Technical Communication for Emerging Media – Global Edition

Both the readings by Spilka and Ishii were eye-opening to me and went quite far to validate the fact that we see the world through our own eyes.  Up until this time, I had been considering emerging media in general as an American artifact, when there is no question this has to be taken as a global event.

This is not to say that each country or culture has an obscure view of media relations. In fact, there are many similarities. Ishii’s references to Japanese youth when she says “there has been a trend for young people to create their own unique subcultures in which they communicate predominately through SMS…” (Ishii, p 346) is a compelling likeness to what has been happening in the United States during the same timeframe.  What is different, as she indicated through research findings, is that Japanese young people are more introverted and this leads to a greater tendency to use text messages over face-to-face conversations or even telephone.

These global differences continue on in Spilka’s writings. These references to the ways that other countries conduct business hit very close to home for me.  I work for a company, Energy Control Systems, which has both a National and International presence. The international side includes a few salespeople in countries such as Asia, South America, Central America, Mexico, South Africa and others.  Their main product is Sinetamer, a line of surge suppression equipment that is quite useful in these countries. The main impetus to our overseas sales; however, is the owner of our company.  I always thought that he traveled 75% of the time because he liked it. Now I realize that there is more to it than that.  Without his ability to meet face-to-face with contacts in these countries, we would have a lot less international business.  I now have a much better picture of not only what my company does, but of my own responsibilities when I have opportunities to sell overseas.

It seems that culture is a much bigger issue today, than language is.  When I was just out of High School, the biggest issues for college admittance was having so many credits of a foreign language. Today, most colleges no longer have these requirements. It makes me think that culture is, indeed, a more prevalent issue.  It is interesting how my thoughts keep coming back to culture.


About Robyn Gotch

After many years of quilting, sewing and long-arm quilting for myself, I felt it was time to offer these same services to the public. You will find that because I am a quilter myself, your projects will be treated with the same care and respect that I do my own.

Posted on November 14, 2011, in Literacy, mobile, Society, Trust, Workplace and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I found the readings to be enlightening as well. Since we are so exposed to the emerging media in our own country, it is hard to imagine the same thing is going on elsewhere but in ways that cater to the ways of each specific culture. I wonder how companies on a international basis connect their media with each specific culture’s common media type.

  2. Robin—

    After I found the Ishii article in the Content section of D2L, I read it and I noticed the exact same sentence that you did, too. I’m in my mid-30s and I have cousins that are in high school. When I get together with my cousins, all they do is sit there and text message their friends. My one cousin, a senior in high school, says he probably sends and receives 500 text messages a day. I think he thought I was going to say something negative about that but I didn’t. I kept talking to him to try figure out ‘why’ him and his friends feel the need to stay connected throughout the day. His response was interesting because he basically said that everyone is bored. That’s why they text message each other.

    • Ha! Interesting response from your cousin! When I was bored in high school, I called up one of my friends and did something. Now it seems people settle for electronic communication with no real purpose. When my youngest sister went to college two years ago, she was terribly homesick and texts her friends and family all the time, which amounted to 12,000 text messages in one month! That doesn’t even seem possible!

      • Our daughter has a roommate this year that is a 1st year freshman. Her folks live quite a distance away so she does not go home often. While I am not sure how much she texts, I do know that she is on SKYPE every night with her family.

        While this is very cool on one hand, the girl needs to get a headeset with a mic. She is so loud for hours every night that the floor has been receiving complaints. Phones are not the only annoying social device!

  3. Interesting that the comments here have moved toward the topic of texting and away from how international communication differs, likely because we have observed the former more often.
    When I was at the Oxford Internet Institute conference this September, I was surprised to hear about how other cultures view Facebook. Many countries have their own social networks and don’t rely on Facebook as much as we do, but for those that do, their uses of it differ. For instance, one woman studied “how people in Russia and Kazakhstan used SNSs for communication and relational maintenance.” The abstract is here but sadly not the whole paper:

    What I thought was interesting in her interview data was that once the connections were made and memories shared, the users didn’t continue to communicate much. Perhaps this is like how we, and I’m referring to those of us 35 & older, view our high school “friends” on Facebook. You recognize a name, accept the friend request, but don’t do much else unless a major event or birthday happens. It’s nice to be able to find them and add them to your friend’s list, but what else is there to do if you weren’t really their friend in the first place?

    • That’s interesting you should say that, Daisy. I often don’t know what to do about high school “friends” on Facebook. There are quite a few people who wouldn’t have given me the time of day back then who are friends with me now. I’m not sure the value of staying in touch.

      It’s weird because some of the people who I interact with more on FB are not the people who I hung out with. But I guess we all change, and the further away from high school we are, the more we realize we have in common.

      My mom has said that her class reunions got that way as she has grown older. People stopped being cliquey and were just glad to see each other. She’s to the point where some of them have died (she’s just in her 60s) so as her cohort has grown older, just being a part of that generation and that experience seems to have drawn them together more – especially so since now some of them are gone.

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