The 21st century is a limitless one, void of boundaries and confines. With the quick swipe of a screen and the touch of a button, information is traded globally, finances exchanged and cultures hybridised.
This is globalisation.
O’Shaughnessy and Stadler define globalisation as having three major qualities; instantaneity, interconnectedness and interdependence which are occurring now at such a large and fast rate that as the world begins to shrink…not in the literal sense!(2012)
It is all too easy now to check your phone–which has become very much like a limb to many—to instantaneously connect with the world. Snapchat, in just two years has become one of the world’s most universal apps where users send 400 million snaps a day (Hempel.J, Lashinsky. A 2013). However, the social utility of a disappearing photo app is that it inevitably connects anyone in the world who also has the app allowing for people to actively share within each other’s lives. Thus, a ‘Global Village’ is created.
‘“Time” has ceased, ‘space’ has vanished. We now live in a global village… a simultaneous happening.’ (McLuhan. M, 1967)
Marshall Mcluhan argues that distance and time is only but a factor practically non-existent within the fluid, ever changing technoscape of the world.
Snapchat’s new ‘live’ feature now connects the world and allows users universally to experience and witness many different perspectives of a featured city. Geo-tagged snaps which are taken within a specific city are selected and compiled into a playlist that is published for the world to view in real time.
Although, as noted by Benedict Anderson, this sense of interconnectedness creates an imagined community of horizontal comradeship where many individuals will never meet others whom are considered to be apart the same ‘village’ (1991). From here, there is an underlying threat that face-to-face-communication will begin to dwindle as we are communicating though technologies that restrict us to remain physically isolated.
Although, do technologies remove the boundaries between cultures?
In the light of cultural imperialism—where one country spreads its values and ideas through the ideoscape and mediascape–Appadurai discusses the hybridisation of Filipino culture as American music and pop-culture have seeped its way into the very core of everyday life (1996). This statement led me to think of my own uncle who has moved to the Phillipines and participates in live shows as he impersonates Elvis Presley!
To many this may seem strange, however, this has become indigenized within Filipino culture–thus encouraging the interconnectedness of local culture expanding globally. Although, there is a threat of cultural homogenization where there is a fear of too much cultural exchange diluting local culture causing the Americanization of the world. This interdependence of trade of American goods and music into the Phillipines have–through the finacescape–inevitably depended the divide between rich and poor creating a network society.
“By constructing a cross-country hierarchical structure, we first identify groups of countries that exhibit similar economic growth patterns within the world economy and other countries that seem more isolated in terms of dynamic integration with other nations.” (Gomez. D 2013)
Ultimately, globalization has created a world that is better connected, yet divided apart. With just a click of a button we have access to the whole world, but this may not entirely be beneficial for all.
Anderson, B 1991,’Imagined Communities:Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism’, last viewed 13 August <http://www.quiqui.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/ANDERSON-1991-Census-Map-Museum.pdf>
Appadurai, A 1996,’ Modernity at Large : Cultural Dimensions of Globalization’, University of Minnesota Press, last viewed 12 August <https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/455991/mod_resource/content/1/Week%202_Appadurai.pdf>
Gomez, D 2013, ‘Measuring Global Economic Interdependence: A Hierarchical Network Approach’ The World Economy, last viewed 14 August <http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=eb973d35-1975-41bd-81a2-300aa870a1b5%40sessionmgr113&vid=5&hid=121>
Hempel. J, Lashinsky. A 2013, ‘Countdown to the Snaphat revolution’, last viewed 13 August <http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/eds/detail/detail?vid=4&sid=19b8d918-8477-4dca-a489-a7891837ee9e@sessionmgr4002&hid=4105&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmU=#AN=93307457&db=heh>
Lombardo, E 2012, Dara Lom 057, last viewed 13 August <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gho3pWKhOH0>
McLuhan. M 1967, War, Peace and the Global Village, last viewed 13 August
O’Shaughnessy.M, Stadler.J 2012 Media and Society, OUP Australia and New Zealand, last viewed 12 August <https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/455992/mod_resource/content/1/Week%202_OShaughnessy%20and%20Stadler.pdf>