South Korea’s Gastronomic Voyeurism Really Pays

[Video courtesy of Reuters YouTube Channel]


Every so often the universe sees fit to reinforce to me that I’m in the wrong line of full-time work.

A recent Reuters article reported on one Park Seo-yeon, known to her legions of adoring fans as “The Diva.” Park is one of an approximate 3,500 people in South Korea running online food-eating shows that let viewers watch someone enjoy sumptuous meals while filming the eating experience via webcam.  Noshing in front of her webcam for about three hours each day, Park earns income in the form of virtual “balloons” sent to her by online viewers seeking and finding comfort in this growing fad dubbed “gastronomic voyeurism.”  With each virtual balloon worth 100 won (about 9 cents USD), Park’s current average monthly income from her web program is over $9,000. Not a bad earning for spending three hours a day doing something a person would normally do anyway, given that it’s kind of crucial for one’s continued existence.

There must surely have been some singular thing at some point in my life that has amused, depressed, annoyed, and inspired me in equal measure all at once, as this fad does, but damn if I can presently call it to mind.

So yeah, I’ve been doing the whole online food presence thing wrong.  Time to consider eating at a larger table.

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