Social Changes and Globalization
Broadband Internet is replacing snail-slow speeds available on dial-up access—or sometimes, even no Internet access at all. The entire world is made instantly at one's fingertips. News spreads seamlessly, inevitably from one continent to another. Culture from one country seeps into the culture of another. People chat with others continents away, learning the particular quirks of their culture and how, really, they're all just people. YouTube videos featuring everything from Brazilian martial arts to beatboxing flutists, Pandora music radio showcasing obscure French bands right next to mainstream BritPop hits, DeviantArt photography from the sewers of Istanbul to Sydney Australia—all bandwidth-intensive websites that require broadband to use—sites like these widen, diversify people's interests, showing them with ease what this huge complicated world of ours truly has to offer them In many ways, such global diversity and eclecticism, cultural tolerance and understanding have become a mainstays of the digital generation.
Ideally, anyway. There has been a lot of concern with the increasingly “Internet addicted" youth of the world, be they Chinese who died after playing too much World Of Warcraft or your average teen, surfing the web for hours each day after getting back from school. Being connected to the world does not necessarily translate into “worldliness," rather, fluency in LOLcat, keeping up with the latest tabloids, and updating that MySpace page.
Is this necessarily objectively “bad", however? Arguing that people are “wasting" too much time with their high speed Internet connections is, in many ways, fruitless, because it is often the case that if they weren't surfing the web, they'd be “wasting" their time doing other activities—watching television, partying, the like. It is merely a different medium of social and media interaction, and it's impossible to objectively say whether this is a change for better or for worse.