Featured company: China Youthology

There’s something about the energy of this company that really has a lot of youth, energy, and passion that is quite inspiring to me.

China Youthology is a market research and ethnography firm that asks the question: how are young people in China thinking in living their day to day lives, such that organizations, businesses, and other institutions can better serve their needs today?

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The feel of this site is so energetic!

While I’m not an ethnographer by background, I’d so be down for working for this company someday. According to their website, their clients range from Google, Loreal, Intel, Nokia, Kraft, BMW and Lays Chips. Their goal: empower youth culture by doing market research that reflects the power of feeling young, passionate, and wanting to change the world.

In case anybody wants to work with them, here’s a career brochure:

CY Career Brochure from Lisa Li


Facebook vs other forms of social media


I’m still an active user of social media: I use YouTube, Quora, LinkedIn, as well as this blog; using these avenues allows me to explore and produce key content that is both meaningful and has a great level of depth.

Note: I’ve been extremely addicted to quora as I’ve found some amazing answers about life, ranging from life advice, traveling, higher education, to questions about technology, working for companies, and even China!

I’ve still have a hard time accepting the interface and a lot of the habits associated with it, meaning:

  • Add a lot of friends, as easily as possible
  • Liking a post / picture, but not really interacting with the person
  • Status updates that are so short that it makes socializing lazy (we only know people really from a surface level)

You see, real relationships take work from both ends. I feel that the technology age has only added on to our instincts as human beings: “More is good! We need more friends to feel connected! We need to know and be connected 24/7, and know as much about our friends in the most easy, efficient manner as possible.”

But, at the crux of true relationships is that it takes effort from both sides in order to sustain it and to create a quality relationship. It might seem scary, stressful  and time consuming, but its worth the effort and you will be able to maintain quality friends.

The question I really want to raise is:

Are we merely justifying FaceBook because it helps us socialize in our busy lives, but in reality, we are avoiding the bigger issue: our lives are getting busier and busier because we have been putting ambitions, money, career, over other things such as health, family, and true relationships? 

For me, social media: YouTube, LinkedIn, WordPress, Tumblr, etc. is a great way to get our name across, connect to other people across the world, start conversations, and create strong relationships.

The amount of work, however, compared to Facebook, to put your name out there, takes time and effort. For me, YouTube requires the creation of video content, which takes time, video editing, story writing, etc. Writing a blog post takes an hour or two for me.

I don’t want to say social media is bad; it isn’t because I’ve learned so much . However, my argument is that we should be aware of our actions in social media: are we merely taking shortcuts to maintaining a relationship? Are we actively trying to maintain or make a relationship among our friends, family, and peers better, and making the time and effort to do so?

While there is a wide spectrum of answers for this, I’m trying to push for more awareness. For some people, Facebook is a way to maintain relationships . But for me, it was a time sucker and didn’t allow me (or had proper avenues for me to express my thoughts, like WordPress or YouTube). I’m a big supporter of good content and depth, but Facebook doesn’t offer that for me.

Re-evaluating my language learning appraoch


I think I’ve reached a language learning plateau when it comes to learning Chinese; since I want to work on speaking, I do not plan to take a Chinese language class next year as I want to focus on more personalized, study so that I can focus on my needs.

My biggest need right now is focusing on speaking and interacting with native speakers at a comfortable level. I like to diversify the amount of sentence patterns I use when I’m speaking, as well as my vocabulary.

For example, there are some sentence patterns that I see in the television that I would have a hard time replicating them unless I make a concerted effort to do so. 

So, here are some major steps I will be taking to:

  • Focus more on language exchanges, but avoid speaking English (skype!)
  • Put more of an emphasis on identifying sentence patterns you want to practice from input; write a list down that you can actively practice. In other words, strengthen the connection between input and output: the feedback loop! 

I realized that it is much easier to do this when I am in a foreign country where I’m forced to speak Mandarin than living in the United States because this feedback loop is much more stronger.

Before I head off to Taiwan, I plan to work on this feedback loop and strengthen it while I’m at home and have access to lots of resources.