In my International Business Strategy class, a common topic of discussion has been around globalization. Globalization has various definitions, but the one that resonates the most with me is “the increasing interconnectedness of societies” by Macionis. Globalization through technology allows us to communicate and access information across the globe instantly at the touch of a button. Smartphones, the internet, and accessibility to travel are a few examples of globalization connecting us now more than ever.
In our class discussion, one topic that caught my attention was regionalism within globalization. Our professor began showing pictures of famous athletes such as Yao Ming, Sergio Agüero, and LeBron James, and asking the class to raise our hands if we knew who each player was. Our class demographic is 100 students from 24 nationalities from all over the world and I’m the only American. When he showed the picture of LeBron, a majority of the class did not raise their hands as they did not know who he was. That blew me away because in my ‘world’ everyone knows who LeBron is. Sports may not be your fancy, but I would confidently say that 95% of the people I’ve been around in the last 24 years of my life would know who LeBron is. This proving that the world is still very regional.
So it got me thinking… how true/relevant is the saying “what a small world.” A classic “small-world” interaction is when you meet someone new and find out that you actually have mutual friends from XYZ seasons of your life. However, to me, the world is actually quite vast, and complex. Countries and regions have different geography, politics, currency, languages, and cultures that impact what is important to an individual in its own, unique way.
Globalization gives each individual a choice, but it doesn’t tell us what we should have knowledge on. We choose to consume information that we know or want to know based on what is important to us or the environment that we are around.
I think about globalization like the first time I ever played around with Google Earth. It’s this fancy technology to see the entire world, and the first thing I did was type in my home address to see what it looked like from space. You may have access to the whole world, but you’re always going to be drawn to what you know and expand from there.
Globalization may be changing the world in homogeneous ways like the use of smartphones, but cultures and nations are still incredibly unique and alluring in their own ways. The world and its people are quite profound and I’m uncovering rocks that I didn’t know about each day. I will never stop exploring and learning from the people around me because it all fascinates me so much. Plus, if someone doesn’t know who LeBron is, I can teach them about how he is the G.O.A.T.