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Communication technology and Westernization - Essay Example

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Internet, as the most simplified means of communication has reduced the physical distance and is believed to be the means of effective interaction, teamwork, and…
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Communication technology and Westernization
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Communication Technology and Westernization The rampant growth of communication technology has had an outstanding effect on modern societies all over the world. Internet, as the most simplified means of communication has reduced the physical distance and is believed to be the means of effective interaction, teamwork, and leadership. However, in addition to numerous advantages, the technology has turned to be the major issue of cultural importance.
To illustrate, internet creates a virtual world where people enjoy unrestricted freedom of expression. Obviously it is the modern means of pursuit of freedom that is closely associated with the western outlook. Although the democratic value of the internet has been cherished, on the contrary, the cyber culture is breaking the boundaries of ethical parameters in many aspects. Initially, it affects the moral perception of the new generation as they are exposed to uncensored websites. They are likely to be influenced by various misanthropic ideologies and racism (Cliché & Bonilla, 2004, pp.32-33).
Education is another notable area that has been affected by internet. In fact, the positive effects of communication technology have opened new opportunities in the field of education and employment. On the other hand, the technology has been widely used for academic misconduct which will have adverse effects on our education system as a whole. Another argument against the technology is that it has a westernizing effect on other cultures. As stated in Forbes & Mahan, (Eds.) (2005, p.135), since the primary language of the internet is English, it would transmit the elements of Western values including emphasis on material goods, entertainment, sex and romance.
The other side of the argument is that though internet has a cultural and social influence, it does not necessarily eliminate the values of indigenous cultures. As Nakamura L (2007) states, internet has the potential for challenging western influence; and moreover, it can turn to be an effective device for non-western users. The author points out the example of New Media Center Sarai New Delhi which has developed software for indigenous non-literates.
However, the so called potentiality of the technology needs to be further utilized. Obviously, a cyber society that has deep root in Western culture has emerged globally. People participate in the cyberspace social networks and interact with others who have similar interests and tastes. They express their feelings and ideas (whether right or wrong) without the fear of legal restrictions. The effect is that the more they communicate via internet, the less they interact with the society. According to Lessig (2004), people around the world have the opportunity to build and cultivate a culture; perhaps a cyber-culture that would reach beyond the local boundaries. Unfortunately, internet offers people the opportunity to destruct their cultures too. In this context, how the technology applied is the important factor that determines the effect.
To conclude, internet is an important factor that influences cultures around the world. Although it has provided us with feasible means of communication and information, it alters the uniqueness every culture. Internet in the long run will cause unrecognized westernization. Although this technology is potential enough to preserve the values of culture, unfortunately it is being used for several subversive activities.
Cliché G. & Bonilla M. (Eds.), 2004, Internet and Society in Latin America and the Caribbean, IDRC.
Forbes B D & Mahan J H., (Eds.), 2005, Religión and Popular Culture in America, 2nd Edn, University of California Press.
Lessig L., 2004, Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lockdown Culture and Control Creativity, Penguin.
Nakamura L, 2007, Digitizing Race: Visual Cultures of the Internet, Minnesota Press. Read More
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