Short Answer: The Influence of Social Media and the Internet
respond to the following using information from this learning block in combination with your own experience. Describe, in two to three sentences each, how you think using social media and the internet has influenced each of the following topics.
- You as an individual
- The study of social science
- Larger society
Please see attached for Guidelines and rubric for 100% grade.
Globalization and Technology
How we study the world around us has changed with the introduction of new technology and the trend toward greater worldwide communication.
Globalization can be defined as “the notion that people around the globe are more connected than ever before, from the flow of information to the exchange of goods and services” (Carter, 2004, p. 251). Social scientific study has naturally changed as the world has become more connected.
Social science research used to be divided into First World, Second World, and Third World studies, with First World studies producing the majority of the findings and Third World studies lagging far behind (Garneau, 1985). With most of the findings coming from westernized, white college students, findings were often biased toward these groups. What might be true for white college students in the United Kingdom may not be true or all that applicable to a middle-aged factory worker from Japan. The trend is now toward globalization and unification of social science research, pulling data from all parts of the world so research findings can reflect multiple cultures and different societies (Mosbah-Natanson & Gingras, 2014).
Think about how your life may be impacted by globalization. When you need to buy something, you now can go online and your product may be shipped from countries on the other side of the world. Globalization means we travel more and trade goods and information more and that people and money are increasingly mobile between countries. Because of this, globalization can have a great impact on countries and cultures.
Technology and globalization go hand in hand. Globalization is made possible due to technological advancements that make it easier to connect remote parts of the world. Technology is a broad term with various definitions. In the TED video Technology’s Epic Story, Kevin Kelly (2010) describes technology as “anything useful that a human mind makes.” Using this definition, you can see how technology is ever changing because humans are constantly creating and refining useful tools.
One technological advancement that is closely tied to globalization is widespread access to the internet and social media. People and societies with ready internet access now have the ability to interact with people from all over the world. The internet and social media have given a voice to those who may have never been able to share their story on such a large scale. Examples include the Occupy Wall Street movement, which spread across the country largely through social media, and the unfair treatment of women in Pakistan as shown in this article about Malala: The Girl Who Was Shot for Going to School, which people all over the world learned about thanks to access to news via the internet.
For social scientists, technology advancements have also dramatically impacted how we study individuals, groups, and cultures. The discovery of neuroimaging, for example, enables scientists to study the function and structure of the brain. This discovery has allowed researchers to identify the biological component of mental illness, which has drastically reduced stigma associated with mental health diagnoses. Advancements in identifying structures of the brain associated with perception, love, altruism, and aggression have changed the way we relate to others and led to a greater understanding of the neuroscience of concepts such as racism and group behavior. The field of social neuroscience began to emerge in the 1990s, studying how social forces affect physiology as well as how physiology influences social interactions (Association for Psychological Science, 2013). New technological advancements in observational tools have also allowed anthropologists to immediately capture video and images to enhance their understanding of various cultures.
Technology has also changed the way social scientists collect data (Juster & Miller, 1984). Instead of relying on pen-and-paper measures and requiring participants to come to the laboratory, researchers can now collect data from afar, and large data sets can be analyzed with the click of a button.
Video: Technology’s Epic Story (16:29) https://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_kelly_tells_techno…
In this TED Talk, writer Kevin Kelly reflects on the role technology plays in our lives.
Access this video by clicking the “Click to Launch” link above.
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