Do social networks make you more localized or globalized?

People always say technology makes the distance around the world shorter. What about social networks?

Earlier this year, the revolution in Egypt was accelerated by a Facebook post called “We Are All Khaled Said.” And after the devastating earthquakes in Japan, social networks have become a major communication channel (since most of the phone lines were destroyed). The social web has become a way for us living on the other side of the world to pay attention or even to extend help to places like Haiti or Somalia. The power of social networks has gone beyond the borders and across countries.

You may ask, “then why bother writing this post?”

Because not everyone’s using social the same.Ask yourself these questions:

  • What kinds of hashtags do you follow on Twitter? What is the content of those hashtags?
  • Who are the majority of your followers?
  • Do you use social media to monitor any kind of international/ global events?
  • Does social media make you focus more on local issues, or global ones?
  • Have you learned anything through social that you wouldn’t have learned from traditional news sources?
  • Have you ever shared anything that’s happening locally with a larger audience?
  • Has social changed your perspective on international/global events or politics?
Here in Detroit we have various social-related events like Tweetea, FutureMidwest, and Startup Weekend. Occasionally people at these events talk about business models and strategies, but very often you hear passionate folks talking about nothing but Detroit. “What’s going to happen in Detroit?” “What can we do better to build the Detroit community?” True, were it not for these activists, Detroit would not be such a strong community. But I always felt the community could set its perspective wider. Because even to some of the fanatic Detroiters like Mike Han or Brian Ambrozy, social is their central way to connect with the world. According to Mike Han, who is a brilliant artist specializing in street graffiti, social networks are “tools to engage artists and to transition online conversation to offline collaboration.” As for Brian, the founder of a large video-gaming community, Icrontic, social networks are just another channel to facilitate gaming topics among users around the world. Living in Detroit but traveling like a citizen of the world? My friend Aaron Cruz’s blog includes all his adventures around the globe.So what is your purpose in using social networks?


  1. Egypt’s Revolution by Social Media (WSJ)
  2. Social media’s True Impact on Haiti, China, and the world
  3. Social Networks Become Preferred Lines of Communication During Japan Earthquake


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