[Video] Doraemon Anywhere Door – Future Reality or Manga Legend?

My research project of BCM325: Future Cultures focuses on Doraemon, a Japanese manga, and its wonderful technology predictions. I decided to base my work around one technology that I think is the best technology presented in the manga, Anywhere Door – a door that takes you anywhere you want by simply walking through it. In this short piece of writing, I will explain the reason why I chose Anywhere Door as the research focus and reflect on my aims and findings.

First of all, I want to talk about why I chose Anywhere Door for my research project. In total, there were 1344 chapters of Doraemon released in the original series, featuring hundreds of gadgets. Although all of those gadgets are interesting technologies of the future, I cannot do research about all of them due to the massive amount of work required. Therefore, my approach was focusing on one prominent gadget while briefly presenting several other gadgets as background information, which I think is a more suitable approach for the scope of my research. Another reason rooted in my personal circumstance. As an international student in Australia, I have to stay away from my beloved family. Although I want to see them every day, I have to wait for at least three and a half months to come back home by the end of the semester with at least nine hours travelling by airplanes. Therefore, I want to discover whether Anywhere Door or Teleportation can be reality in near future, which can make travelling, especially over huge distance, way easier.

Secondly, the research aims and findings are reflected. The aims of my research are divided into two small points: human transportation development progress and teleportation scientific theories. Although I have noticed that human beings have achieved many breakthroughs in transportation recently, I have never actually paid attention to how significant they are compared to other means of transport in previous decades. Therefore, I want to investigate this progress in order to see if the future of transportation is bright and optimistic, and if there is still room for further improvements. I decided to look at commercial transportation only because Anywhere Door is meant to be a more accessible to the public. After doing some research, I have figured out that it took around 150 years for human travelling speed to increase by 30 times, from the first railway to commercial airplanes nowadays, which I think is incredible and signals a very promising future.

Finally, another goal of my research is to discover some possible scientific theories that can turn Anywhere Door or Teleportation into reality. There were several possibilities came up during my research, among which ‘Quantum Entanglement’ was the most notable. Simply speaking, teleportation using quantum entanglement can function by scanning and sending the state of the transported object from the departure point to the arrival point where it can be recreated identically using the transmitted data. However, this sounds more like scanning and printing rather than transporting, because the original object remains in the first place and will be destroyed afterwards once being recreated successfully to guarantee that there is only one version of it in the universe. Another possibility is travelling through wormholes, or in other words, the connection between two black holes. This idea was proposed by Stephen Hawking with his theory Hawking Radiation about how the two black holes can be entangled, which creates a connection or a wormhole in between which people can travel through. However, there are lots of barriers to this theory because no one has approached a black hole to know exactly what is inside, or there are other arguments that nothing can escape a black hole. Therefore, at this stage, ‘Quantum Entanglement’ is still more feasible than wormholes because tiny objects like photons have been successfully transmitted over huge distance such as from the earth to the orbit by a group of Chinese scientists. However, there is still a big gap from transferring a photon to teleporting a person.

In conclusion, this short piece of writing has informed about my choice of Anywhere Door as my case study, as well as my research aims and findings. It is obvious that transportation in particular and technology in general, have attained significant achievements over time, and will continue to progress in the future. On the other hand, the barriers in teleportation possibilities signify that it will take much more time and effort for Anywhere Door to be brought into reality. However, I still believe that we have the right to hope, because according to the book Sails in the sky (1938), people of the 15th century used to claim Leonardo da Vinci’s idea of airplane to be crazy, and now we are absolutely not crazy, but are actually sailing, in the sky, with airplanes.

References:

Agarwal, A 2017, ‘Anywhere Door: Doeramon’s Gadget into a reaity’, Research Paper, Aligarh Muslim University.

Benson, A 2015, ‘The utopia of suburbia: the unchanging past and limitless future in Doraemon’, Japan Forum, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 235-256

Brodwin, E 2016, An Italian surgeon has renewed his promise to perform the world’s first head transplant after a ‘proof-of-concept’ experiment on a dog, Business Insider, viewed April 29th 2017, <http://www.businessinsider.com/italian-surgeon-head-transplant-dog-experiment-2016-9&gt&gt;

Captain Cartoon 2015, Doraemon Intro (American Version), online video, December 28th, Captain Cartoon, viewed May 30th 2018, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxQK1WDYI_k&t=216s&gt;.

