What is Globalization?

THE Relationship Blog


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Last night we were at our Godson’s birthday party. One of his friends is a bright young man who came late because he was studying. We asked what he was studying and he said, ‘I was reading about globalization.’ At this point he quickly stopped himself and looked up and said, ‘I’m sorry. Do you know what globalization means?’ To which we looked at each other and then him and said, ‘yeah, we know what it means’.

According to Thomas Friedman, author of the bestseller “The World is Flat’, globalization has leveled the playing field in business and we must acknowledge this to stay competitive.  His book explains his reasoning as that the world has changed from having countries as the protagonists to companies taking on those roles in the story of earth. We would add to this and say that our psychological development has become flat. Not in the sense that our development has been retarded by the internet but the concept that unlike previous generations that have never needed to deal with a past and present convergence, we are now living in a world where we never need to say goodbye.

In recent years with the growth of social media giant Facebook, a strange phenomena has taken place.  We are now entering a world where your best friend is a complete stranger to you, your enemies are taunting avatars with silly made up names and your old friends are ever present in your life. We are now functioning in a world where people are sharing more intimacy via wireless than physically, where it is possible to have a sex life while being alone with only a laptop and instant messages with emoticons express your deepest darkest secrets.

If globalization has changed the economy then the internet has changed relationships. We are able to maintain old friendships with a simple like to a status. Currently, people can realistically have all of their friends from childhood, adolescents and adulthood together in one cyber space and share their lives without needing to visit or bring a bottle of wine. This development to relationships is massive and the implications for our future understanding about relationships are yet to be seen.

The flattening of the earth has made our virtual relationships vital to the growth of a global view. Yes, the world is in an upheaval. Before, like good Americans we could watch this on the 6 pm news and forget about it by 6:05pm. Today when the people of Libya rebel against the tyrannical rule of the same psycho for 3 decades, the entire world is not only watching, we are interacting with the very rebels that are making a difference. No longer are these strangers but friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter. The concepts of I and me are becoming one of selfishness and we are truly moving into the ‘we age’. We feel for those who are starving not as a social justice cause or one where we appease our American guilt with a food drive but because those are our friends.We know them!

The deepest part of this globalization is that we are, as a world, evolving. This was the inevitable path of Homo sapiens. If the world is to survive Global Warming and food shortage due to the ever expanding population, it will be through unity not a United Nation façade of oneness; true unity that is seen in relationship and family. Those who oppose evolution will get left behind dragging their knuckles.

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