07 February 2007

Global local social changes

The title of this post seems to contain a contradiction: can be social changes local and global at the same time?

The modern phenomenon of Globalization is mostly supported by the world-wide extension of communication networks, allowing the distribution of any message almost instantly to large audiences. Advances in communication technologies have improved the usage of resources, the access to larger audiences and the availability of messages during longer periods. Increasingly powerful tools (printed books, radio, cinema, television, communication satellites and most recently Internet) play an important role in the change of social structures.
Despite many times the target of a message is restricted to a community (with limits based on geographical, temporal or cultural criteria), the globalization of the communication networks has broken the boundaries and local messages are frequently available for any person around the globe (TV programs of local channels are broadcasted through satellites, local newspapers can be read through Internet, etc.).

At first, we can just study this phenomenon to understand the effects on the behaviour of the people around the world.
For instance, the models seen in the media (TV programs, movies, ads) have a strong influence in the opinions and customs of the audiences, determining the products they buy and how they use it, the attitude towards other people and Nature, etc.

The understanding of the effects and the comprehension of the ways how media can be used to control the behaviour of people may be a scary idea for the most.
But it’s scarier to close the eyes and choose to avoid the issue hoping that nobody will make a bad usage of these means, and that a magic force will keep a balance between the opportunities and the risks.

It’s necessary to improve our knowledge of the globalization of communication media to be able to use it as a powerful tool to correct the many problems that they have contributed to extend and amplify.
Not only setting new rules and filters to minimize the bad effects (similar to the restrictions applied to the tobacco industry, aiming to stop the spread smoking) but also establishing long-term strategies aiming to achieve concrete results that can improve the social structures and the quality of life for every individual.

This idea gives a new meaning to the motto “Think global, act local”.
It's not only about the way how the actions of a person can make a difference on the natural environment.
It's also about how the distribution of ideas and models though globalized media can multiply the effect of individuals by the influence on other persons.

1 comment:

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