Coke 2013, Star Trek: The Motion Picture – Transporter Accident, online video, April 6th, Coke, viewed May 30th 2018, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxQK1WDYI_k&t=216s&gt;.

Hardy, MA, Furr, A, Barret, JP, & Barker, JH 2017, ‘Review: The immunologic considerations in human head transplantation’, International Journal of Surgery, vol. 41, pp. 196-202

Human Progress 2015, Quantum Entanglement Simplified Microscopic Universe, online video, December 23rd, Human Progress, viewed May 30th 2018, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxQK1WDYI_k&t=216s&gt;.

Minutephysics 2017, How to Teleport Schrödinger’s Cat, online video, March 15th, minutephysics, viewed May 30th 2018, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxQK1WDYI_k&t=216s&gt;.

Minutephysics 2016, Transporters and Quantum Teleportation, online video, March 15th, minutephysics, viewed May 30th 2018, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxQK1WDYI_k&t=216s&gt;.

‘Sails in the Sky’, 1938, Time, vol. 31, no. 18, p. 69.

Seeker 2018, Will We Ever Be Able to Travel Through a Wormhole?, online video, February 3rd, Seeker, viewed May 30th 2018, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxQK1WDYI_k&t=216s&gt;.

Seeker 2013, Will Teleportation Ever Be Possible?, online video, February 8th, Seeker, viewed May 30th 2018, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxQK1WDYI_k&t=216s&gt;.

The Atlantic 2015, An Animated History of Transportation, online video, July 8th, The Atlantic, viewed May 30th 2018, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxQK1WDYI_k&t=216s&gt;.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BCM325 LiveTweets Reflection

Hi all!

Hope you are having a good time. My name is Cuong Lam, and welcome to my blog. For anyone that does not know, I am a third year student studying Communication and Media at University of Wollongong, Australia. For this semester, I am studying a subject called Future Cultures, and for each week we are shown movies in class (yes you got it right, movies in class!) and during the screening we have to live tweet any relevant content or comment about the movie on Twitter. Therefore, in this blog post I will make a reflection on all of the six live tweeting sessions (I missed the first one :P). And here we go:

Week 2: WestWorld (1973).

Westworld is a 1973 American science fiction Western thriller film written and directed by novelist Michael Crichton about amusement park androids that malfunction and begin killing visitors (Wikipedia).

Liked Tweets:

Reflection:

It was interesting to see how not only me, but also my classmates reacted to the rebellion of robots in Westworld. In particular, we tend to focus not on the fact that robots were killing human in the movie, but instead the cause of the rebellion, which was the way human treated robots. It seems like the human characters were able to express their darkest side by being put into a world full of what they thought to be insentient and will accept whatever they do. The tweet that I consider best reflects this was Noelle’s: “pays 1K a day and literally ends up in jail lol”. So true. These people paid $1000 not to enjoy the theme park, but to commit crimes that they cannot do in real life, and the chaos was what they deserved.

Week 3: Johnny Mnemonic (1995).

Johnny Mnemonic is a 1995 Canadian-American cyberpunk action thriller film directed by Robert Longo in his directorial debut. The film stars Keanu Reeves and Dolph Lundgren. The film is based on the story of the same name by William Gibson. Keanu Reeves plays the title character, a man with a cybernetic brain implant designed to store information. The film portrays Gibson’s dystopian view of the future with the world dominated by megacorporations and with strong East Asian influences (Wikipedia).

