Making the World a Smaller Place

There is no doubt that the Internet has connected the world in a way that no technology has before. Again, however, the question is about having the biggest voice. As Hamid Mowlana says in his article "The Communications Paradox," "Globalization is but another word for the impending triumph of American culture: entertainment, fashion, and the American way of life, all combined in one package" (40). There is no doubt that the Internet closes the gaps between cultures and country lines, but a very real problem is that the countries with the most money to spend on computerization will have the most say in what goes on on the Internet. Although this is the way civilization has always worked, that is to say that the ones with the money are the ones with the power, one of the goals of the Internet was to start from the beginning and create all users equal. The more technology is created, the more the equality idea seems to be disproved. Mowlana ends his article by saying "Essentially, the promise of the globalization of information--that more and more people will be able to participate in global communications--has been replaced with this reality: Fewer and fewer firms can now effectively span the globe" (42). `

This idea questions more than just whether in the United States there will be a divide between haves and have-nots. There is now a concern that, even to industrialized nations, the Internet will serve as little more than one big advertisement for western culture . This is a real concern because even though other nations may contribute to the information, most of the Internet is in English, most of the information was supplied by Americans, and most of the corporations that advertise over the Internet are American firms.

Western cultural dominance serves as another dividing line between haves and have-nots, especially in foreign countries. In the Middle East, for example, having Internet access most likely means having money, and although just having access separates the haves from the have-nots, a bigger divider may have an even bigger effect on where the class lines are drawn. The original goal of the Internet was not to convert the world to a group of American wanna-bes, but because the United States is the biggest contributor we by default pass along our American language, writing style, advertisements, and way of thinking to the rest of the world.


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