The variation in the multitude of global languages reflects the diverse states of intercultural communication, which is amplified by the increase in tremendous leaps in technological advancements. Global technology allows for open access to a wealth of information, resources, and influence that can encourage change in cultures and societies. It is implemented in a variety of settings, from educational establishments to business ventures, but serves a primary purpose of clear and effective communication between communities of differing backgrounds. To better understand the effect any form of communication, be it through technology or other means, has on two cultures in interaction, it is first important to identify ways in which two parties can be distinct.
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Cultures are comprehensive but not mutual in their acceptance of certain behaviors or beliefs in all cases. All cultures are subject to potential change but may resist such processes, often in response to something like the influx of information from a foreign source. Essentially, at its core, a culture is a social system created from ideas, beliefs, and customs which can hold an extensive list of components, such as laws, speech, and more (Dumitraşcu-Băldău & Dumitraşcu, 2019). Language is a primary component of any culture, it is the method by which much of the culture’s essence is taught or shared. This process of passing components of culture to the next generation can be stifled or lost in situations in which language itself experiences a change. Such a shift creates a changed perspective in the ways culture is interpreted, learned, and recorded. Global technology can be a catalyst of such change, an influence that alters some components of culture when two cultures interact on a global scale. It can be identified as another side effect of globalization, and as such, holds both benefits and consequences for all parties involved.
It is impossible to identify the rise of intercultural communication through global technology as either detrimental or entirely favorable. The substantial impact of limitless databases and communication tools have implemented both betterment and disadvantages on the global, national, and local scale. The positive impacts of global technology can be observed through the lens of business, which has prospered tremendously due to the inclusion of employees from more diverse backgrounds and an increase in communication that is not blocked by unfamiliarity with a number of cultures. Much of the business industry, especially the IT-focused sectors recognize professionalism in terms of communication as the primary priority of a successful project or firm.
Appropriate use of global technology for intercultural communication encourages worldwide competitiveness, a mark of an industry experiencing growth. Such forms of intercultural communication can appear as company strategies with universal and inclusive factors, awareness of employee backgrounds, and availability of information, tools, and resources. Much research notes on the different ways intercultural communication or the need for it is perceived, such as European regions proving to be more informed than their Asian counterparts on the matter (Pikhart, 2019). As such, the issue of appropriate intercultural exchanges has room for improvement, especially in business sectors. However, technology remains the most convenient method for solving sensitive issues of culture clashes and inclusivity. Specific methods proposed in IT-sectors include eLearning courses, apps, websites, or other platforms targeting the resolution of workplace conflict. Similar methodology is applied in learning environments as well. Essentially, the implementation of global technology has proven to invigorate competitiveness and economic growth through the assembly of teams which have higher levels of competence and are no longer blocked by communication barriers.
Despite a myriad of advantages, the rapid increase of global technology in an effort to improve intercultural communication has also seen a number of significant drawbacks, if not backlashes. This is primarily because the misuse of intercultural communication tools can lead to situations in which parties may feel disrespected, hostile, ostracized, or as if the technology has become a threat to their traditions. First, Eurocentric bias plays a large role in both globalization, technological communication, and resources available in large databases on the internet (Ferri, 2018). Both resources and interaction is limited for individuals of non-European or Western backgrounds especially when translation or language assistance is unavailable. This is primarily because English remains the lingua franca of most international relations, business or otherwise. This requires non-native speakers to invest additional resources into language learning, which some cannot afford. Additionally, this process promotes Eurocentric values inherently, with emphasis on particular definitions of success, skills, or other factors.
Second, generalizations are often essentialized, meaning that individuals or groups are often defined and reduced to their ethnicity, culture, or nationality in order to fit the parameters of a more influential culture. Though it may appear to be a simple solution when managing large groups, it is often dismissive and icorrect like most cases of generalization. Third, the initial assumption of differences can stir much conflict when two cultures are first becoming acquainted on a global scale, but is quite easy to overcome if the individuals in the interaction are open to learning and reconsidering previous assumptions. Fourth, much of previously selected literature and information on the effects of intercultural communication in regards to global technology has been gathered from small groups or simple interactions of every-day settings. Though this form of data gathering is effective and helpful, it is not complete and cannot be claimed to be universally true. Unfortunately, such information can be used incorrectly by those that use the data gathered from small sample groups as a universal truth of a culture and apply it to every individual from the culture. While other factors exist that threaten the tradition and communication on an intercultural level, the majority have a solution which can assist with creating a better international landscape for individuals from all backgrounds.
Past decades have shown a significant increase of what can be seen as American-centric values in daily life, work, or education. It was a side effect of globalization in a time where media, news outlets, and other forms of widespread communication reinforced a Western ideology of what success, ethics, and other values should be. However, in the past decade, a substantial number of ethic, cultural, and ideological groups have begun to retrace and return to their roots. Though it can be argued that they are reinforcing their older values in exchange for new global values, it can also be said that they are creating a coexistence for both forms of culture. Global technology continues to improve, and by that logic, older values should continue to disappear in exchange for newer cultures. Despite this thought process, a return to older traditions, values, and cultures has been noted with the assistance of communication provided by global technology.
Dumitraşcu-Băldău, I., & and Dumitraşcu, D. D. (2019). Intercrural communication and it’s challenges within the international virtual project team. MATEC Web of Conferences, 290, 1-13.
Ferri, G. (2018). Intercultural communication: Critical approaches and future challenges. Springer.
Pikhart, M. (2019). Aspects of intercultural communication in IT: Convergence of Communication and Computing in the Global World of Interconnectedness. Advanced Multimedia and Ubiquitous Engineering, 251-256.