Digitization and Culture

Is “Digital Culture” a good thing, or does Digitization rob us of our Culture? I’ve got mixed thoughts.

In our modern Digital Culture, we are easily connected, can communicate with ease across borders and language barriers. New opportunities exist, there’s more convenience, awareness, ease of learning, working, creating and sharing.

To me culture means tradition, values, faith, belief, ritual, community, heritage, sport, cuisine, music, dance, style, fashion and language. It makes us unique and gives us a sense of belonging.

With globalization and digitization it feels to me like we’re sacrificing our mother languages, don’t care for traditional garments, are glued to our screens and heading towards a VR/AR world with limited outdoor, social interaction. There’s an info overload, we have more demands and a limited attention span.

We text, use emoticons and memes to communicate, over share, and don’t want to hold a face to face or phone conversation (unless it has filters of some sort).

Don’t get me wrong. Digitization has many benefits, but do we need to step back and ask ourselves how much should we adopt, how should we adopt it, and what are we willing to give up?

Upon return from a Northern Europe/Scandinavian trip, I found it really easy communicating in English. I didn’t even have to try hard to learn the local language. I ate at McDonalds and Starbucks, was able to schedule meetings with companies for the 1st time a day in advance, and book travel tickets using my smartphone. These were huge benefits, but for the ease of it all I didn’t feel any cultural connection. Nothing felt new or unique.