You Can Discover Culture on Social Media and Social Networking Sites These Days!
With the big buzz in the recent years about social media and social networking, it’s kind of hard to avoid the terms, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and the like. It seems when you turn on the news in the morning or listen to the radio on the way to and from work, you’ll always here someone use the phrase, “and the big thing on Twitter this morning seems to be…” or something similar to that. (You can almost insert many other social media and social networking sites in place on Twitter.) What’s the difference between Social Media and Social Networking? Check out the article “Social Media vs. Social Networking: What’s the difference?” by Mark Stelzner. He does a pretty concise job in attempting to explain this as briefly as he can.
Yes, I would consider myself to be a little tech savvy when it comes to the internet. I have a blog (here), belong to a few different online groups (Greenlight Community and MyLinkingPowerForum), and even have accounts set up at Facebook, Twitter, and FriendFeed. But at the same time I have to consider myself a newbie when it comes to completely understanding the different types of cultures and backgrounds that exist in our world. The internet has opened a large wide door to understanding these cultures.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have made a few online friends with many different backgrounds and experiences. Most are from the U.S. but many are from South America, South Africa, Asia and Europe. Even though I’ve traveled to many places, there are some that I still have yet to see and experience.
Do you find yourself wondering what it would be like to travel to some of these far off locations?
To learn about the people, their beliefs, their views of the world around them and the various political ideas that they subscribe to? I do. Without realizing it, by connecting with people on social networking and social media sites, I’ve gained direct access to many of the same people who I would normally be meeting in my travels. Yes, not everyone is connected to the internet that is true so I wouldn’t be able to chat with someone online in let’s say a remote native village in central Africa or in the mountains of Chile…although you never know where satellite technology will come in.
It’s been a privilege to have had many conversations with people from South Africa, from Iran, from Europe and South America. Learning about what they are thinking, learning what their concerns are, what questions they have about me and my area of the world. Even something that may seem mundane such as “how is the weather there today?” sheds a light about them and what they value in life. Many people like to share what they are having for dinner or for breakfast. Some share where they are going today or where they’ve been. Who they’re hanging out with and what they are doing. When was the last time they saw their [enter family member or significant other here] and how they are looking forward to seeing them again.
You can learn a lot about people and the culture they are a part of by reading their various tweets on Twitter or their comments within a blog or social networking site such as Facebook. The funny thing is that I found it doesn’t make a difference whether the person is from another country or simply in the next town or state. The internet and the World Wide Web have enabled all of us to continue to learn and grow. Mostly, in my humble opinion, about each other and the people we live with in this world. Is there something positive you’ve learned about another person, group or culture by either talking with them or reading their messages on social networking / social media sites? Is there something you’ve learned about yourself at the same time process?
My wish with this article is to help you be aware of the many enriching opportunities you have to learn about others and their beliefs and in turn help others learn more about you and yours!
Warm Regards to All!