The use and impact of social media in Western versus Eastern cultures
Social media has played a vital role in enabling easy interactions between people. The use and impact of social media in the Eastern and Western countries vary. Eastern countries encompass countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, and Syria. Western countries include countries such as Germany, France, and the Netherlands. Eastern culture is more conservative. It is characterized by religions such as Islam, Hinduism, and Jainism. Western culture is more civilized.
Social media has positively and negatively impacted the Eastern cultures. First, it has played a role in the establishment of government reforms such as the Arab spring. The eastern countries are characterized by authoritative governments with corrupt leaders. Social media has enhanced interactions between individuals. It has made it easy to form mass revolutions online. Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks have improved communications making it easy to mobilize government oppositions.
Social media has enhanced freedom of expression. It has made it possible to eliminate authoritative regimes and replace them with democratic governments. Dictators such as Gaddafi and Mubarak have been overthrown. Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are pushing for freedom and democracy. Social media has not only enhanced interactions, but it has also enlightened people through education. Eastern cultures also use social media for entertainment, networking and brand exposure. Some of the negative consequences of the use of social media in the Eastern countries include, decrease in socialization and physical activities and the adoption of Western cultures due to interaction with people from the West.
The use and the impact of social media in the West differs from that of the East. While the East has embraced social media as a tool to form mass revolutions to overthrow dictatorial forms of government. The West uses social media to expose social, environmental and political evils. This makes the government more accountable and responsible. Social media has made it possible to transfer powers from a few people in government to the masses.
Also, the West uses social media to expose their brands. Businesses use social media to connect with customers. Job seekers use social media to connect with potential job employers. The West has also embraced social media as a form of entertainment and interaction. They use it to connect with friends and family. They also use it to learn. Social media has plenty of informative videos, blogs, and tutorials.
Hatfield, E., & Rapson, R. L. (2015). From pen pals to chat rooms: the impact of social media on Middle Eastern Society. SpringerPlus, 4(1), 254.
Salminen, J., Sengün, S., Kwak, H., Jansen, B., an, J., Jung, S. G., & Harrell, D. F. (2017, August). Generating cultural personas from social data: a perspective of Middle Eastern users. In the 2017 5th International Conference on Future Internet of Things and Cloud Workshops (FiCloudW) (pp. 120-125). IEEE.
Booth, N., & Matic, J. A. (2011). Mapping and leveraging influencers in social media to shape corporate brand perceptions. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 16(3), 184-191.