We eat almost the same food, wear the same clothes, use the same brands and their products in general in our everyday life, but does this mean we also share common thoughts?
The answer for this question could be rather self-explanatory: it depends. But it depends on more factors in our electronic age, than it used to, let’s say, 20 years ago. We are not influenced anymore in creating our opinions only by face-to-face interactions or usual advertisements in TV breaks. We are way more exposed to personalized ads on the internet, based on our previous searches in the browser, which is the most targeted way of advertisement. It differs from the one on telly because there you get info about the diapers and vagina creams whether you are interested in them or not. On the web it’s different. You search for a book and you keep seeing the ads about that product in every search engine, even on Skype, until the point where you increase your searches for something else. It’s like a never-ending circle. The result of it is exactly the contrary of what people may have expected from the internet: it is reinforcing our existing knowledge and interests, instead of widening our horizons.
Can we can say in these conditions that targeted commercialization of the web is the mental process of globalization? Not really. We have our own tastes and that differs from others’, so this is not 100% unifying of our inner side. There is something else that contributes more to the globalization of people’s thoughts in a bigger number: Facebook and other social network sites.
Becoming the same as our so called friends, is the result of seeing their posts. Step by step you become interested in what other people share. It is that simple. The reason why most users tend not to skip these posts is the need for belonging, curiosity and let’s admit, the stalker vein too (picking and gossiping about other’s, or feeling jealousy is of course another discussion). It is not anymore about becoming more ourselves, but becoming more like others. Since almost everyone follows this unconscious tendency, a Utopian image is where everyone is like everyone.
This phenomenon of course is not happening for the first time in history, but the huge difference is its current horizontal spread. Since in the past the media was setting the agenda, exposing the heterogeneous audiences to the same issues, they paid attention and considered those important. Today, though what is important and what isn’t, doesn’t come from a medium that is above us and has a one way of information flow, but is the result of our own interconnected reciprocal communication.
So what is the answer then? Is communication globalized? It has been a long time ago. Do we share common thoughts? Most probably, otherwise we would argue all the time.
The problem here is not the what, but in what amount? In what amount are we the same as others? How much are opinions the same now, than they were in the past? We do live in a “global village”, but how small has this village become by now?
These questions draw lots of possible answers and lots of topics for debate. I think the solution is to be more conscious about our user status and no matter how simple it may sound, go out. Go out in the real world, and gather that knowledge from there.