How the Internet Has Changed World Culture

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How the Internet has changed world culture"¦ Thirty years or so ago, the average American would be hard-pressed to name a single Korean pop star. Today, the South Korean singing sensation Psy is world-famous, thanks to the rather random fact that his catchy tune "Gangnam Style" was a YouTube sensation, garnering millions of 'hits' from users all around the globe. The song spawned multiple Internet parodies and even earned Psy a lucrative Superbowl advertisement contract as the spokesperson for Wonderful Pistachios. As silly as this anecdote might seem, it is a very potent example of how the Internet has made the world 'smaller' and the transmission of different ideas faster. While once trends took years to spread around the globe, now they can be disseminated in seconds. The "Gangnam Style" parody is also illustrative of the degree to which the swift, world dissemination of culture can change the original meaning of an idea. In its original Korean context, Psy was parodying a particular kind of nouveau riche South Korean, but soon "Gangnam Style" took on a life of its own. Soon, there was "Farmer Style," "Eton Style" and everyone-with-access-to-a-camera-and-a-YouTube-account's own 'style.' The Internet encourages the fluid and fast adoption of the trappings of other cultures, but every time those cultures are 'translated,' the accepting culture makes it its 'own' and yet it also changes the culture that produced it. For example, when a regional or national recipe gets

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