Though it cannot be said that the complete globalization of the world has already happened, we cannot argue the fact that the internet has drastically sped up this process. Connections can be made by typing words onto a search engine, enabling us to have access and exposure to millions of online sources – but how has this impacted us?
Obviously, globalization goes far beyond the internet. Companies have created multinational corporations, which have helped both the developed countries reach new markets, and has helped developing countries find a niche in the market to export their goods. In the world of the internet, the main thing it has provided in the expansion of globalization is increased exposure. Social media, videos, news, popular culture, all of this has expanded far beyond any nations borders. The Internet allows anyone with a computer to research and understand other cultures. Though at the same time it has left out anyone that cannot afford to access a computer, let alone the internet.
This access gap has created an information gap, where those with money have access and can further their international knowledge, as well as knowledge in almost anything else. Those without this access miss out on all the opportunities this access provides. Though in recent years we have seen a rise in income in many third world countries, we have also see the gap increase. They are rising – but not fast enough.
How does this effect those of us sitting on our laptops in developed countries complaining about the supposed woes of adulthood and responsibilities? One of the largest problems I can see in our generation is the laziness we have come to possess due to our intense feelings of entitlement. The internet has enabled us to have instant gratification in so many ways like never before – so much so that working for anything, even if that just means cooking a meal or getting out of the house, seems like an arduous task. We have a wealth of access literally at our fingertips that those in third world countries would love to be able to use as freely as we do – and we take it for granted. So how do I see the globalization of internet effecting future generations? I see an increased apathy to anything that does not directly effect us due to desensitization and laziness. If the problem cannot be instantly fixed their is little drive left to put in the effort to change things.
At the same time, things can change.
The internet has given birth to social justice campaigns that through social media have created exposure to incredibly horrendous practices. Human trafficking is one that has taken up speed in the last few years as people have become increasingly aware of those in slavery both hidden within our nation and outside our borders. Organizations such as the A21 Campaign are advocating for human rights and working to bring human traffickers to justice. Sites like Fight the New Drug are advocating to bring awareness to the porn industry and its negative effects on both the viewers and the performers. When over 270 school girls were kidnapped by a terrorist group in Nigeria in 2014, a social media campaign called #bringbackourgirls was started to bring awareness to the injustice of the issue and encourage people to take action against groups like Boko Haram, and show the world that schools should not be places of violence. The unique way social media is able to bring light to an issue gives people power like never before to bring things into the light and effect change. If the globalization of the internet can continue to be used as an avenue for awareness and change, than the internet has a bright future ahead of it.
Global news being accessible through the internet has increased our opportunities to become knowledgeable about global affairs exponentially. Not only has it increased our exposure, but news that greatly impacts a large group of people can spread life wildfire.
Their are certain drawbacks to this globalization, however. Their are countries such as China that are barred from looking at news that opposes their government or exposes their people to Western ideas. Their are countries where people do not have access to the internet, and are therefore totally left out of this wealth of information available to them on the internet.
Then their is the problem of extremist groups using the globalization of the internet to attract others to their cause. CNN reported that an estimated 180 Americans have been caught attempting to join ISIS who were mostly recruited online.
Three teenagers from Chicago were recently arrested for trying to join ISIS and were recruited through the use of the internet. The FBI estimates that ISIS is using slick propaganda in 23 languages to recruit people online. It is obvious in this scenario that the globalization of the internet could have disastrous effects. The problem then becomes, how do you police something that crosses many international barriers with various international laws, and is constantly changing?
These are the questions the United Nations and other International bodies are trying to solve. IsIs is only growing – and the internet has proven to be their biggest weapon so far.
In 2011, Anders Behring Breivik killed 8 people with a fertilizer bomb in Oslo, Norway, before going to a youth camp on an island called Utoya off the coast and killing 67 children. This act was significant to globalization because Breivik was xenophobic, and against the large immigrant population in Norway – the target of his attacks.
Many people find immigration to be the reason globalization needs to come to a stop. People who hold to these beliefs desire for their country to remain “pure”, free of foreign blood and influence. As a result, violent acts have been taken out on immigrants in many countries – Europe in particular.
Immigration of people, especially refuges, cannot be stopped however. We instead must focus on tolerance and how to promote it, as well as learning to maintain cultural traditions while simultaneously accepting new cultural influences.
