Thousands, even only hundreds, of years ago, because people lived in different areas of the world, there was no way to communicate with others who happened to live far away. However, in today’s day and age, social media and the internet plays a large role in closing the large distance between countries like the United States and China, for example. Although globalization is a difficult term to define due to the fact that it embodies so many parts and is so much of why the world is the way that it is today, it can be explained as a set of processes that transforms the spatial organization of the world and links distant localities politically, economically and culturally. Although globalization is inevitable and can be considered necessary in some ways, it is bringing societies much closer together culturally than they needed to be with easier international travel, social media and television programming, including even news coverage.
Moreover, globalization is bringing societies together culturally through easier international travel. Due to the fact that it is now much easier for citizens of different countries to visit far away countries, the cultures are becoming mixed more often and in higher volumes than ever before. The advanced technologies and the ability to do this is a positive thing; however, it is blurring different cultures to the point where countries might be losing what previously made them special. For example, in the image below from this textshows how chain stores, Starbucks and McDonald’s in this case, have a massive amount of locations across the globe because now it is easier for companies to break through into other areas despite how far or the language that people speak there. It is something that is no longer apart of the culture of just the United States, but is now all over. Some would say that it is extremely disappointing that a chain like McDonald’s has spread all over the world and this would not have been possible without the easier international travel now, bringing societies together the way that it has.
Furthermore, globalization has also brought societies together culturally through the use of the internet and social media. In the image below, although it is kind of dated, it demonstrates the number of people that used the internet worldwide and the drastic increase from 1999 and 2000 to then 2008, and even now there would be way more people that say they use the internet on a daily basis.
With how many people, mostly young adults, that use social media outlets like Instagram and Twitter it is so easy for people to connect with other people their age on the internet. My high school had a sister school that we did a short exchange program with last year in Spain and the first thing we did when we found out who the kids we were staying with were was to follow them on Instagram and talk to them through there. In so many ways it is so incredible that we can do this and learn more about other cultures if we are not fortunate enough to travel there; however, it does come with some negative consequences. Due to the fact that I was able to talk to these kids in Spain and I did not even have an agenda of spreading American culture, those who do would be able to accomplish this very easily. American culture was just an example but people could take advantage of the connections and communications from around the world and homogenize groups that do not need to be homogenized. This article does mention how the use of the internet can improve human connections and spread knowledge and while this is true and a very positive impact of the abilities of the internet, the culture of each country is unique and different and should be preserved. In some respects, societies should not be brought together in the way that they are through the use of social media because of globalization.
Additionally, globalization has brought societies closer together culturally through television programming and news coverage. With Netflix that is so popular now, people in America can watch shows from other countries, mostly Spanish speaking, that people there watch and vice versa, they can watch typical American shows. For example, in this article, culture is described as something that changes gradually, not suddenly. While this is true, the gradual change could also be started by the smallest thing. A group of young students in school could be on Netflix watching a typical American show and they could start saying things that the American kids are saying or they are interested in wearing whatever trend is going on in America at that time. Of course, that is a small scale but culture is so delicate and should not be affected that much by other countries. As for the news coverage, the ability to exchange information from country to country is on the Global Cities Index as represented here and it is very important for the news to be able to get to other places faster for safety reasons. For example, if there was an earthquake that was going to cause a tsunami somewhere, it would be extremely important for the safety of thousands of people that the information gets there in time so people can escape. The ability to spread news like this is very positive; however, it can also cause problems when politics are brought into the picture and there are more differences of opinion and handling problems rather than just getting a message out for safety. Globalization has brought societies together through the use of television programming as well as news coverage.
Although some people might argue that either globalization has brought societies further apart or that it has brought them closer together in an all positive way, that is clearly not the case when looking at how the effects of cultures, such as the American culture, have affected countries throughout the world. With regards to culture, globalization thrived through the connections of the use of easier international travel, social media and the internet, as well as television programming and news coverage.