The Idea of the Internet Homogenizing Culture

The issue of whether or not the Internet plays a pivotal role in globalization is an extremely disputable and contentious issue. Globalization, which is often described in terms of “the integration of economic capital markets and culture throughout the world” is seen as an idea that can bring both negative as well as positive advantages. The rate of development in the globalization of nations and geographical regions is believed to be significantly aided by the speed of information and knowledge the Internet can provide.

Although, in theory sharing knowledge is supposedly to be beneficial towards the development of the human race but the Internet can also contribute for homogenizing culture, creating an unfair playing field for countries that are developing. This argument can be clearly observed in the study of Asian nations, specifically in Thailand. Hence, the use of Internet and the rise of businesses using the Internet have increased, the issue is, although technology has enhanced communication and knowledge but has it impacted the people in developing nations or has the divide between the wealthy and the poor increased?

The Internet is a distinct type of media. It is able to connect with a wide audience, however this is influenced by various factors such as economic status, technological proficiency as well as the desire for the medium. The Internet is not necessarily appropriate or accessible to everyone to access, and in a country such as Thailand, it can be clear that the less fortunate have been marginalized particularly the 부동산 경매 less educated as well as those who live in rural areas. For instance, 70 percent of Thailand’s Internet users are located in The Bangkok Metropolitan Area (Hongladaron, 2003) and only four to five percent of rural Thailand is connected to Internet.

In a couple of his writings, the academic Hongladaron has also discussed the disparity of the rural Thai citizens. Hongladaron has outlined the benefits of the Internet, but then confirms through his research that these benefits are only accessible to the wealthy, thus because the poor are being excluded and disadvantaged, the Internet can be considered as a discriminatory type of medium. However, Hongladaron argues that the Internet does not homogenize cultures. He says”that “the relation between computer-mediated communication technologies and local cultures is characterized neither by a homogenizing effect, not by an erecting of barriers separating one culture from another.” (Hongladaron 1998).

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Hongladaron came to a conclusion about his conclusion that the Internet homogenizing culture however only to a small extent. There isn’t much information available about the way Thai people interact on the Internet or use their experience on the Internet to be a tool, it’s hard to conclude whether that the impact of the Internet is homogenizing. However, it is clarified that the Internet can be a disadvantage to the people who are unable to use this medium.

The use of the Internet is increasing in popularity and widespread, the issue of homogenizing cultures is being debated. Certain academics believe that since the Internet can benefit the rich and educated, people who are able to use the Internet generally have a higher level of mental capability and therefore, the homogenization of cultures can only be applied to a limited extent. For instance there are Bengali tribes of Bangladesh practice sustainable living and do not appreciate the knowledge that is presented on the Internet. They see the Internet as a negative way of communicating, since contact with people is not established. People belonging to the Bengali tribe follow the Hindu religion , and every member of the tribe plays a specific function.

Thus, the entire tribe is self-sufficient. Members do not need to follow the values or the “teachings'” of the Internet. In addition, native Tibetans are another example of where the knowledge gained from the Internet doesn’t reach the people. Due to their belief of the Buddhist living philosophy that they live in harmony with their area. People from these indigenous communities do not believe in the Internet as they would argue that the computer is something people want but not a necessity. Therefore, when considering the issue of whether or not the Internet is a tool to aid the homogenization of cultures, even though some would say “yes because of the fact that developing Asian nations becoming more westernized due to the influence of the Internet however, some would argue that it’s only Asian people who have been westernized use the Internet. The academics will argue that some Asian communities, specifically tribal groups of indigenous origin are not likely to use the Internet because of their cultural model, which is why they would not be able to use the Internet. Internet community is focused exclusively on one type of people, with one population that shares the same beliefs: “that the Internet is a helpful tool’.

Furthermore, it’s no secret there is no doubt that there is no doubt that Internet is a platform for “information sharing” and this sharing of knowledge could result in certain ideologies being more prominent and change the beliefs and practices of other societies. Some would argue that, even though this is a fact when using the Internet but the Internet is not able to control the practices of an individual’s lifestyle and views, and the Internet is merely a platform for presenting another person’s discourse and not influence a person’s views to change.

Bibliography and References Used:

Cooper Wesley 2004. ‘Information Technology and Internet Culture’, [http://www.brandeis.edu/pubs/jove/HTML/V6/iculture.html]

“Cultural Politics of the Digital Divide in Thailand”, Hongladaron, 2003

“Global Culture, Local Cultures and the Internet: The Thai example” Hongladaron, 1998

Heal Melinda 2005, ‘The Internet and Thailand’, Australian National University,

Honglardom, Busakorn Suriyasarn et al

“Internet Users in Thailand” National Electronics and Computer Technology Center” (NECTEC), 2004

Bernice Ly works as a tech writer who works at M6.Net The company that hosts websites designed for human beings. M6.Net is working hard to allow humanity to enjoy the power and freedom to create their own piece of the Internet and to share their data and communicate with anyone, anywhere, anytime.

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