When I learned of the Oslo attacks, I was sitting in a hotel in Colorado, while reading about the report on the BBC website. Norwegian news on a British news site while sitting in a hotel in America. Globalization can be seen very clearly through the accessibility of global news via the internet. Before this accessibility, we were limited to what we saw and heard while abroad, or what our U.S. new channels chose to show us. With the internet, we not only have the chance to read more global news, we can also chose what source we want to read about it from – U.S. news sites like Fox or CNN, or international news sites like BBC or Al Jazeera.
This increased access has enabled citizens with internet to become better informed on global issues. It enables people to maintain a better understanding of what is going on outside of our American bubble. The question with this access, however, is whether or not people will take full advantage of all the news they have the ability to access – and what they do with this information.
Social Media has had an interesting impact on globalization because it has allowed consumers an increased opportunity to be more selective about what types of international media they chose to consume. With media such as television and radio, the governments of both the home country and the country trying to import their media effect what will be shown. When it comes to the internet the restrictions for many countries are almost nonexistent.
In October of 2014, the social media mega power that is Facebook reported that if their users were the population of a single country, their population size would be almost as large as China. In numbers, that is 1.35 Billion users. According to Facebook’s own statistic, “Approximately 82.8% of our daily active users are outside the US and Canada“.
Now think about Facebook and how it has been used in recent weeks in light of particular events in U.S. News. Opinion on topics currently being decided on by the government are being discussed all over Facebook. People are showing their support or showing their outrage – and these are just issues happening with America. As shown above, Facebook is used by more than just Americans. As our culture argues out ideals, citizens of other countries are being exposed to the changes our country is making as well. Imagine being someone from another country with a decent size group of American friends on Facebook arguing these ideas. Seeing how openly Americans are fighting for what they believe in could then spark people from other countries to begin to fight of their ideals or these injustices they see happening in their countries. Rather than being influenced by movies and films about different cultures, we now have social media to give us a more intimate, inside look at what cultural life is like in other places.
Of course the internet cannot tell us exactly how it feels to live in these other places, it does give us an inside look on cultural values and opinions. It is exactly that access that has China under their own firewall known as the Great Firewall of China. The internet offers young people exposure to different cultures and ideals, allowing them to see the flaws in their own. This poses a threat to the Chinese government, and therefore internet is heavily regulated in China to prevent among the people.
That is just the power that Facebook can have on a broad scale. A social media network that is seen as a threat to an entire government system in the largest country in the world.
: the act or process of globalizing : the state of being globalized; especially : the development of an increasingly integrated global economy marked especially by free trade, free flow of capital, and the tapping of cheaper foreign labor market.
Due to factors such as the increased affordability of travel and the increased migration of immigrants to new countries, cultures are being exposed to each other more and more every day. As defined above, economies are becoming dependent upon each other because of trade, capital, and labor markets that are outside of the country of origin. However, it is now not just the economy that has been globalized – culture has been too.
Currently you can buy a double cheeseburger and fries from the Golden Arches of McDonald’s in 119 countries. Walmart is on it’s way globally with locations in 28 countries – but it’s not just American businesses being found overseas now.
Social media, internet news sites, and sites like YouTube and Netflix have created the power for, not only business men, but the younger generations as well, to access media that is culturally relevant from any country that has access to the world wide web. Last summer I sat at a cafe in Bosnia and Herzegovina while a Shania Twain music video played on the TV behind me. I read news and looked at pictures from my friends to keep up with what was happening in America – all from my room in South Eastern Europe. People in South America are listening to Kanye (unfortunately), Beyonce, and Taylor Swift. People in Europe are watching the NBA Finals. People in America are watching, horrified, as ISIS uses social media sites like Twitter to draw in followers to their belief and cause.
So is globalization a good thing? Obviously groups like ISIS using the mass exposure of social media to their advantage have terrifying consequences to the rest of the world. You can also argue that McDonald’s growing has it’s downsides – but what about teenagers in the U.S. having the ability to talk to teenagers in places like Hungary? Giving young people a wider vision for what the world is like outside their comfortable bubble without having to leave their home? That is a power that the internet holds.
What about restricting the internet to stop groups like ISIS from using it for destruction? How do we draw lines to stop that when the internet is being used in countries across the world with vastly different laws and cultural ideals. How do you police something so global?
Does globalization destroy native cultures as the more dominate ones take over? These are all questions being faced daily as the internet grows more and more influential to our daily lives.