that the context for smartphone use in rural areas is different from urban areas. For example, in rural areas, QR codes are not common in stores, e-commerce is not concentrated, and there aren’t apps for geographically located communities such as restaurant reviews or taxi service. #triciainchina #livefieldnote #guizhou

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#bytesofchina - The place in the field where the weeds begin and the vegetables end tells the story of modern village life in rural China. My host showed me around the edge of the town and explained that the owners of this land no longer grow vegetables to sell, as a result weeds have taken over. Many village homes are run by elderly people because those who can work have become migrant workers in cities where they can earn more money to send back to their family. As a result, much of the land is not used and only a portion is farmed for subsistence living to feed the family. In recent years, the public has become more aware of the social impact of migration on villages. Kids are raised by elderly people who often don’t know how to supplement their education or even enforce school attendance, poor diets and malnutrition are common among the elderly and young, and village infrastructure slowly crumbles as the population dwindles. #livefieldnote #triciainchina

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The driver who took me home tonight from #tumblrart is from Quito, Ecuador. He came here 13 ago at the age of 21 years old. He hasn’t been back since he came, it’s too expensive to hire a coyote - right now it costs $15k to hire a coyote from S. America. He hasn’t seen his kids or wife since he left Ecuador. He asked me about how much it costs for a coyote between Mexico & CA & we chatted about the rising prices of coyotes. He uses a computer to Skype with his family. He bought a NetBook 2 years ago. He lives with his older brother. His plan is to return to Ecuador when he’s 40 years old. He says, “I hope my children recognize me when i Go back. They will be all grown up.” #migrant #livefieldnote #undocumented

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