We live in an Information Age where different societies are globally connected through the help of modern communication technologies. It is undeniable that the emergence of the Internet, the World Wide Web, computers, and mobile phones are significantly instrumental in making sure that people all over the world are easily connected with one another, regardless of location and demographics, through these platforms (Campbell, MacKinnon, and Stevens, 2011). The advent of television, social media and all other forms of mass communication, enabled information to travel the world so much faster that it did a couple of decades earlier. With a click of a button, people from various cultures, social status, and age groups can go online and be bombarded with news and latest goings on in both local and international settings.
This rapid means of information relay facilitated a faster-paced globalization process. We never get to miss a beat because our modern communication technologies are constantly providing us with the news and information that can impact us in various ways, be it in our daily lives, or something to enrich us and carry with us as we journey through life. Being globally connected in this way can have both positive and negative effects. It can be positive in the sense that, with the exception of individuals who are not fortunate to have access to the latest technology or the availability of information as in several countries that impose restrictions on such, nobody gets left behind when it comes to keeping abreast with the latest information in the world arena. As soon as something new comes up, the rest of the free world will have access to this new information and it will be up to the recipient of the information to decide on how they are going react or how to utilize it according to their specific needs. For one, it can be used for the commercialization of products and/or services thus helping drive global economy – arguably one of the biggest advantages in terms of globalization. The ease of information exchange also facilitates intercultural collaborations in business, education, politics, and issues of global concern such as human rights protection and environment and wildlife preservation.
This easy accessibility allows cultures to exchange ideas and valuable information, learn more from each other, do business with each other, and connecting them in more ways than one. However, being globally connected can also have a negative impact, information overload being one of them. According to Sander and Janovsky (2015), the vast amount of information made available and accessible to us by technology nowadays leads to information overload that, in turn, can hamper creative thinking and innovation, cause mental stress, affect work performance, and may even result in behavioral changes. Another downside to the digital and information age is the proliferation of misinformation and fake news. When people are not careful in determining the authenticity of their sources of information, they become vulnerable towards getting misled. Instead of bringing people together, this can adversely affect personal lives, businesses, and sway public opinion and creating divisions. The sad reality is that there are those who make fake news and spread such information online with the sole malicious intent of deceiving others, and even spreading hate (White, 2017).
Thus, it is truly important to sift through information wisely and meticulously while understanding that not everything that exists online can be trusted or even important at all. As we work towards bridging the gap between cultures, netizens need to be encouraged to practice vigilance and thorough fact-checking when it comes to processing and sharing information as part of an ongoing effort to counteract this communications revolution drawback.
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