The Universal Culture
Updated: Feb 7
As the world is becoming more and more connected to the internet, and as more and more people begin to use it, it would be only logical to deduce that, 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, but the more people adopt international languages such as English, the less the influence of said cultures will be on future generations.
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 new 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 (as if it doesn't already have enough of it).
What if, for instance, North Korea had internet access for anyone, and not just a select few? Then, the inevitable will come, and it will no longer be the culturally isolated country it once was. People will be open to new ideas, new religions, and new contents. People will then desire to chat with other people, maybe even interview them unofficially, and even create civilian websites.
This is why the notion of internationalism is dangerous to any culture that wishes to preserve its identity and keep its members in line. This is why the Jews of the past were trying to isolate themselves as far as possible from the world, so the religious identity of Judaism would not vanish with time.
One of the most extreme Jewish sects in Israel, known as the Haredim, has decided that there are parts of communication with the world that are "legitimate", a.k.a. "kosher", and parts that are not. Hence, many Haredim folk keep "stupid" phones and not smartphones, tend to use the internet less than the average person, and so on.
Regardless, now more than ever, the internet is inevitable, unless you live in an extremely isolated part of the world. The internet is inevitable not only because of the many opportunities it has to offer, but also because many basic functions are now done through internet-connected devices. From public transportation to education, devices such as smartphones and computers are no longer the luxuries they once were. They are needed by anyone who lives in a developed nation, and perhaps in some developing nations as well.
With this increasing inevitability, comes a great opportunity -- the opportunity to be known by people who would've otherwise never heard of you. Should you choose to be involved enough on the internet and do so with much dedication, you can get the chance to be a "celebrity," or at least famous to an extent.
That, however, is a double-edged sword simply because anyone can post just about anything on the internet, whether it is true or not, and thus affect the public's opinion of just about anything. The negative side of this is, of course, the spreading of fake news and fake reports. It's all about who you can trust, or at least, who you think deserves your trust.
Since anyone in the free world has the right to reach the status of a well-known individual, the internet culture is something that anyone can affect. Like any other culture, it is like a gathering of puzzle pieces that create greater pieces.
But when it comes to the internet -- it is the widest "puzzle" known to man, where people all over the world can become a "piece" of it. And finally, once the internet becomes inevitable enough, the local cultures will lose even more of their grip on their members. It might render them close to, if not completely, obsolete.
The key for this phenomenon to happen is by having more and more people knowing English to the point they would be able to understand basic to moderate level of its language. Then, community centers will make way for internet chat groups; public performances will be outlasted by "streams", competitive gameplay will largely not be sports but "e-sports" and so on.
If you wish to preserve your local culture, I'm afraid the only practical solution is to limit the internet, if not ban it completely, which might be met with a lot of controversy if your culture's members are rebellious enough.
While our grandparents do not play MMORPGs, and while some of you might not even know what an MMORPG is, perhaps in the next few dozen years, terminologies that were once foreign to some people, will be normally-known to just about anyone, like T.Vs and smartphones.
It is an indication of the fact that the internet is slowly but gradually taking over, not only on the minds of the world's youths, but also on young adults, like me, and even my tech-savy parents. All of this is an indication of the fact that the "online" sphere of our lives, will become yet another part of the public, "real" life of the world. Imagine an old man or woman playing on a gaming console regularly -- that might be you in the future, that might be even me, in about 40 years..