Globalization is a process of moving. Moving people, moving ideas, and moving money. Communication is a weighty factor in globalization. It would not even be a process if people from around the world were not able to connect on some kind of basis. Individuals are able to connect for copious amounts of reasons, whether it is through finance or personal reasons. National frontiers are broken down through globalization, making the world seem like one big place. Globalization has helped the economy in certain areas, and harmed it in others. Citizens are able to now contribute to the economy for the country they live in, and other economies. Economy is built on a global level through people. However, not the entire world is covered by globalization. This process is made possible through people, but not every person has access to the key components of globalization. Infrastructural networks compose globalization as a whole. The challenges present to world-wide connection is a question of inconsistency. A contemporary society is not perfect. There are areas in the world that are not as globalized as others, through lack of access to networks.
Globalization is carried through people, through countries, and through government. It is made possible through networks. Globally, there are networks constructed via the exchange of people and information. In the advent of world trade and communication, the world has become increasingly smaller. A network can be defined as human or technological. These networks expand globally, and make the world a smaller community than ever before. Even though the world may be smaller due to networks, the process of globalization is uneven. This is because not everyone is given the same access as others. This inequality is for various details, whether that be financially, socially, and journalistically. This paper explores those ways and their significance in terms of uneven globalization. Wi-Fi is the network analyzed in this paper. This cause and effect relationship is outlined through exchange of Wi-Fi and globalization. The central question becomes: are countries with concentrated Wi-Fi connection more globalized? Yes, and this is proven through financial situations, as well as social and media awareness. Citizens in particular countries are more globalized if they have access to certain financial apps, social media apps, and journalism outlets.
The world is economically uneven. Each region has a specific form of currency, and the world stock exchange is significant. Wi-Fi coverage relies on financial apps such as banking and stocks. This infrastructure is the focal point of economic growth in certain areas. The stocks app comes readily available on Androids and iPhones, so it is remarkably easy for anyone with this type of technology to be aware of stocks. This in term makes the individual more culturally aware, and can even be an asset to the stock market. Global capitalism is hotly disputed among economic scholars. Mainstream trade theory explains how trade patterns are reliant on the differences of cost between countries. (Sheppard, 50) The value of the dollar (or whatever unit of measurement) varies region to region, and this has a direct affect on the trade. Accumulation of capital allows individuals only a confined space to work for, depending on their geographic location. For example, someone working in Tanzania can only contribute to the Tanzanian economy. The world is uneven in this sense by keeping it segregated. Each country is in competition.
Applications through a smart phone facilitate easy banking. Economic chores are at the tips of person’s fingers, made possible through smart phones and the app store. Users are able to check their balance as well as pay bills. Wi-Fi makes it easy to access these apps, on a constant basis without having to sit down at a computer. Brand identification is prevalent in this argument. Individuals tend to identify with certain consumer products, if that product is tied to nationalism. In this instance, if the application has patriotic connotations, the individual is more likely to subscribe to it. (Peng, 1135) For example, BMO is the Bank of Montreal. A proud Montreal resident would presumably download this app to express their love of their city. Obviously they would have to do their banking through BMO. Downloading this app makes the citizen more in-tune with the global economy, as well as their specified regional economy. Wireless Internet connection allows individual to constantly be financially aware, and this contributes to globalization. It does this through the integration of people and economic consciousness. It proves inconsistency in the world through a person’s access to financial apps on their smartphones through Wi-Fi.
The world is not only uneven through its economic barriers. Spotty Wi-Fi coverage also makes for a socially uneven world. Social media applications dominate most smart phones. Individuals on a global level with cellular devices are able to connect through social media. However, those without wireless Internet connection are unable to participate in conversations and the sharing of pictures. Online social media usage is driven by the dominant culture of that area. Unfortunately, only those with strong Wi-Fi connection are able to access platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook in an instantaneous way. They may be able to reach it, but not on a constant basis from a smart phone. This gap is noteworthy because it is the people with instant connection that benefit from the process more. Social media moves at a rapid-pace, and if a person does not have access to a particular platform at the tip of their fingertips, it is not used in the same way as someone who does. Keeping up to speed with social media is especially interesting with apps such as Snapchat, that are strictly time-sensitive. Snaps disappear after 24 hours, making it irretrievable afterwards. This is a specific example of how globalization is uneven through those who have immediate access through Wi-Fi, and those who have slower access.
