The concept of a ‘global village’ comprise several quite interesting features, among them the concept of ‘global pluralism, a tendency to think globally and the existence of a ‘two-way flow of communications’. The point could be raised that none of the above-mentioned features apply, at least to their fullest, to our world. Instead it could be suggested that:
If voices from all over the world are spoken, some are better heard than others, That we tend to focus our attention towards specific regions of the world (North America, Western Europe and South-East Asia, for instance) rather than giving equal attention towards the whole planet and, Because of these two tendencies, rather than a two-way flow of communications, it could be perceived that a predominately one-way flow from the world’s ‘core’ to the ‘periphery’ takes place.
This view can be easily understood by taking into account the global village’s reaction towards world’s catastrophes.
The Paris attacks of November 2015, for instance, received massive coverage and Facebook made it possible for its users to add the French flag to their profile pictures in support of the victims. By contrast, the environmental catastrophe in Minas Gerais state in Brazil, which occurred in the same month, was initially ignored to the anger of most Brazilians that couldn’t help but feeling victims of double standards.
The significant greater attention the terror attack in Tunisia in June 2015 received compared to the school massacre in Kenya in the same year, both attacks happening in African countries, arguably suggest another trend: the western media is more interested in tragedies concerning westerners, in the case of the terror attack in Tunisia, in fact, 38 tourists were killed.
Those tendencies have been acknowledged, as publications in social media seem to suggest. One particular example of that and social critique against it can be detected in this image:
It seeks to divide the world into sections according to the general reaction that a catastrophe in those areas provokes. The global village’s reaction towards a tragedy in North America, Western Europe, Australia and Japan is described in the exclamation: ‘What a tragedy!’, one in Mexico, South America, Eastern Europe, Egypt, South Africa and India as ‘Oh, that’s sad!’, one in Central America, Cuba, Russia, China, and the Middle East as ‘Well, that’s life!’, one in the remainder of Central Asia, the Guyanas and South Asia as ‘Wait, this country exists?’ and one in the rest of Africa as ‘Meh!’.
On a more positive note, if this is the way the so-called ‘global village’, together with western media, looks at the world, it is definitely not how the ‘global village’ wants to and evidence of that can be easily found as well.
One can criticize the lack of interest the global community have for events happening in certain areas of the globe but it can also be appreciated how those voices are increasingly being heard and making people questioning the way they look at the world. The more those patterns of double-standards are reviled, the more people seek to listen to the previously unheard voices and look for a more ‘politically-correct’ stance as a way to overcome the bias of the ‘global village’ they live in. The social media, again, can show evidence of that. In that tragic month of November 2015, for instance, this picture, which now has 27.000 likes, appeared on Facebook, trying to raise support for all tragedies that happened in 11/13 and more generally in that week:
Evidence seems to suggest, therefore, that the global village is indeed ‘not that global’ in terms of interests and predominant voices but that it is, however, seeking to overcome such flaws.
BBC, Paris attacks: What happened on the night, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-34818994
Oakley N. How to add the French flag to your Facebook profile picture, http://www.mirror.co.uk/tech/how-add-french-flag-your-8427943
Franco D. Brasil x Mariana: Brasileiros criticam disparidade de reações nas redes sociais, http://br.rfi.fr/brasil/20151115-brasileiros-inflamam-redes-sociais-por-falta-de-noticias-sobre-rompimento-de-barrage
Levs J. 147 dead, Islamist gunman killed after attack at Kenya college, http://edition.cnn.com/2015/04/02/africa/kenya-university-attack/
Fathalla A. Sousse attack: Tunisia faces major terror threat, one year on, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-36629059
Wheeler M. Public Diplomacy and Global communication 2, https://prezi.com/pbjjm1zlw2by/public-diplomacy-and-global/