DIGITAL AMERICA

Internet and the influence of USA

// Posted by on 04/02/2013 (9:00 PM)

Jessica A. Pool Márquez     A00806205

1. The third space

Internet has been classified as part of a third space. This concept is related to a community building. It refers to social surroundings separated from the two usual social environments: home and the workplace. In this way Internet has become in a new place to interact with other people, we have created a virtual world.

The possibility of having access to vast amounts of information and getting to know other people that share problems and objectives similar to ours has created a new concept of citizenship. Internet has enabled a new type of cross-border politics where blogs, Facebook and twitter are important places to discuss and change points of view. Throughout these last years, Internet has proven to have the capacity to enhance democracy. Individuals can easily become participants in electronic networks. This produces a specific kind of activism, one centered on multiple localities yet connected digitally at scales larger than local, often reaching a global scale.

We have as examples of this the Occupy Wall Street in USA or the YoSoy132 movement in Mexico, that where inspired by the Arab Spring movements. People could share ideas and see what was happening in other regions of the world and even share a sense of empowerment.

In this way, people could become activists and could develop networks for circulating information and inviting the engage to other people to this cause. This involved both virtually activism and activism in nondigital environments. That is the power of Internet: nonstate actors can gain visibility as individuals or as groups. So politics have more sense beyond the state.

2. Influence of USA

United States as our neighbor definitively has influence in our cultural, political and economic issues. Is in this way that we depend significantly on its policy decisions and economic status, a reflection of this is the immigrants and their remittances. So there exists a significant dependence into neighboring.

Regarding culture Mexico has been highly influenced by the United States. We have particular holidays such as Halloween that we bring and instill in our families. Mexico has adopted in some way the American way of life. This can be seen in many aspects of our lives. We enjoy listening to music from American singers; we watch their TV series and movies and we have even adopted the American fast food as hamburgers (we enjoy going to McDonald’s for example), pizzas, French fries and Coke. All these created for the mass communication and advertising. TV and Internet have helped to the American culture permeate our society.

These can also be applied to politics where we have our ideas of good government and we raise the flag of democracy.

These effects have both positive and negative impact in our societies. Between the positive, I think it has enrich our own culture and has broaden our level of understanding of other societies. Between the negative ones can be the fact that in order to achieve this American way of life we have put aside our own essence. For example, when we celebrate Halloween instead of the Day of Dead.

As a conclusion I would like to point out that the internet and virtual networks have become important for our daily life and even have broaden the meaning of citizenship. But it is important to realize that the real citizenship the one that really have impact in social decisions should be done on field. Internet should be only the mean. Regarding the relation Mexico-United States I think the similarities between the two countries will continue expanding and permeating more aspects of each other societies. Internet will increase its importance in making them even closer and able to find innovative solution to their common problems.


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Celia said...

I think that the Internet has facilitated the US influence on Mexico, but to what extent could the network be a tool for powerful countries to get ahead? I’m not sure of the government involvement in trying to utilize the power of the network for getting ahead. To me, the most important role of the network is giving power to the civilians. The average American, Mexican, or anyone with access to the Internet or social networks has infinitely more power than someone twenty years ago trying to raise awareness or promote. Do you think the converse could be true that the Internet is a way for less powerful countries to gain attention and get ahead for themselves?

// 04/03/2013 at 6:24 pm

Jorien said...

I agree with you that nowadays Internet plays such a big role in society, if you think about the people who spend more and more time on facebook and twitter. Also, they might not know something and immediately look for the answer on google. Also, through the Internet different aspects of cultures can be spread, and therefore maybe influence your own, like you said that America influenced certain things in Mexico. Do you think then that this is a positive role of the Internet, or are some cultures losing too much of their own authenticity?

// 04/03/2013 at 7:43 pm

Tec de Monterrey said...

Hi Jorien, thanks for your comment. As I mentioned the United States are influencing Mexico through many ways not only the Internet, but by all the mass media. And sure Mexico is only an example; nowadays many countries are adopting the American culture in many ways. Let’s say there is a mainstream of culture that the globalized world is internalizing, sharing and spreading. I don’t think it is a negative point sharing our cultures because in this way we can enrich them by others. I feel it becomes a problem when some countries and peoples put aside their own culture and particularities. Internet also can be used to promote the cultures of the world and learn from each other. It will be depend on each person as individual to evaluate what to adopt. For example, many people enjoy watching movies. Most of these movies are part of what is called commercial cinema and most movies show the American way of life. When I ask people here what they think about art cinema or international movies from India, Middle East of other different to Europe or United States, only few people say “yes I like them or “yes I have seen them”. This happen also when I ask about Mexican movies.

Because of this, I think that an important an example factor that we should take into account when we are exposed to all the information that we received from mass media and internet is the critical thinking. Nowadays we receive a big amount of information and it is important to make a critical evaluation of this in order to take advantage of the technology and not sink into a sea of meaningless facts and events.
Internet is a great tool and it can broaden our knowledge of the world and its people, I think we only need to give it a chance to show us all what is there outside.

Jessica Pool Márquez
ITESM

// 04/09/2013 at 10:37 pm

Jorien said...

Thanks for your perspective on the topic. I agree with you that critical thinking plays a huge role with the internet. Everyone has to be critical about what he or she reads on the Internet, because it is such an open space where everybody can post their opinions, articles or videos. All news stations have online departments which are trying to get the news out into the world the second that they receive or record it. This also makes it tricky to know when you can trust the news, sometimes certain facts do not come out until more time has gone by. Not every news fact is reliable when they are posted.
I see your point of adopting parts of the culture, because that is what is happening in my own culture(dutch) as well. Most of our TV shows, movies and music is coming from the US and they are not translated into Dutch, but only subtitled. This then makes us listen to English and influences in a linguistic way. There are certain cultures that learn from each other and maybe adopt certain aspects, however I feel that the US is very much proud of their own culture and is not that much interested in different cultures or languages. How many study foreign languages, other than a few years in high school? So in a way I think that you are right, but I do not know to what extent countries adapt other cultures as well.

// 04/10/2013 at 11:59 pm