The dynamics in social media vary region to region. In a study from The Thunderbird International Business Review in 2012, the discrepancies from country to country are eminent. It analyzes how users from different world regions use social media for business and personal use, as well as the language translation barriers. Language analysis is pertinent to this case because the specific social media app must have the capacity to translate the given material into the language suitable to that region. In Brazil, Russia, and China more users admitted to utilizing social media to connect with friends and family over anything else. (Singh, 689) Their second reason is to make new friends. On the other hand, Europe’s second reason is to read content. This is imperative to understanding how global citizens use their apps through Wi-Fi. The differences between business and personal use on social media is also stimulating in the sense that different continents take apps geared towards social activities in different ways.
Language is a factor when analyzing globalization. The world consists of thousands of dialects. This affects social media through translation and slang language. Different global regions have the ability to access a multitude of different news outlets, which skews their opinion of current events. Language barriers can be problematic because not everything translates properly from dialect to dialect. Individuals who are bilingual can detect this flaw in the system. This can potentially result in the person not using a particular social media outlet. Algorithms as well as language determine that shows up on a person’s feed. All social media is designated to cater to the audience. This is problematic because it skews the information, and reveals biases.
Journalism affects globalization directly. What citizens are able to read about international coverage as well as their own area has an impact on how they view the world. For example, if a citizen is not aware of atrocities that occur across the world, it is easy to think they live in a bubble. Being culturally aware is one of the most crucial entities of globalization on a micro level. Furthermore, each person integrated in some kind of global organization is feeding into globalization. News coverage varies region to region. The question becomes: what is newsworthy? The variables are mostly cultural. Relevant news is specific to the area it is in. A more entertainment video based on click-bait is more likely to make the front page in North America than a hard-hitting news story about a bombing in another country. These journalistic news outlets are accessed through Wi-FI and on mobile phones.
According to a Journalism Studies article by Guy Golan, media sets an agenda based on geographical region. (Golan, 328) International news agendas are algorithmically set up, and cater to the area someone is in. In the conclusion of this study, it is revealed that mainstream journalism is problematic for steadiness reasons. In this particular study: CNN, Fox News, and CNBC all cover a story in drastically different ways. An individual’s news outlet of choice decides how they contribute to globalization. The news is set out to inspire people to take action. A person may be more likely to take action after reading an article if it is more local. The argument then becomes a question of physical accessibility. Relevant information is decided through geographic region. This is highly flawed due to the fact that the world should be able to access any journalistic coverage in any area. Large media corporations work hard behind the scenes to ensure global news coverage stays harder to find. This is for reasons of safety and to generate viewership. Unfortunately, a cat video will get more views than a hard-hitting investigative piece on Syrian refugees. This example directly reflects globalization by the sheer lack of fair representation in the news. Globalization is affected in the sense of inconsistency between news representations area to area. Geographical region determines newsworthiness and relevance.
Globalization is a discreetly uneven process through Wi-Fi. Cellular connection enables a citizen to connect to anyone, anywhere. IN today’s society, those without the devices that connect to Wi-Fi are less culturally aware. A citizen can be culturally aware through their use of finance applications, through their social media presence, and through their consumption of news. Each entity is problematic in its own way. Language barriers are prevalent in finance, social media, and journalism. The way a story is conveyed or a tweet is posted can be lost in translation. Social media makes it easier than ever for a citizen to participate in global conversations. Not everyone in the world has immediate access to time-sensitive media. Social media takes on different meanings in different places. The world is not on plateau to begin worth, and individuals are forced to work with whatever materials they are given, to be socially aware. This paper has proven how globalization is uneven through economic factors, ultimately contributing to social and journalistic inequality. The globe is so much bigger than most inhabitants understand, but they are connected through globalization, and ever-changing process. Economic trade and progression is made possible through the communication of people through Wi-Fi.
Golan, Guy. (2006) Inter-Media Agenda Setting And Global News Coverage. Journalism Studies 7.2: 323-33. Web PDF.
Peng, K., Chen, Y., & Wen, K. (2014) Brand relationship, consumption values and branded app adoption. Industrial Management & Data Systems, (2014) 114(8), 1131-1143. Web PDF.
Sheppard, E. (2012) Trade, Globalization and Uneven Development: Entanglements of Geographical Political Economy. Progress in Human Geography 36.1 44-71. Web PDF.
Singh, N., Lehnert, K., & Bostick, K. (2012). Global social media usage: Insights into reaching consumers worldwide. Thunderbird International Business Review, 54(5), 683-700. Web PDF