Jabir Al Fatah

It was not that very long ago the internet was born and we have become familiar with virtual communication across the globe. It has given us access into the vast amount of information- information about other cultures, lifestyles, political ideologies etc. However, this new form of communication platform has always been welcoming and appreciated to the societies all over the world regardless the geographical location, age, and race- which eventually has allowed us to exchange our views with others (beyond the borders) on all aspects of life. A vast majority of people nowadays enjoy news, watch sports performance, check weather forecasts on the internet. People are more likely to use chatting, messenger application and email to stay in touch with friends and colleagues than face to face meeting. Moreover, Social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have shaped our societies in a new ways for socializing and interaction with people. Users of this sites can share their common interests, opinion, virtual events and dating experience with friends sitting at the other end of the world in a blink of eyes. Although this kind of effortless and digital way of communication seems eternal blessings to us, it is very unfortunate that easy access to information through technology such as the internet is killing our local and ethnic cultural value. For example, a teenager living in India is greatly influenced by the Western culture. A girl of 16 wearing saree, going to temple with her granny in the morning- it sounds really shocking for today's teenagers as the western culture highly influences them. India is like a tree whose roots are culture, tradition, harmony, and brotherhood but today it’s replaced by the yellow ones of western world. It’s good that one is adapting western culture by keeping their own culture on zenith. As the sole reason for which today Indians are venerated on world stage is just because of the vintage of this nation. But instead of this people are just forgetting their culture and are totally influenced by the western one as they feel it to be more attractive, trendy, and modern which has given the top most priority in today's world. The perception of beauty is increasingly being defined by Western parameters due to reasons such as globalization, free trade, and high technology (Bindra, 2016). These are obviously the consequences of “technology changes” (not to mention “the Internet”) which has created immense transformation in the way people communicate and share their knowledge with others. So, it is clear that the internet and information technology has given rise to the advancement of globalization. Therefore, the globalization’s effect on culture is immense and diverse. It has turned people's cultural behaviours into different ways. “Globalization is now widely regarded as a “multidimensional” phenomenon- on the surface an unproblematic description but, taken seriously enough, one with demanding implications for (not least, cultural) analysis” (Tomlinson, 1999).

A researcher has claimed that even though there was an end of western colonization in Indian subcontinental countries after World War II, it did not die entirely- instead it changed itself into a more subtle from which is providing to be more harmful to all sub continental countries (e.g. India, Bangladesh) in the coming years (Sharma, 2015). He also argues “Indian culture is under the severe threat of the ruthless forces of Globalization today”.

"The extension of internet facilities to rural areas, setting up of shopping malls, multiplex theatres and replacement of juice corners and parathas by fast food and Chinese dishes have further affected the culture” (Sharma, 2015)."

Two authors (Chuchra and Kaur, 2016) considered a case of 19th century: youth were barely aware about outside the world. They did not know what was going outside the home- whatever their parents said was fine with them, even they have never analysed the things properly that are related to their life. “They faced number of problems especially taking even a small decision in life. The reason behind this is only illiteracy correspondingly the advantage was that people were well attached with the fundamentals of culture and customs had been obeyed significantly” (Chuchra and Kaur, 2016). Most of the time they spent their time with their family, so they were unable to oppose own family members and live their life peacefully. But with the changing trends towards technology (21st century) in IT sector change the vision of people as shows everything changed. As an example, the development of social media or social networking websites develops a society positively provides a communication channel for message transfer/for information exchange and correspondingly having major drawback or negative point that is the origin of confidential information leakage (Chuchra and Kaur, 2016).

Because of the influence of advanced communication and globalization process the, the nature of migration has also changed, as people are migrating abroad more than ever. Internet technology has driven this trend of migration forward, allowing people to look for work online, processing and submitting online application for visa, residence permit etc. Moreover, in this age of information technology, computer and IT business industries are growing very fast and demanding more qualified worker to keep their business alive in highly competitive market. “More people than ever before seem to imagine routinely the possibility that they or their children will live and work in places other than where they were born: this is the wellspring of the increased rates of migration at every level of social, national, and global life” (Appadurai, 1996). Why I have addressed this migration issue is because, this process is constantly contributing to the to the richness in diversity of culture. It is obvious that if you are a citizen of any first world or industrialized country (e.g. Britain, Germany, China), you will very often meet some foreign co-workers and colleagues in your workplace. This number is increasing as business industries are growing and hiring talent employee from abroad has become a necessity. So, from an elementary school to higher educational institutes, form a small grocery store to an environment of a world class multinational company- wherever we set ourselves, we get a smell of foreign culture- become familiar with their ethnic values, lifestyles, foods, languages, and lots of other things. Some of us try to adopt them, try to learn their languages and cultures bit by bit. For example, a Swedish teacher becomes familiar with Indian food from an Indian student in his university, similarly and Indian will describe Swedish food recipe (e.g. meat ball?) to his or her friends sitting in India. Besides, with the help of internet and quick communication media this process becomes easier and the exchange of experiences and knowledge become faster. So, the undeniable fact is we, as the members of a modern society are identifying with each other, on the basis of distinctiveness measured by combinations of cultural, linguistic, religious, behavioural and/or biological traits- that is global culture (IGI Global, 2016).

To summarize the discussion, after the birth of the internet and quick communication media, cultures have got a new dimension which no longer keep us within our own traditional boundary. The Internet has undoubtedly become a tool of cultural transformation. With its rapid engagement and improvement, we have the opportunity to celebrate a global cultural festival. We can both enrich our own national identity and identify as a member of global cultural arena- the choice is simply ours. The internet has not only enabled us having knowledge about art and fashion of others, it also allows us to participate in giant virtual commemoration of entertainment and merry-making distraction without the limitation of distance. In short, the internet has revolutionized our cultural thinking and communication methods significantly.

[1] Bindra, S. (2016) IMPACT OF WESTERN CULTURE ON TEENAGERS. Available at: http://www.fuccha.in/impact-of-western-culture-on-teenagers (Accessed: 29 December 2016).
[2] Tomlinson, J. (1999) Globalization and culture. Oxford: Polity Press.
[3] Appadurai, Arjun (1996) Modernity at large: cultural dimensions of globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
[4] IGI Global (2016) ‘What is Global Culture?’, in InfoSci-Dictionary. Available at: http://www.igi-global.com/dictionary/global-culture/12218 (Accessed: 30 December 2016).
[5] Chuchra, R. and Kaur, N. (2016) ‘Effect of Western Culture on Indian Culture’, International Journal of Computer Applications, 136(5), pp. 5–12.
[6] Sharma, V.K. (2015) ‘Repercussions of Globalization on Indian Culture’, National Conference sponsored by Ministry of Culture Govt. of India. India, February 2011. Babe Ke College of Education, Mudki, Firozpur (Punjab): ResearchGate. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283792860_Repercussions_of_Globalization_on_Indian_Culture (Accessed: 31 December 2016).

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