I want to study the globalization of the world at the age of the World Wide Web (1991), esp. the question of cultural homogenization through it. The Internet is a key factor to understand the globalization in recent years. If the globalization started by the fair trades between markets, its consequences expanded to communications tools and eventually medias, and thus affected popular culture. Although the Internet has significantly broken down communication barriers between cultures, it might also contributed to the cultural uniformity of our societies.
Marshall McLuhan (1962) predicted the Internet as an extension of consciousness and describes how the Global Village as created by the electronic media to unify communities. However, it is important to points out that McLuhan didn’t link it to any uniformity adjective — arguing with my own statement, is the Internet really contributing to cultural homogenization? By exploring the question of Internet as a media, I want to reach an understanding of how globalization might shape the vision of our world.
This might be related to the ambiguity of the anonymous profile in the Internet. Marc Augé (1992) qualified non-places as spaces where humans can remain anonymous — like hotel rooms, airports or shopping malls — and retrieve their freedom.
However, in Society of Spectacle by Guy Debord (1967), he argues that social life has been replaced with its representation in the post-modern society. I’m assuming that both points of views offers a different stance on identity.
But if I go through the the Situationist theory and its use of flânerie, the construction of the digital identity also goes through surfing. Kenneth Goldsmith (2016) delivered an inspiration of its in his latest book “Wasting Time on the Internet”, which describes how aimless surfing can turn into creativity. I’m also thinking about the cognitive and emotional constructions of this behavior behind these actions.