Sunday, 24 June 2012

The Internet as Yin and Yang

There can be no doubt the Internet has blurred international cultural borders. Anyone, anywhere can access virtually anything at anytime.

In the past, connectivity may have been a bigger issue but that too is slowly fading as the world gets wired up with smart phones. Nevertheless, the world's eyeballs tend to gravitate to the same ten websites, irrespective of location. The world has been all but divided between Google, YouTube, Yahoo!, Facebook and Twitter.   
Singapore Pakistan Malaysia Japan
1 Google Facebook Facebook Yahoo! Japan
2 Google Google Google Google
3 Facebook Google Google Google
4 YouTube YouTube YouTube YouTube
5 Yahoo! Yahoo! Blogspot FC2
6 Wikipedia Blogspot Yahoo! Facebook
7 Windows Live Windows Live Wikipedia Rakuten
8 LinkedIn Wikipedia Blogger Ameblo
9 Blogspot LinkedIn Twitter Amazon Japan
10 Twitter Twitter MayBank Wikipedia
Source: Alexa, accessed June 24, 2012

However, the most popular sites are only the beginning of the story. These websites may be the first stop for most Internet users but they are only a means to a much more personal end.

Train lovers may watch YouTube videos of trains, celebrity watchers follow Justin Bieber's every move, news junkies zoom in on interesting stories and, most of all, individuals tell friends and family their life stories through personal tweets and Facebook updates.
On the face of it, the Internet has 'globalized' information much like Hollywood did to movies, i.e. the world watches Madagascar 3 and Modern Family at the same time. However, the nature of the Internet also permits the organization of 'tribes' on the basis of shared interests. And, because tribes pull in interested persons from all over the world, establishing large tribes becomes easier. Geography is no barrier to the Internet.

The Internet embodies contemporary life's Yin and Yang: it unites and divides; informs and misleads; globalizes and individuates.
The Internet is that most ubiquitous of modern forces. The Internet complements our connections with others and its limit human interaction too.

Imran is a business and management consultant. Through his work at Deodar Advisors and the Deodar Diagnostic, Imran improves profits of businesses operating in Singapore and the region. He can be reached at

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