We often get asked in our cultural workshops about how social media has affected the culture DNA, especially for the Gen Z.
My view? Not much.
Since the 2007 technology boom, the rate of change in technology has doubled every two years (Moore’s law) and this is changing the way we are interacting with each other as well as with businesses.
In her 2017 doctoral study, Is our social media behavior still influenced by our culture? This is how Finns, Poles and Americans differ*, Agnieszka Chwialkowska, from the University of Vaasa, Finland has some valuable insights to offer. She reveals
- Cultural values and practices still influence ‘the way consumers use different social media platforms’ when engaging with their favorite companies.
- Even though we think ourselves as global citizens, we still differ in terms of how we behave online and what motivates our behavior online. The U.S. consumers were engaging with company social media content more frequently than respondents from Finland and Poland.
- Chwialkowska studied both young generation of social media users and working professionals and debunked the myth that older consumers use social media differently
Though this by no means is a study broad enough to derive definite conclusions, we can still draw a hypothesis that even though social media has made us better informed global citizens, it has not greatly influenced our cultural DNA… yet.
Maybe it will all change in the next three years as we become more adept to this new world which is in a state of continuous realignment thanks to the booming technological possibilities.
However, in the short run, I feel that we may land up clinging to our cultural values a lot more. The ‘average person’ will need something to hold on to while the winds of change continually sweep away all that they get familiar with. What’s left then except to cling on to one’s own cultural roots?!
Isn’t this already visible globally, in the increasing clamour of ‘my people and culture first’?
*Link to the study mentioned in the blog