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The Universal Culture (And Philosocom's Subcategory on Culture)

Updated: Apr 15

(Philosocom's Directory on Culture


The Wide Spread of Culture in the Digital Age

As the world is becoming more and more connected to the internet, it would be only logical to deduce a certain conclusion. With enough interaction with different people across the world, the values of one's local culture will be abandoned in favor of the culture created by the internet. A culture whose makers are anyone on Earth who has enough recognition in said medium of communication.

Of course, we are still bound to our local cultures. However, the more people adopt international languages such as English, the less the influence of said cultures will be on future generations.

Instead, they will be influenced by a universal culture, shared by the online world.

This is a thought-provoking issue, the impact of the internet on cultural identity. The internet does undoubtedly create a space for the exchange of ideas and the formation of new online communities, whose members can also join many other online groups. However, it's important to consider some key aspects that oppose this expression of globalization:

The internet is a powerful force that is undoubtedly shaping culture. However, it's unlikely to lead to a complete homogenization, as long as the world won't attain universal literacy and have a wider internet access. The future will likely see an even more complex interplay between local and global culture.

Some cultures might already be aware of this, and thus try to force their members to abstain from online communication in order to preserve their own sense of cultural identity.

In North Korea, for example, there has been a law passed by Kim Jong Un, that country's dictator. The citizens must avoid using slang from South Korea, the peninsula's far more democratic country. This extreme law has been declared in order to further preserve the North Side's cultural identity.

This example highlights the tension between cultural preservation and the free flow of information that is a basic element of the internet. North Korea's restricted internet access serves as a kind of "cultural firewall", attempting to shield its citizens from outside influences.

Other countries with restricted internet access include:

Vietnam: The Vietnamese government restricts access to websites and social media platforms that it deems critical or subversive. They also censor content that is related to human rights, religion, and politics.

Russia: The Russian government has cracked down on internet freedom in recent years, blocking access to websites and social media platforms that it criticizes. They have also passed laws that require internet companies to store user data in Russia and give the government access to this data upon request.

Egypt: The Egyptian government has blocked access to social media users if they deem them "dangerous to public security". Additionally, they have also introduced laws that restrict freedom of expression online.

As long as the internet will be restricted, national authorities would be able to better preserve their cultural heritage and influence over the populace. This however isn't necessarily a good thing when it's done through oppression.

The Benefits Which Threat Governments

Open access to the internet would likely lead to a significant shift countries like North Korea, but also in other internet-restricted countries. Citizens would be exposed to:

This openness could be seen as a threat to cultural identity, particularly for more traditional societies. The historical example of some Jewish communities also reflects this concern, who see a need to create a metaphorical "fence" between their sacred texts and a world of sin.

Preserving Identity: A Balancing Act

The Jews historically practiced isolation as a way to maintain their religious identity. Similarly, the Haredim sect in Israel restricts internet usage to filter external influences. These examples showcase the challenges of balancing cultural preservation with the undeniable pull of the interconnected world.

The key takeaway is that the internet acts as a powerful force in shaping and spreading culture. While some cultures may attempt to build firewalls to maintain their traditions, the long-term impact of the digital age on cultural identity remains to be fully understood. It is likely a future where local and global influences will continue to interact, creating a more complex and interconnected cultural landscape.

The Double-Edged Sword of the Internet

The internet is no longer a luxury, it's a necessity. From online banking to job applications, internet-connected devices like smartphones and computers are essential tools in today's world. This common fact presents a unique opportunity: global visibility. With dedication, anyone can build an online presence and achieve a level of fame, connecting with people who would have never known of them otherwise. In some cases it can even diminish the value of academy.

However, this accessibility comes at a cost. Anyone can post anything online, regardless of truthfulness, leading to the rampant spread of misinformation and "fake news." Developing trust in online sources becomes a critical skill in the digital age, but also a problem. We need to trust the right source, one that does not seek to manipulate us for financial gain.

As internet access continues to expand and English proficiency increases at least in the workforce, the influence of local traditions may diminish. Community centers live in the shadow of online forums, traditional performances overshadowed by live streams, and physical sports replaced by the thrill of esports. In a world where there isn't enough job opportunities to go around, a global culture has the practical function of expanding one's reach for work.

Finding Balance in a Connected World

  • Media Literacy Education: Equipping individuals with the ability to critically evaluate online information is crucial for combating misinformation and preserving cultural identity from manipulation.

  • Digital Storytelling: Local cultures can take advantage of the internet to share their stories, traditions, and values with a wider audience. The internetization of content exists for good reasons.

  • Blended Experiences: Instead of viewing online and offline experiences as separate spheres, we can create opportunities that integrate both. Imagine attending a live concert that is also streamed online, allowing global participation. Another example is through the interactive use of VR technology, which impacts perception both practically and philosophically.

The internet doesn't have to be completely destructive to local cultures. By embracing its potential for communication and storytelling while fostering critical thinking skills, we can create a future where local and global cultures coexist and enrich each other.

The Future of Connection

The internet is undeniably transforming how we live, work, and connect. Just as our grandparents may not understand MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games), future generations might find these terms as commonplace as televisions and smartphones.

The online sphere is becoming an increasingly integrated part of our lives, blurring the lines between the virtual and the real. Whether it's an elderly person mastering a video game or a young person connecting with a global community, the internet is weaving a web of connection that promises to reshape the world in ways whose impact is grand and can be fully understood.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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