Liked Tweets:

Reflection:

The common theme dominated across the screening of Johnny Mnemonic was how funny the future was depicted in the movie as everything looked old-fashioned and simply not modern enough to be ‘the future’. However, one thing that was recognised by many of us was how the future in the movie was dark, pessimistic and somehow a dystopia. This can be reflected by my most-likable tweet of this session: “Take a look around, this is actually the future of E-Waste”, and another wonderful tweet from Noelle (again): “Why do they depict the future to have rubbish everywhere idgi”. The future with all the advanced technologies suppose to be fancy, but in the movie, it was only covered in darkness, isn’t it weird? Maybe the answer lies in how the protagonist, Johnny, after all the happenings just wants to be a normal human again, and it seems like most of my peers felt this way too. This tweet from Aiman says it all: “At the end of the day, everyone wants to be “human” again”.

Week 4: The Matrix (1999).

Liked Tweets:

Reflection:

Again, another Keanu Reeves movie featuring the future seems dark and pessimistic. “The buildings and city don’t look futuristic at all – just dystopian and deteriorating” – Claire’s tweet. I feel like a lot of media products, not only movies, tend to depict a future of technologies that does not turn out to be the best, but actually describe a fear of being controlled by technologies instead. Another common theme of the screening was how the green filter used in the movie was widely recognised, which reflected the boundary between virtual world and reality. Besides, the best thing I experienced from this week’s live tweeting was a conversation with several classmates about how simulation technology would be used in the future for tourism purpose. We had discussed several possible technologies, from VR to memory bank and also memory purchase, which I considered very interesting as innovation and prediction seems to be limitless.

Week 5: Black Mirror Season 2 Episode 1

Be Right Back” is the first episode of the second series of British science fiction anthology series Black Mirror. It was written by series creator and showrunner Charlie Brooker, directed by Owen Harris and first aired on Channel 4 on 11 February 2013.

The episode tells the story of Martha (Hayley Atwell), a young woman whose boyfriend Ash Starmer (Domhnall Gleeson) is killed in a car accident. As she mourns him, she discovers that technology now allows her to communicate with an artificial intelligence imitating Ash, and reluctantly decides to try. “Be Right Back” had two sources of inspiration: the question of whether to delete a dead friend’s phone number from one’s contacts, and the idea that Twitter posts could be made by software mimicking dead people.

“Be Right Back” explores the theme of grief; it is a melancholy story similar to the previous episode, “The Entire History of You“. Its presentation of Martha and Ash’s relationship is brief but depicts a loving relationship, many aspects of which are inverted with Martha and the AI that imitates Ash, which is unable to replicate the small details of Ash’s behaviour. (Wikipedia)

Liked Tweets:

Reflection:

Throughout the screening session, I had noticed that how my peers, as well as myself, were uncomfortable thinking of the storyline. What happened in the movie could be a possible outcome of human’s dependence on technology, according to Ashleigh’s tweet: “Humans are always getting attached to our devices, giving names and personalities to them. But this is on a whole different level”. Moreover, it also raised concerns around mental issues, which might happen not only to the protagonist, but anyone of us as a result of excessive attachment to technology: “is anyone else concerned for this woman’s mental health?” – Cassie’s tweet. However, although this technology will face controversies if one day it is brought to life, I cannot tell for sure what I would react to it once I was put in the same situation: “Fooling myself into the illusion that someone you love is still alive, or facing the truth? I don’t have an idea to be honest”. A great episode, a great idea leaving us with a lot of questions inside I believe.

Week 6: Robot and Frank

Robot & Frank is a 2012 American science fiction comedy-drama film directed by Jake Schreier and written by Christopher Ford. Set in the near future, it focuses on Frank Weld, an aging jewel thief played by Frank Langella, whose son buys him a domestic robot. Resistant at first, Frank warms up to the robot when he realizes he can use it to restart his career as a cat burglar. It was the first feature film for both Ford and Schreier and received critical acclaim for its writing, production, and acting. It won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, tying with the Kashmiri film Valley of Saints. (Wikipedia)

Liked Tweets:

Reflection:

Unlike Johnny Mnemonic or The Matrix, the future in Robot and Frank seems to be more realistic, maybe because it was made at a recent date. However, without the e-waste or green filter, it still reflects a dystopian view: “The dystopian future in #RobotandFrank is not a robot that cares, but a library without books” – Chris’s tweet. The movie led us to different emotional stages, but I wonder that which stage or scenario was the saddest: the fact that people had to use robots to take care of their parents, aged people get attached to robots more than with their kids, or human could teach robots to commit crime? It was a dystopian view indeed, according to Frank Langella himself: “It doesn’t turn into a sentimental buddy movie at all”. Above all, it was obvious that both I and my peers were touched by the storyline of this movie, by the relationship between Frank and the robot, and by the fact that robots can actually feel, express emotion and empathy: “noooo just go to jail as friends don’t wipe memory” – Ashleigh’s tweet.

