Sunday, October 9, 2011

Globalization, Technology and Culture

This picture does a very good job of describing how globalization has pushed our personal and cultural frontiers and technology has been a crucial part of this process.

Source: Ekantipur. The caption reads: “Parents from Kathmandu put Tika to their family members living in Orebro, Sweden via “video call” on Saturday to mark Dashami—the 10th day of Dashain festival. Many Nepali residing abroad received the blessings via computers and internet.”

Notice few interesting stuff in this picture:

  • Globalization and technology are pushing our cultural frontiers. Globalization and technology are ever evolving, but culture at the core remains as it is. Economic agents try to strike an equilibrium between the benefits of globalization and their culture. Technology is bridging that gap in some way.
  • Cost of communication is way cheaper. It was unimaginable few years back to do video chat or communicate using internet. People had to depend on the good old ISD/STD phone booths, which are evaporating these days. Owning a cell phone in 2004 was a big deal. Now, you can have it and use the 3G technology within minutes. Back in 2000, you had to wait for about two years to get a landline connection. There was a quota system by district. Now, people hardly want to have landline, expect in offices and home (least preferred by people living on rent or in an apartment).
  • The digital divide: Look at the internet speed (the red bars). Developing countries still have low internet speed (and reach), which is expanding though, than the developed countries. Is technological convergence (sans innovation) or catch-up happen?
  • Culture is one of the few factors that binds people across generations and nations. People adapt this to globalization to the extent possible.
  • And, come on ekantipur,  could you please at least redact names of the people in the picture? Readers get the core message without the names as well!