Globalization is the rise in the impact of human activities on the forces that span national boundaries. Computer technology has played a crucial role in enhancing communication hence changing the way people live. By the use of technology, information reaches every corner of the world; hence everybody knows what goes on in the world. Many scholars argue that the relationship between humans and technology can be described as “synergetic.” Although some people believe that technology has been beneficial to the human race, others argue that people have become overly dependent on technology; hence globalization has had a negative impact on the society too. The main objective of this essay is to present compelling arguments to explain how globalization has weakened social and cultural ties.
The inevitable forces of globalization and regionalization have re-energised the world economic scenery over the past century. Global trade and income flows have seen unprecedented growth. Intra-regional economic connections have become stronger with the propagation of regional trade agreements with common currency areas. In the economic sense, globalization is seen in terms of international trade agreements, increases in the volume of international trade and emerging economic interdependency which has its repercussions. The process is driven by the growth of capitalism which involves the transformation of the social structures and culture of pre-industrial and non-capitalist societies.
Although globalization has led to positive developments in communication, overreliance on technology has reduced face-to-face human interaction (Picard, 2011). When human beings become overly dependent on emerging technologies, it decreases interpersonal communication and affects the development of interpersonal skills. For example, the use of Facebook, Skype, Twitter, text messages, and emails has led to the loss of facial expressions, voice communication, gestures, and eye contact thus leading to less expressive communication. In addition, overdependence on technology has also affected child development. Psychologists argue that the current use of technology which is due to globalization intrudes into the socialization process, thus children become lazy. Today, children have become “couch potatoes” since they spend most of their time on the couch playing computer games and as a result reducing interaction with others. Since most people spend their time at home, they are becoming more dysfunctional in the society.
In spite of the fact that globalization has brought about globalized trade, it is worth noting that conflicts over outsourcing of resources have been witnessed among nations thereby affecting world’s peace and stability (Khosrowpour, 2000). Globalization has led to the exploitation of the developing countries by the developed countries through the empowerment of wealthy economies. Furthermore, globalization tends to fuel technological and industrial rivalry between the developed and developing countries (Khosrowpour, 2000). It has also had negative impacts on the social aspect hence making it difficult to control and regulate diversity. This is attributed to the fact that globalization has brought with it an influx of different ideologies and lifestyles.
The growing dependence on technology in education has affected the writing and reading skills of students. Unlike hand written assignments that are prone to spelling and grammatical errors, the use of modern spell checking software such as spellchecker and grammarly has made it easier for students to write excellent essays. However, overdependence on these programs has made students become lazy and develop habits which are difficult to eradicate. For example, students have difficulties in constructing comprehensible English sentences and writing constructive grammar without the help of these programs.
Although the internet provides valuable information that has been used to conduct research, people have become overly dependent on it. Such overdependence has had a negative impact on students since their research writing skills have been affected. Besides, when there is a lot of information in the internet, people have a difficult task of sieving the right information from personal opinions. Khosrowpour argues that overreliance on the technology affects people’s research skills since they become weak at sifting information. As a result, people must have outstanding skills to be able to identify information that is relevant (Klososky, 2011).
Globalization process has led to global trade and internationalization of fiscal markets, advancement of communication means, emergent significance of multinational corporations (MNC’s), and increased population migrations which imply growing mobility of people and strain on natural resources. The transfer of evil and good ideas, pollution, infections, and diseases has been on the rise too. The threat of cyber terrorism is real and exists in varying degrees due to globalization. For instance, the development of IT and the internet provides numerous opportunities for theft to take place in areas such as intellectual property and online banks. In addition, the internet is a viable ground for committing unscrupulous crimes such as fraud and extortion. Through the use of internet, cyber terrorists develop codes that enable access to vital information, thus making it easy for them to hack into people’s personal and intellectual property.
One significant aspect of globalization is that people have overly relied on technology in commerce and business. It has been widely noticed that even the slightest failures in technology can lead to disastrous effects in the markets and weaken the economy. For example, on September 8th, 2008, the London Stock Exchange stopped trading for some hours due to a failure by network software to interlink various trading programs (Khosrowpour, 2000). Financial analysts contemplated that many companies lost billions of dollars since that day was the best for market trading. It is an example that shows that due to globalization, technology may not be reliable at all times.
