Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Drawback to Globalization

The Internet.  Ain't it a wonderful thing?

If it weren't for online access, I would never have met my friend, Zoe, or my friend, Jackie, both of whom live on another continent across an ocean.  I wouldn't have connected with some fascinating women who blog around the world.  And what a tool for research!  Honestly, what did we do before the Internet when we needed to "look something up"?

And yet, my very dear friend, Jackie, hit upon an important point in a comment she made on my Thanksgiving blog post, "Keeping Thanksgiving Day."  I don't think she'll mind if I quote her, given that you have only to pop to the Comments page and read it yourself:

. . . it makes me cross to see English friends *doing* Thanksgiving!!! These festivals are for a reason, and Thanksgiving is SO important in US history, it almost undermines it for people all over to take it up.

Especially when our own Harvest Festival (which is when we give thanks for God's provision in our lives) goes all but ignored, and Guy Fawkes, or Bonfire Night, is totally dissociated from its roots - the celebration of the undoing of a catholic plot to undermine the reformation.

We should all acknowledge other people's festivals and celebrations, but losing our own in the process is not a good thing.
Well said.  The Internet has made the world a smaller place, and that's a good thing.  But here's a drawback: in the process of drawing us together, there's the risk of our cultures becoming homogeneous.  A professor of mine in graduate school called it "the Los Angelesization of the world."  He had a point.

Himself and I love to travel.  (We don't do it as much as we once did because it's much more expensive and inconvenient that it was a few years ago.  But that's beside the point here.)  One of the best things about travel is that we can experience life as it's lived elsewhere.  But it's not as fun when there's a Starbucks on every corner.

Now, I love the benefits and experiences the Internet has opened up for all of us.  And I love reaching out to people around the world.  But I also hope that we recognize and affirm our cultural differences and various celebrations, the things that made us who we are in the first place.


  1. hey, and she can spell 'dissociated' - I knew there was something missing!

  2. I unfortunately have not traveled out of the U.S., but I have noticed many times that there is very little left to distinguish one mid-sized city from another. Everyone has the same stores, the same restaurants, etc. I think that's sad.

  3. Kristin, you are so right! We travel from the sunny South to Maine (and back) each summer. There are some differences in terrain and restaurant offerings, but so much is the same, same, same.

    When I'm visiting another country (which is rare, but I have done so), I avoid Starbucks like the plague!


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