Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Build-A-Culture & The Obsolete Concept of Citizenship

Before I start with this blog post, let me say that I welcome all comments and critics as I'm sure they will be constructive. I am about to tackle a very sensitive subject that may anger, scare or infuriate some readers.

In my first blog post ever titled "Culture shifting" back in 2007, I intended to describe how modern telecommunication technologies shaped our present at that time. What I wrote, back then, couldn't be more true now.

Most of us, now, have the technological means of immersing ourselves in a totally different culture than the one we geographically live in. Thanks to the Internet, our everyday newspaper can be one from a city located in a distant continent. The same goes for the television shows we watch or the books we read. We even have the ability to almost call anyone on the planet for free thanks to VoIP.

So what does that really mean?

Well, it is my strong opinion that this leads to the inevitable question of asking what it really means to be the citizen of a country and if the concept of nationality still makes sense?

If I live in a country that I don't know much or care about or if I barely speak its language, how good is the fact that I was born there to make me a citizen? Why can't I choose which country I want to be a citizen of insofar as I speak its language, know its history and share its culture?

All of these aspects aren't bound anymore to our geographic location. Why can't we take an exam to become a citizen of a specific country even if we weren't born there?

Moreover, what to make of those that live in a country but don't speak its language?

The obvious example of what I just wrote is the growing influence of the American TV culture throughout the world. Almost everybody watches American TV shows and laughs at the same jokes. We all share this although we live in very different places. This was not the case thirty years ago when access to foreign content was much more limited. Modern technologies are changing our culture whether we want it or not and future policies will be shaped by these change. It is now time to ask ourselves these questions.

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