Week 7: Black Mirror Season 3 Episode 6

Hated in the Nation” is the sixth and final episode of the third season of British science fiction anthology series Black Mirror. Written by series creator and showrunner Charlie Brooker and directed by James Hawes, it premiered on Netflix on 21 October 2016, along with the rest of series three.[1] It is the longest episode in the series at 89 minutes.

The episode is a murder mystery, and follows Detective Karin Parke (Kelly Macdonald) and her new partner Blue Coulson (Faye Marsay) who, together with the help of National Crime Agency officer Shaun Li (Benedict Wong), try to solve the inexplicable deaths of people who were all the target of social media. (Wikipedia)

 

Liked Tweets:

Reflection:

It was obvious from this final screening session of another episode from Black Mirror that we all realised how dystopian the theme was. Everyone was freaked out by the fact that tiny bees could be used as killing weapons and could be controlled by a daily social networking tool which was Twitter. Moreover, I was grateful to know that someone did share the same opinion with me that bees and hashtags are just a metaphor for cyberbullying: “I mean it’s not nice for people to wish someone dies on the internet, but they know it wouldn’t actually happen, so how do they actually feel now that someone is making these hated pupils a target of society ?” – Angus’s tweet; “Losing control of the bees a metaphor about how we can never control the internet?” – Edwina’s tweet; “This movie is a metaphor of the effect of online bullying. Victims might not die, but they are dead inside” – my own tweet. I totally agree with them that Internet in particular or technology in general will develop in any way depending on how we use them, just like the bees which can be used for ordinary purposes but can also be used as deadly weapons.

 

BCM325 Research Overview – Doraemon’s Anywhere Door.

Hi everyone!

Hope you are having a good time. It’s great to come back to my blog with another new post. For anyone that does not know, I am doing a research project about Doreamon’s famous idea of Anywhere Door, a magical door that takes you any where you want by walking through it. I have written a blog where I proposed my initial thoughts, which can be found here:

In this podcast, I will provide my research findings to partly help me in answering the question of whether Anywhere Door will come into reality, or remain an imaginary means of transport.

Let me know what you think down below in the comment section.

Hope you enjoy it!

Cuong.

 

Reference:

Aditi, S 2017, ‘Quantum entanglement and its applications’, Current Science (00113891), vol. 112, no. 7, pp. 1361-1368.

Agarwal, A 2017, ‘Anywhere Door: Doraemon’s Gadget into a reality’, Research Paper, Aligarh Muslim University.

Chin, M 2015, New method of quantum entanglement vastly increases how much information can be carried in a photon, Phys.org, viewed April 22nd 2018, <https://phys.org/news/2015-06-method-quantum-entanglement-vastly-photon.html&gt;.

Weiss, D, ‘Star Trek and the Posthuman’, viewed April 22nd 2018, <http://faculty.ycp.edu/~dweiss/research/Star%20Trek%20and%20the%20Posthuman.pdf&gt;.

The Atlantic (2015), An Animated History of Transportation, [Online Video], viewed April 22nd 2018, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaLCQo8NJFA&gt;.

‘Sails in the Sky’, 1938, Time, vol. 31, no. 18, p. 69.

BCM212 Project progress update and Communications strategy

As already mentioned in my Research Proposal blog post, I am working on a project researching about the students’ decisions to choose a university and majors as well as the reasons why they may change their choices and how the majors relate to their future careers.

