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Asean Affairs   11 April 2011

Overexposure to electronic media

By  David Swartzentruber

AseanAffairs     11 April 2011

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In the same style as countries in the West, in urban areas in Asean countries are filled with television sets, mobile phones smart phones, computers and the latest tablet computers.

There are areas in Asean countries where penetration of electronic devices is much more sparse, often appealing to eco-tourists yearning for scenic beauty and peace and quiet. With electronics there do come some dangers and here are two.

It has been documented by studies of child development that exposing children to television when they are under 2 years of age impedes cognitive development. Currently in the west, the Korean firm, LG, is airing commercials for its latest television sets that feature an infant obviously under 2 years old , marveling at the qualities of the set.

One can surmise that most parents don’t know this and certainly LG’s advertising agency doesn’t.

However, out of Indonesia comes a currently “hot” news item about a tablet computer and an Indonesian legislator.

During last Friday’s session of the Indonesian parliament, legislator Arifinto (Indonesians frequently use only their first name) of the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) was photographed by the press watching pornography. He said that he was unaware that an e-mail he had received led to pornography.

However, Fahri Hamzah, the PKS deputy secretary general for public communication, said on Monday morning that Arifinto would be summoned by the Islam-based party to clarify reports that he intentionally — and not accidentally as claimed — accessed pornography from his tablet PC last Friday.

The party official also told media that legislator would resign as it is alleged his actions tainted the dignity of the House.

These two unrelated incidents underline the widespread usage of electronics but also inherent downside of the devices.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr

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AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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