With globalisation comes many universal perks that fortunately we as humans get to experience. Globalisation is a term that refers to the world as an international community. It offers to people of an array of positive elements that complement each other as a utopic whole. These advantages include instantaneity, interconnectedness and the sense of an ‘imagined community’, all of which are terms explored from Michael O’Shaughnessy and Jane Stadler. As a whole this post will be focusing on the positives of globalisation while drawing on Twitter as a running example.
One of the major positive aspects of globalisation is the way it establishes instantaneity. O’Shaughnessy and Stadler suggest the idea of instantaneity and interconnectedness offering “almost instant access to distant information and events” (O’Shaughnessy and Stadler, 2008 p. 459). This idea of instantaneity can be applied in many forms, whether it may be instant access to media platforms, news and events. Globalisation has built bridges to these platforms allowing immediate connection.
The results of instantaneity can be seen through not only broadcasting, radio and what not, but highly in social media. Take for instance Twitter. The social networking site offers users to post ‘tweets’ which involve various characters and hashtags. Mass amounts of people tweeting at once can essentially create globally accessible immediate and instant citizen journalists, opinions and updates. A topic with a large amounts of tweets may begin to trend and alas, instantaneity is produced. This is demonstrated in the following screenshot from 13th August 2015 of the trending tweets.
The next screenshot shows how people can be exposed to instant and current information, further relating to the idea of instantaneity. We can also see how conversation is generated amongst people, leading to the next advantage, interconnectedness.
Furthermore, another concept linked to instantaneity is interconnectedness- a sense of connection without being physically nearby. This concept explored in O’Shaugnessy and Stadler’s work refers to the notion of interpersonal communication without geographic boundaries. As mentioned previously, sites such as Twitter and many other social networking platforms have formed between users a sense of interconnectedness. It is not only social networking sites that provide this element either. The extended use of internet to connect, as well as increased mobile phone capabilities have provided people with a larger chance to become and remain interconnected. This is yet another advantage of globalization.
Taking on these two terms stimulates a growth in global relationships and generates unity through broadened communication. The idea of unity associated with globalization relates to a concept by the name of ‘imagined communities’. This term coined by Benedict Anderson (O’Shaughnessy and Stadler, 2008 p. 459) suggests that although instant connection to others in the world is a perk of globalization, you cannot possibly know everyone on a personal level. Certain elements, opinions, similarities and so forth bind people together and in turn create a sense of an imagined community. As seen through the running example of twitter, users can participate in an ‘imagined community’, bonded by trending topics and tweets.
Overall the benefits of globalization harmonize and produce a positive synergy. Each positive component has enabled a strong sense of instantaneity, interconnectedness and an ‘imagined community’ to be effective on their own terms, but powerful as a whole.
O’Shaughnessy, M and Stadler, J (2008) ‘Globalisation’, Media and Society (fifth edition) Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 458-471.