In this short blog post I will not focus on the content of my project, but on my progress so far and communications strategy for the project instead. First of all, I would like to indicate my method to recruit people to participate in my survey and interviews. For my survey, which you can find here, I have put up a post on Moodle, my university platform, embedding the survey link in which I also explained briefly about my project. I have also tried to get more responses by putting the link up on Twitter with the hashtag #bcm112. So far, so good, I keep getting new responses everyday 😉

About my interview, I was a bit worried about how I can find the suitable interviewees. Fortunately, I have several friends whose stories according to my perception fit into the context of my project. However, another problem is that I plan to film the interview so consent can be a potential problem. Therefore, I am fully aware that only by communicating clearly the project topic which is just a daily and sensitive topic can I get their approval. Below is the example of how I contact one of my interviewees (he allowed me to upload this piece of conversation but I will secure his identity).

1

For the progress of my project, check this chart below for the details of my schedule from the beginning of the project until the deadline, wish me luck and bravery to stick to this plan guys :).

1

In general, this blog will me my main tool to communicate to people about my project. In response to my tutor’s feedback about my blog design, I have established an ‘About‘ section on my blog including some information about me and my contact details so who are interested in or have questions about my blog can contact my more easily.

That’s it for this time. I will update my progress real soon. Stay tuned !

Cuong.

Poverty porn: calling for change, not charity.

Since the media industry is developing significantly, new genres of media product have been emerging. Among those depicting ordinary topics, there are some that dig into more sensitive, strange and narrow aspects. In this blog post I will focus on the case of ‘poverty porn’, a genre that can be defined as any type of media exploiting the poor’s condition to create sympathy in order to sell newspapers, attract charity donations and support people (Roegnigk 2014).

vulture-child

Human beings do feel sorry for the inferior, which I suppose you guys will all agree with me. Once we see a starving kid, a homeless person, an innocent citizen suffering from war or similar stuffs, we feel sorry for them at a certain degree. I understand that, you understand that and above all, the media understand that too. It is not difficult at all to find poverty porn elements in everything we encounter on a daily basis. We see such pitiful cases in pieces of news, TV shows and even images on Facebook. Exposure to such media products do make us sympathize with ones featured, but have you ever wondered what are the purposes behind all these ?

Obviously we can all understand that by showing such content, the media want us to be aware of other sides of the world which we may not know or even think that they exist. Moreover, we have a chance to realize the degree of seriousness of them by coming up with materials capturing what actually happens.

lead_large

“If I don’t take pictures like these, people like my mom will think war is what they see in movies” – war photographer Kenneth Jarecke.

That is the way it is. If we do not know enough, we can never develop enough sympathy or empathy. In this way, it cannot be denied that the media is doing a good job by introducing poverty porn to inform people (Middendorp 2015). However, the consequent actions that are called from poverty porn is what actually worth concerned.

I still remembered one detail in the video above about the story of Hollywood actor Jack Black and a homeless kid in Uganda when the kid told JB “I want to go with you” and he replied “I don’t think I can take you with me”. I liked the whole video in which Jack Black tried to raise funds to offer homeless kids education, except for that detail. Personally, I think that detail makes the whole mood of the video seem to be hopeless. I was born and grown up in Vietnam, a developing country in Southeast Asia in a middle class family. Although I live in one of the most modern city in the country, Hanoi, which is also the capital, I still encounter similar circumstances quite often. I see homeless kids on the street all the time and like anybody else, I always want to help them. I am pretty sure that when I was small, more than once when I saw a homeless kid I told my mom: “Can we take him home with us?” and I received the same response: “No we can’t. We don’t take them home, but we support them. That’s the way it is” and mom gave me something, maybe a little amount of money or food, and told me to gave it to them. And from those moments on, I realized that is how life works. It is not fair for everyone, but who are more privileged can support inferior ones, to make it less unfair (Beresford 2016).

madonnamalawi

The above points lead me to my final conclusion. I do not say that people should not adopt homeless kids or offer the poor people or those in harsh situations a new better life. The ones who do that are so admirable as they turn on the light in those dark segments of life. However, that should not be the purpose of poverty porn. By introducing poverty porn, the media should not encourage people to adopt homeless kids because that does not solve the problem radically (Dortonne 2016). There are millions of abandoned kids that we cannot adopt them all, and we avoid the issue by taking home the kids that stay in front of our eyes and fool ourselves to forget the all the remaining kids behind our back. Media makers, through poverty porn, should encourage people to support the inferior instead, by offering them opportunities to earn a better life themselves (for example, education) and beyond that, challenge the policies that push them into, or do not let them get out of those situations (Allen and Silver 2014). Instead of “neglect and obscure the systemic challenges and compounding disadvantages that people face”, the media should “deliver policies that can affect the challenging realities” (Allen and Silver 2014).

