Globalization as we know today is such a huge topic spoken about by many. It is a popular topic for discussion as it increases the level of connectedness between individuals, societies and nation states at a global level.
Globalization is linked to many areas but primarily in this post, we are going to look at, is globalization as it relates to technology and media. A main feature of globalization, technology and media is:
“The reduction in the distance between individuals and societies in terms of both time and space; facilitated by technological developments such as the Internet and other media. These are usually referred to as Information Communication Technologies (ICTs). The development of ICTs has not only resulted in major changes in the workings of the mass media but also allows the rapid transfer of information, knowledge and capital.” (Sage Publications, 2010)
Media and technology as it relates to globalization both go hand in hand. The extensive growth of technology is responsible for media globalization. The internet, satellites, cable television and digital devices have created a pathway for an immense amount of information to travel the globe within seconds.
Technological advancements have caused globalization to rise within the past ten years. According to (Burbules and Torres, 2011), “In information and communication technology, innovations have become smaller in size, more efficient and often more affordable. In transport technology, vehicles have tended to become larger and faster, as well as becoming more environmentally friendly and cheaper to run. Whether for personal use or for business, technology has made the world seem a smaller place and assisted in the rise of globalisation.” Communication technology has made it easy for people all over the world to communicate with one another through emails, the internet, chat programs and video calls. Transport technology has also played a major role in the process of globalization. Since the Industrial Revolution, the nature of transport has drastically changed. Vehicles are built, faster, safer, more environmentally friendly, cheaper to run and more fuel efficient. Airline and water transport have expanded tourism as well as trade between countries.
Both media globalization and technology globalization have its advantages and disadvantages. We previously discussed some of the advantages of both media and technology as it relates to globalization but here are some more.
- Media, like society has become greatly diverse therefore offering a variety of choice to individuals worldwide than ever before. Consumers are in control and also have a vast choice in their media consumption. This in turn, widens cultural horizons and gives persons access to various cultures worldwide.
- (McLuhan, 1980) stated that, “the rise of communication technologies would culminate in the creation of a “global village”, one capable of enhancing initial understanding between people and forging new communications.”
- (Matos, 2012) stated that, “new technologies have permitted a reduction in cost of communications- computerized technology, the internet and satellite television have all contributed to the reduction of costs encouraging homemade productions.”
- Fenton (1999) argues that, “global culture has led to the westernisation of other cultures. The mass media forces western cultural values (especially American) on non-western countries therefore damaging other cultures and promoting cultural homogenisation, where everything is the same.”
- Technology makes us vulnerable. We have become so dependent on technology through online shopping, online banking, and data storage that we are more likely to have our information stolen so that we could be financially decimated within a short period of time.
- Another disadvantage of both technology and media is the flow of inappropriate content to certain age groups. With easy access to television and the internet, young children and teenagers are exposed to inappropriate content such as pornography, drug use, violence and criminal activities.
- There is much room for “digital divide” where persons who do not have access to media and technology become isolated in relation to the rest of the world thereby creating global inequalities.
Just like both sides of a coin, globalization as it relates to media and technology has its pros and cons. However, in current times, globalization is at its peak. The main goal of globalization should be geared toward assisting the less fortunate countries by providing them with the best lifestyle opportunities that the more advanced countries already have. It should also focus on ensuring that all countries benefit from the advantages of globalization within equal rights and by playing by the same rules.
– Jeanine Jagroopsingh
Burbules, Nicholas C, and Carlos Alberto Torres. “Burbules, N. C. & Torres, C. A. (2000). Globalization and Education: …” Burbules, N. C. & Torres, C. A. (2000). Globalization and Education: … January 23, 2012. Accessed February 17, 2015. http://www.slideshare.net/camilleau3ry/burbules-n-c-torres-c-a-2000-globalization-and-education-critical-perspectives-new-yourk-routledge-1213.
“Globalization and the Mass Media.” A2sociologyplumstead. Accessed February 17, 2015. https://a2sociologyplumstead.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/lesson-2-globalisation-and-the-mass-media-blog.ppt.
Matos, Carolina. “Media and Globalization.” SlideShare. January 1, 2012. Accessed February 17, 2015. http://www.slideshare.net/carolinamatos3538/wk-20-media-and-globalization-17502722.
“Media Globalization.” Sage Publications. January 1, 2010. Accessed February 17, 2015. http://www.sagepub.com/upm-data/9446_010773Ch2.pdf.
Rantanen, Terhi. The Media and Globalization. London: SAGE, 2005.