The Role of Social Media in Globalization

New media has always shaped everyday life. Social network is one of the most important media in the twenty first century. The emergence of new media like Facebook and Twitter has enhanced the notion that the world is increasingly becoming a global village. Globalization has greatly benefited from social media. Though social network is not the only technology contributing to globalization, it is without doubt the most powerful. For instance, it is steadily becoming the first thing that people look at when they wake up and the last thing they look at before they go to bed.

This paper will discuss various ways in which new media has enhanced globalization. It will begin with a discussion on how it contributes to dissemination of information. It will then examine the role of social media in strengthening worldwide social relations. It will end by discussing the role of new media in global marketing.

Social network provides a platform for the dissemination of information. It allows its users to get in touch with what is going on around the world. Most new media are either free or cheap. This makes them accessible to a great part of the world population. The development of the so-called smart phones gave a great boost to dissemination of information. Smart phones increased technology penetration especially in the developing world.

Communities that could not access the internet due to prohibitive costs can now do so using smart phones. Previously underserved communities are now able to follow world events like their privileged counterparts. However, this would have been difficult in the absence of social networks like Facebook and Twitter that are free and easily accessible. Twitter, Facebook, and WhatsApp among others have contributed to speedy spread of information around the globe. Through social media, people can now receive information about events taking place elsewhere in real time. As more and more social networks emerge, it seems fair to argue that social media will make the world a true global village.

Social media strengthens social relations. Social media has significantly ‘narrowed’ the distance between people. Through social media, people are able to interact with family members and friends who live far. Therefore, social media enables people to maintain and strengthen social relations. For instance, social media like Facebook and WhatsApp are designed to enable users to share photographs and other multimedia files. This helps the users to reinforce existing relationships.

Moreover, social media has transformed the way its users meet and befriend other people. It is now possible for people who have never met before to be friends. This is because new users are required to set up their profiles before they are allowed to use the services. One can also use social media to trace old friends and acquaintances. All these are possible because social media is relatively cheap and easily accessible.

Social media also provides a forum for cultural exchange. We learn new cultures in social media as we spread our own. Cultural exchange is an important part of harmonious coexistence in the world. It gives people a platform to express their views about other people’s culture. Through such a discussion, prejudices that people harbor are identified and possibly corrected. It is important to note that cultural prejudice can hinder trade between nations. Trade between nations is one of the most important pillars of economic growth. Trade is much easier when individuals deal with people they understand. This is because in some cultures, there are defined ways of exchanging pleasantries with business associates. Those who break these unwritten rules may lose business opportunities. It is therefore common for people to seek more information about their new business associates through new media. The more information one can glean from social media the better.

Social networks provide a new approach to global marketing. It enables companies to reach a wider audience. Companies can do effective marketing through social media. Niche marketing is much easier in social media than in the streets. Social media companies like Facebook allow manufactures and sellers to do targeted marketing. Information held by the social media networks allows sellers to identify individuals who are likely to buy their products and services. This saves the sellers both time and money. Sellers can design their advertisements based on the location and culture of the potential buyer. Another advantage that companies obtain from social media is its ability to level the playing ground for both big and small companies. Small companies can reach a larger audience fast at relatively low costs.

However, targeted advertising in social media has been criticized. Opponents argue that unsolicited adverts invade ones privacy. This may work against the intended purpose. Individuals who receive unsolicited adverts may choose not to buy the product or service. Therefore, while it provides a wider audience, it may also alienate the potential buyer. The potential to benefit the seller should be compared with the potential to harm the company.

On the flipside, social networks have some disadvantages. The fact that information spreads faster in the social networks is a potential disadvantage. For example, malicious or criminal information can be spread faster. Some information that is shared in these platforms is highly privileged and may lead to severe damage to the victim. This is further complicated by the fact that information in the social networks can reach a larger audience. In the past, criminals have used social media to propagate hate messages and recruit followers. However, these disadvantages can be mitigated by establishing strict rules. The guidelines will ensure that users and shared messages are properly vetted. However, it is thought that is almost impossible to control what goes on in social media.

This paper discussed the role of social media in globalization. Throughout the ages, new media has contributed to bringing the world together. The emergence of internet and social media has greatly shaped globalization. Social network provides a platform for the dissemination of information. Social media strengthen social relations. Social media has enabled the populace to interact with family members and friends who live far. Social media also provides a forum for cultural exchange. People learn other people’s cultures as they share their own. Cultural exchange is an important vehicle for economic development.

Social networks provide a new approach to global marketing. It enables companies to reach a wider audience. Social media companies like Facebook allow manufactures and sellers to do targeted marketing. However, social media may also carry some disadvantages. Criminals have used social networks in the past to advance their agenda. Though social network is not the only technology contributing to globalization, it is without doubt the most powerful.