The overdependence of technology to conduct business operations has caused many large corporations to lose billions of dollars. For instance, on May 6th, 2010, the European market witnessed a significant financial crisis that plunged most companies into chaos with decreasing sales of about 5.7%. A market survey done by Nanex Inc showed that the “market crash” was occasioned by a small typo error, where a broker inserted a “b” for billion instead of “m” for million (Khosrowpour, 2000). Because of the fast paced technology, the results were relayed all over the world causing shock waves in the market. This example shows that overdependence on technology is quite detrimental to the society since it can cause chaos and cripple the economy.
Since the advent of globalization, many researchers and scholars are still pondering over its positive and negative influences on the society. Globalization has distorted and disrupted individual patterns of living, instead, creating similar lifestyles. One researcher noted that globalization has led to the development of a consumerist culture, for example, “coca-colonization” whereby various multinational corporations exploit the consumer’s material desires through their global marketing campaigns.
One cannot talk about globalization without mentioning cultural imperialism since the two aspects are intertwined. This is because globalization has swept all over the world like a wildly wave, thereby overriding local cultures and traditions in many continents. Furthermore, due to the backing that globalization receives from the first world or developed countries, many of its ideas and tenets are seen as universal thus promoting cultural imperialism.
Though globalization was meant to be a unified phenomena cutting across all cultures, it seems to have promoted the “American culture”. This is because America is considered to be a super power that has the ability to influence other nations through its popular culture, habits, and values. Therefore, to a large extent, globalization tends to be one-sided hence diluting the effect and influence of other cultures. Globalization has also had a diverse effect on cultural beliefs, values, and attitudes in regards to food consumption. By and large, the consumption of traditional delicacies has been replaced with the consumption of fast food as witnessed by the spread of numerous fast food chain outlets, a concept called “McDonaldization”
Some recent and future human activities have a direct relationship with technology which has been brought about by globalization. This may cause disasters wiping life out of the universe. A superior example is the manufacture and use of nuclear weapons. Nuclear power plants have in the past exploded and destroyed property worth billion of dollars. This is because nuclear energy is tremendously powerful and capable of causing massive destruction. The invention of petroleum saving automobiles might also cause imbalances in the atmosphere. These petroleum saving automobiles will consume either hydrogen or oxygen. These gases are vital in the atmospheric composition and sustainability of life on earth. Scientist should take into consideration the possible effects. Green house effect causes heating or rising of temperatures. The rise of temperatures is a threat to human life; all these are the repercussions of globalization.
Due to globalization which has led to the emergency of regionalization, firms are enabled to operate within trading blocs, with a narrower range of cultural diversity but still offering economies of scale or scope. It is extremely crucial to regulate the importation of goods to protect local manufacturers. The lack of import regulation in many developing countries will not sustain the work force leading to layoffs (Anderson, et al., 2001). Regionalization is crucial to regulate imports and to protect the country from poisonous goods. Even in the regulation of imports, illegal goods still sneak to the country. Dangerous weapons may also find its way to the country i.e. explosives and poisonous foods thus endangering the lives of innocent civilians.
Social etiquette of the youth has decayed due to the use of technology, as they text in class, church, during dinner, and even when someone is talking to them – a factor that goes against social ethics. Children below eighteen years also have access to the social media through video gaming sites, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and MySpace. They are subjected to many vices such as cyber bullying, inappropriate content, and Facebook depression. Cyber bullying happens when children are subjected to the spread of hostile and false information that can cause anxiety, depression, and isolation and, in the worst cases, suicide. This can be avoided by parents and teachers informing children on the negative effects associated with such behavior while limiting the time children spend in the social media. There are socially isolated children who seek connection to online friends; if they cannot access the internet, they become seriously depressed. Parents need to talk to their children and ensure they have loyal friends around them; if it is a medical condition, getting the necessary medical assistance can address this (Nancy, 2008).
Small children accessing the internet can also be exposed to inappropriate content such as drugs in a bid to boost their self-esteem. This can make them addicts at a very tender age, which will make them lead reckless lives. Texting of sexual information and viewing sensual content on the internet could also corrupt the minds of the children accessing online content. This is the reason why parents should be actively involved in their children’s social lives to give them advice and guide them on how to use the internet wisely.
It is evident that technology has had a profound effect on humanity and globalization. While it is arguably true that globalization has been associated with positive effects in virtually every facet of human life, it has also become a disservice to the society. Globalization can be embraced to certain degrees that help in the advancement of innovation and development. Therefore, it is vital for people to develop the art of harnessing the useful components of globalization and discarding the detrimental ones instead of being overly depend on them.