Glocal - an industry term for the difficult-to-attain but necessary-to-strive-for combination of a global view with local awareness and understanding. I strive to be a "glocal" communicator and to help others develop first the awareness, then the capability of communicating FOR understanding using a glocal mindset.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Reflections on internet-based relationships in the movie "You've Got Mail" (1998)
It was interesting to revisit the opening up of Meg Ryan’s character to a stranger online.I can’t help but reflect back twelve years ago when 90% of the internet user population was located in richer, more industrialized countries which accounted for only 15% of the world’s population (Thurlow, 2004).Compare that statistic to 12 years later, 2010, when internet usage in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region of the world made up almost 42% of the internet user population of the world.Interestingly, countries that have the second (India) and fourth (Indonesia) largest populations in the world have very low penetration rates of internet usage at 7% and 12% respectively.With this additional growth potential in APAC, I hypothesize the balance will surely shift in the near future to over 50% of the worldwide online presence being represented by the Asia-Pacific region, lead by China.
Had this geographic diversity been represented when “You’ve got mail” was filmed in 1998, would Meg’s character have felt as comfortable sharing with a complete stranger?According to German sociologist Ferdinand Tönnies, Gemeinschaft, or small and intimate communities, when combined with locality, or sharing a common geographical setting, creates space for intimate sharing and relationship development (Thurlow, 2004).In 1998, the western-centric spread of internet technology assured Meg’s character that she shared a common socioeconomic community, since 90% of the users on the internet were from richer and more industrialized nations.Would she have made the same choices, considering the complex cultural and linguistic mix that is now tapping the internet?