To what extent does Martell’s concept of globalisation apply to Facebook?
Facebook has undergone through multiple globalisation processes that have been particular identifiable over the recent decades. Facebook has reached over 800 million users worldwide since 2004 (Fowler 2010), and since then, many forms of corporate investment, multinational advertisement companies, and the endorsement of international political deregulation has shaped and expanded what was first a national based phenomenon to an international/global trend (Sassen 2007). The internet and particularly Facebook contribute to the way users interact with distant relatives and close friends; everyone knows what each other is doing across the world with a click of a button. With global trends shaping how we interlink with the structures of society, Facebook has been seen to have embedded its self within those structures as a consumerist hotspot. Its functions not only serve for a social purpose, but the social openness of its users, allows for global advertisement companies to pervade our computer screens which are regulated in the interest of the political economy, global market enterprise, and multinational capital (Cohen 2008). Facebook has therefore, had an influence on how we interact, behave and view the world; increasing diversities in our concept of national identity -realising a more homogenised sense of identity through global trends such as inter-national relations, technology and consumerist culture. Looking at how much Facebook has converged in its entirety through the processes of global distance, mass inclusive, interdependence, global inclusive-in inputs as well as reach; it also has to be regular and stable for it also to be truly globalised (Martell 2010). However, here we will argue that Facebook is not global in all its processes and discuss to what extent. Not all countries are equal in its distribution. Developing countries are still at the periphery (Sassen 2007), and lack resources to establish the connection, and therefore are vulnerable to Facebook power house. That Facebook is a continuous trend of westernisation - Even though changes have been made to make Facebook’s use more globally versatile, and relatively culturally constructed, and specific to national and regional based users. For example: changing international homepages to its native language - For the most part, culture that has been transported through Facebook is westernized and fashioned by an Anglo-American consumerist hegemony and regulation; that is the structures of global management and control (Sassen 2008). According to Zuckerberg “Facebook adds value to peoples lifes” Though who’s values and what type of values is he talking about? As far as global distance is concerned Facebook has reached almost every continent in the world. The decade of globalisation, starting from the 1990’s, has seen the increase of technology and information sharing through social networking. For Rantanen (2005) he calls this the ‘global village’ (Rantanen 2005, cited: Martell 2010). For instance, the interconnection of friends and family to those abroad makes time and space irrelevant, and therefore the idea of time and space becomes compressed as new information technologies and transportation make it easier for people to share, and interconnect no matter what time of day, or what country they live in (Martell 2010). According to new statistics (Lee, 2012), The percentage of Facebook’s users where predominantly situated in North America at 44.07%, the south 33.92%, Europe at 29.06%, Australia and Oceania at 42.14% and Asia at just 6.68%, with low market penetration for Africa at 5.15%. This show’s that Facebook may not be referred to as a ‘global village’. However, statistics show that the usage has reached most continents globally. However, there is an uneven distribution of resources. It demonstrates a stratification of wealth. Wealthier countries use Facebook a lot more, and...
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Lee, D (2012) BBC News Technology: Facebook surpasses 1 billion users as it attempts new markets [Online] Available: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19816709. [Accessed 01/04/2013]
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