Poverty porn should call for change, not for charity. Because that is the way it is.

Reference:

Allen, K and Silver, D 2014, It’s easy to hate ‘poverty porn’ but harder to fight inequality, The Conversation, viewed March 31st 2017, <https://theconversation.com/its-easy-to-hate-poverty-porn-but-harder-to-fight-inequality-33555&gt;.

Beresford, P 2014, ‘Presenting welfare reform: poverty porn, telling sad stories or achieving change?’, Disability & Society, Vol. 31 Issue 3, pp. 421-425.

Dortonne, N 2016, The dangers of poverty porn, CNN, viewed March 23rd 2017, <http://edition.cnn.com/2016/12/08/health/poverty-porn-danger-feat/&gt;.

Middendorp, C 2015, Poverty porn: look at these vulnerable people, The Canberra Times, viewed March 23rd 2017, <http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/are-pictures-of-the-vulnerable-poverty-porn-20151003-gk0qv6.html&gt;.

Roegnigk, E 2014, 5 Reasons poverty porn empowers the wrong person, One.org, viewed March 23rd 2017, <https://www.one.org/us/2014/04/09/5-reasons-poverty-porn-empowers-the-wrong-person/&gt;.

Blog Reflection.

Throughout the process of studying BCM288, I have come up with a range of topics which provide me with a comprehensive knowledge about transnational media and culture. In this blog, I will briefly summary my understanding achieved from the course.

First of all, I have understood the meaning of this field of study to media audiences. This is the era where communication is so developed that people are no longer want to stay solely within their native culture and network anymore. Beyond that, they want to approach a range of different cultures and perspectives. Therefore, it is witnessed that different types of media with various content and origins are being enjoyed by audiences with diverse backgrounds. MasterChef, an Australian series creating a huge wave in India or If you are the one, a Chinese dating reality show being famous in Australia are several dominant examples. This phenomenon sets the foundation for ‘intercultural communication’, in which media content is able to approach a massive and diverse amount of audience by conveying universal values. It is understandable because according to Rohn 2009, universal values ‘can be detached from any culture’.

mca4_ten_rd
Credit: Photobucket.

Secondly, knowledge about transnational culture and media is also beneficial for media producers. Due to the fact that audiences are looking for transnational media product, producers have to seek ways to satisfy that demand. As a result, cooperative events such as film festivals are established to provide producers with chances to meet, interact and exchange ideas (Stringer 2001). These kinds of events also promote co-production, which can be understood as the collaboration of producers to create hybrid products once they have achieved a common understanding. Film festivals varies from large and broad events namely Cannes, Berlin or London film festivals to small and centralized ones in Busan or Istanbul. Moreover, co-production can also attract government’s investment on cultural and media industries as producers are able to show their potential by working together (Kwon and Kim 2013).

palais-des-festivals-de-cannes
Credit: 48hourfilm.com.

Finally, I am taught to overcome barriers to be a part of cosmopolitanism. According to McLuhan 1964, with the help of technology and the Internet, the world is transitioning into a ‘global village’ where global citizens communicate across barriers. Stated by Waldron 2000, cosmopolitanism is when “all human beings belong to a single community”. Therefore, the Internet and other digital communication tools are providing me with not only opportunities but also responsibility to know, sympathize and support what is happening around me in a large scale. Wider news coverage about world issues raises the awareness of people about being more updated to be able to realize, understand, maintain what is good and fix what is not.  Virtual cosmopolitanism is a great movement for young people to turn social media practices, which used to be considered daily activities, into something really meaningful by broadening their network, achieving cultural understanding and forming new ‘third cultures’ (McEwan and Sobre-Denton, 2011).

global-village-aiesec-surat
Credit: wslr.org.

