The World is Shrinking
With every passing day the world is shrinking, and the globalization process is taking place. Advances in communication, transportation, and computer technology have all played a role in making the world a smaller place. With the right equipment, people can talk to friends and family from the other side of the world. Traveling from America to Europe, which once required days at sea, now only takes hours in the air. Computer networking and fax machines allow world businesses to conduct negotiations within a matter of seconds. Images and personas such the McDonalds’s golden arches and Mickey Mouse are recognized worldwide. When Saddam Hussein was captured, nearly every country knew about it within a matter of hours. Yet, while globalization is taking place. it is not doing so without dispute. Many countries, in fact, feel threatened by Western culture and consequently, are acting out to preserve their own identities. Differences in currency and standardized measuring units indicate hesitancy and possibly even an inability for people to accept the conformity of a singular global society. Also, characteristics of different cultures are in such a way unique that to alter them or blend them into other cultures would, in some people’s opinion, destroy both of them. After all, one would not expect to find tacos served in Italian restaurants, nor would one expect pasta and breadsticks to be the major selling items in Mexican restaurants. So, while globalization is taking place on different levels, fundamental differences in culture and pride in one’s own heritage both exist as strong forces preventing the emergence of a homogenized world society.
In terms of business and economy, world corporations have been assisted by technological advances but have also been influenced by new global mentalities. For instance, Japan’s historical agricultural heritage is being threatened by a younger generation more interested in cars, stereos, and video games. Meanwhile, world business in general is extremely competitive where large corporations eliminate small, localized shops every day. These corporations are bent on conquering their respective markets, turning higher profits, and cutting costs wherever possible. The latter is evidenced by the loss of jobs in Britain where management officials relocated factories to other world locations, taking advantage of a cheaper labor force. Similarly, Levi’s Strauss and Co. recently closed factories in both the United States and Canada, sending jobs to factories in The Caribbean, Latin America, and Asia.
Globalization has also impacted the social fabric of world society. Slimness of the body is possibly the most defining characteristic of an attractive person. Movie stars and pop musicians such as Russell Crowe and Madonna are known worldwide. Mickey Mouse is the most recognized rodent on the planet! Coca-Cola is one of the most requested beverages of choice while McDonalds’s Big Mac is a popular meal eaten throughout the world.
Technological advances seem to make the world a smaller place to live and business emerge in the most unexpected of places, different cultures of the world still maintain enough of a unique identity to dispel the notion that the world has become one global society. The human population is rapidly increasing with little if any regulation and different cultures, while still possessing the right to maintain their richly unique identities, will soon be forced to live closer to each other than they have in the past. So the next time you think how far everyone is, think again for the world is definitely shrinking.