The Impacts of Information Technology on Cultural Interactions.





The Impacts of Information Technology on Cultural Interactions.

Culture, when essentially taken to refer to our way of life, has been impacted in a huge way by computers and information technology. The numbers of web users continue to grow in every part of the world and across all cultures. With this growth comes the cumulative addition of information that brings to light cross cultural interactions more vividly and refines the meaning of the reference to the world as a global village. Information technology has impacted on the way we carry out leisure activities, how we do business and how we communicate in addition to many other implications.

The wide range of information on the internet that includes research, the arts and entertainment, public policy and education, has created more awareness on how different people with varied dispositions do things across the globe. A cultural enthusiast from say, a western country, has access to oriental recipes and clothing without having to book a flight to China or hire a personal guide.

It has an ever-growing impact on interpersonal communication and exchange, through which an individual is able to sample different people and their cultures by the click of a button. This has been enabled and made easier through social sites found on the internet that provide unlimited possibilities for people make friends, chat, follow each other’s activities and even communicate using real time video technology. In essence, it is a virtual social hall where people from every part of the world can meet and interact.

Blogs and forums provide a platform for interaction of ideologies that may be one-sided, from which racial or ethnic hatred is bred, or all-embracing and all-inclusive from which people are able to learn about and appreciate opposing views and ideas of social, political and religious bases. Applications of the internet such as online opinion polling provide research data from which a wide array of cultural and political views can be studied. It has also served to propagate political ideas such as western democratization and socialist systems; the influence of such political websites across all cultures cannot be underestimated.

The internet has come out prominently as a channel for cultural invasion by dominant cultures. The boundless use of the English language is one point of note. Language is an important cultural vein from which people derive their definitive reference to cultural identification. The English culture (read Western lifestyle) has a vessel by which it invades the rest. The internet also carries with it moral and ethical influences that may be desirable or otherwise. Some scholars have pointed out these impacts on indigenous cultures of different people and the resultant moral and ethical erosion. The vulnerability of this influence is cross-cutting but mainly impacts on youthful consumers who form the bulk of internet users.

The overbearing effect of information technology has not left out the military apparatus of States and governments. Countries, especially the dominant ones, are able to monitor warfare activities miles away from the confines of plush offices and issue directives appropriately. It has opened up an infinite avenue of communication between ally States and their ability to venture into military wars where they have common interests. This in effect, has served to further the agenda of a select few countries with the means and resources, and thus upholding their domineering positions in world affairs.