Globalisation as defined by many cultural theorists can be referred to as “the widening, deepening and speeding up of global interconnectedness”. According to Matos, globalisation is driven by communication technologies, as well as by the fact that expanding internationalism is producing more awareness about the similarities and differences between cultures and political systems (Matos, 2012). With the advancement of new media technologies, the notion of internationalism and global connectedness still remains an issue of great discussion throughout both the third and first world.
In the late 1960’s Marshall McLuhan stated that the rise of new communication technologies would culminate in the creation of a “global village”, one capable of enhancing initial understanding between people and forging new communities. This ‘global village’ as predicted by McLuhan is far from a reality. At best the introduction of new media has created an even bigger issue for media industries. Although the expansion of new technologies has had a major role in the globalisation of communication, there still remains a significant ‘digital divide’ in both the first and third worlds. Globally, there is a gaping digital divide between the ‘information rich’ and ‘information poor’. According to the latest Global Information Technology Report 2014 “Little progress is being made in bridging the digital divide between technology savvy nations and others. This stalling of progress is considered worrisome for emerging and developing nations, which are at risk of missing out on many positive impacts information and communications technologies bring, including increased innovation, economic competitiveness and greater social inclusion”.
With half the world population still to even make a phone call. Notion of “global village” still remains a distant reality. The issue of the digital divide isn’t just an international problem; it also remains an issue for many Australians. Despite an overall increase in technology access, there is evidence of a digital divide between parents’ education and job and a student’s preparedness for a digital future. With many parents reluctant to learn new technologies, there are a growing percentage of children who are failing to keep up with the demands of their digital environments. This issue if left unaddressed, could not only impact Australia socially, it could have a drastic economic impact for future generations to come.
Matos, C. (2012) “Mass media and globalization” in Wiley- Blackwell’s Encyclopedia of Globalization, Oxford: Wiley- Blackwell, pp.1329-1338