To conclude, studying BCM288 allows me to understand the importance of transnational media and culture, which is essential to me as a person and in my future career working in the field of media. The subject raises my awareness that although there are still gaps and challenges in co-production or media piracy, the benefits of being actively engaged with intercultural practices to be a cosmopolitan and a global citizen are still significant.

References:

Kwon, S H and Kim, J 2013, ‘From censorship to active support: The Korean state and Korea’s cultural industries’, The Economic and Labour Relations Review, 24(4), pp.517-532.

McEwan, B and Sobre-Denton, M, 2011, Virtual cosmopolitanism: ‘Constructing third cultures and transmitting social and cultural capital through social media’, Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, 4(4), pp.252-258.

McLuhan, M 1964, Understanding media: The extensions of a man, McGraw-Hill, New York, USA.

Rohn, U 2009, Cultural Barriers to the Success of Foreign Media Content, Peter Lang, Frankfurt, Germany.

Stringer, J 2001, ‘Global cities and the international film festival economy’, Cinema and the City: Film and Urban Societies in a Global Context, pp.134-144.

Waldron, J 2000, ‘What is cosmopolitan?’, The Journal of Political Philosophy, vol. 8, no. 2, p./pp 227-243.           

 

Twitter hashtag: a new level of cosmopolitanism.

We are living in a world of cosmopolitanism, which can be understood as “all human beings belong to a single community, based on a shared morality” (Waldron 2000). This ideology can be reflected in many aspects of our lives, from entertainment to politics. People with different backgrounds from various geographical areas are turning into global citizens in a “global village” (McLuhan 1964) to be more aware of events happening all around the world. With the help of high technology and the Internet in particular, cosmopolitanism has developed significantly both in form and scale. This short piece of writing will explain the matter of cosmopolitanism in term of social media practices with the case of one of the most dominant social network, Twitter.

cosmo-slow
Credit: discoursesonliberty.blogspot.com.

With the development of the Internet, social media are becoming a great way for people to gather information in order to stay updated to latest news and events. Furthermore, social media also function as a tool to express sympathy, advocate and support others. Twitter, a dominant social network beside Facebook, is a great platform for such activities. Each tweet (or post) is limited in 140 characters only, which makes it seem to be worthless at first sight. However, Twitter has another small function but is able to create huge influence, the hashtag. By simply attaching the keywords with the letter # in their tweets, users are able to connect with others using the same hashtags and follow the topic created in real time. Short posts allow instant information update and with a huge amount of short posts with hashtags, people are able to capture the big picture in seconds.

hashtag
Credit: resourceaholic.com.

Thanks to Twitter and hashtag, cosmopolitanism is developing significantly by crossing many boundaries. People are allowed to connect to ones that are millions of miles apart from them by using the same hashtags. Time can be saved as one single message can be disseminated to a huge amount of people tracking those hashtags. As a result, the influence does not stop at the virtual aspect. Let’s take the example of Ukraine protest since 2014. By using Twitter and the hashtag #euromaidan, protestors are able to connect to others in a massive scale (Bohdanova 2013). People supporting the revolution from all over the world are kept informed by reading tweets posted on a secondly basis. Support from money, food, equipment to medical assistance are gathered by messages sent through Twitter. As a result, the protest exists and develops healthily in spite of government’s pressure (Bohdanova 2013).

mass-demonstration-in-euromaidan
Credit: xoxol.org.

To conclude, cosmopolitanism can be promoted through not only formal channels like conventional media but also informal ones such as social media. In the case of Twitter and the #euromaidan, it can be seen that cosmopolitanism can totally develop significantly in term of citizen journalism. What it needs is the medium, or connection, and the hashtag is a great tool to utilize it.

Reference:

Bohdanova, T 2013, How Internet Tools Turned Ukraine’s #Euromaidan Protests Into a Movement, Global voices, viewed November 1st 2016, <https://globalvoices.org/2013/12/09/how-internet-tools-turned-euromaidan-protests-into-a-movement/&gt;.

McLuhan, M 1964, Understanding media: The extensions of a man, McGraw-Hill, New York, USA.

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