Social Media Cultural Adaptation

1480 Words6 Pages
New media have become an important aspect and catalyst for the globalization of society. It encourages and facilitates a platform, on which people across the world can exchange messages, share knowledge, do business and interact with each other regardless of distance. Even though cultures across the world value their individual norms, beliefs and traditions, social media connects people regardless of differences and geographical boundaries. Its use fosters cultural adaptation for individuals who may have to move to another country for studying, work or just to visit.
Social media and its influence on the cultural adaptation for international university students is worth studying, as this process has become a current one overtime, due to the
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New media refers to the use of digital communications to facilitate communication, such as the use of the internet. It allows for immediate access to content at anytime, anywhere, through the use of digital devices and it also encourages user feedback and participation. Social media is a type of new media, and a term used to collectively group the different platforms used for virtual communication (such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube).
Cultural adaptation is the process through which people ease their way into a different culture, as it becomes inevitable. Globalization is a process involving the combination of different cultures around the world, to form one. Social media have brought people across the world into a “global village”, and in this case, different students from across the world to a dynamic setting.
In examining the influence of social media usage on cultural adaptation of these students, there are some key theories which further explain this relationship. These theories are the Social Exchange Theory (SET) and the Social Penetration Theory (SPT), which will both be discussed in the Literature
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One section mentioned the social impact of social media usage, which will be necessary for the present study. Based on the interviewees’ response, the researchers were able to produce findings that (i) Social networking sites are used to keep close ties, (ii) Social media users have close relationships and (iii) Social media users trust each other. Similarly, Sawyer (2011) was able to analyze the information received from the interviewees and conclude on the findings. A strength in Sawyer’s study was that the questionnaires issued had some very good questions, which would support that of the present research. Though it focused on students at the URI, a Caribbean context for the question could be drawn, given the culture being adapted to would be of Jamaica. One question in particular asked, ‘Before you arrived in the U.S., did you use social media to connect and become more familiar with the culture? What kind of interactions? With whom? What did you learn?’ Though it set out to get a full response, it could’ve been a difficulty, given the detailed answer required. It could’ve been simpler. However, the conclusions drawn from the study supported the questions

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