During our pictorial presentations in class, I was struck by how much emphasis our class placed on social media as a key component to globalization. As members of Generation Y, we are pioneering this communication channel each day, a channel that is allowing people across the world to communicate and connect like never before. Please view the below video, which highlights specifics as to the impact social media is having:
One of the most important pieces of this video in terms of globalization in my mind is the statement “Word of Mouth is on digital steroids.” The best example many of us can think of today is the impact social media has had on the “Arab Spring,” the beginning of revolutions in many Middle Eastern countries such as Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. “Although they shared a common call for personal dignity and responsive government, the revolutions across these three countries reﬂected divergent economic grievances and social dynamics” per ForeignAffairs.com. The people experiencing these revolutions could not turn to their media for trustworthy information, and so they turned to each other instead. They reached out as “citizen journalists,” like Alex mentioned in her posts, and informed each other about the dangers, the strengths, and the possibilities they faced. Just think, how much of your news do you take in from social media?
I’d like to propose that social media has different meaning across cultures, as we found there are often different “codes” across cultures for the same expression, experience, or item. I’d like to think about Clotaire Rapaille’s The Culture Code and propose that the culture code for social media in the U.S. would be something like “IDEA,” whereas the culture code for social media in the Middle East may be more like “FREEDOM.” Do you agree with these proposed culture codes for social media? If not, what do you think is more reflective?
Stay tuned for my next post, describing one of the most influential Twitter users in the Middle East. You can start following him now @SultanAlQassemi.