Communication Technology and Canadian Identity
We are in the middle of a global information revolution driven by the rise and convergence of information and communication technologies. The telecommunications sector is changing at warp speed, driven by technological innovation that results in new fragmenting and regionalizing entity. I will examine some of the many forms of cultural fragmentation that take place due to the structure of Canada’s mass media industry. First I will discuss in general basic information about the Internet being a very strong communication tool and then discuss communication technology in the Canadian context. As well, identify the cultural bonding aspects of communication in Canada such as the overcoming of geography, and the bilingual access to media.
Canada is a vast country with a strong multiculturalism policy, many distinct regions, and heavy foreign influence. The size of Canada has shaped much of Canadian’s way of life. Communications could not have developed easily or naturally in Canada without relying on technological innovations to bond the country in a communicative society. Canada has been divided into provinces and territories which have extremely different terrains, climates, economies and cultures. These differences create conflicting interests and misunderstandings.
The Internet, originally arising from the American military, has grown to a main source of communication for millions around the world and has helped in creating a global village. The Internet started gaining fast acceptance in the 1990's especially in North America. Countries such as China however, still have limited access and control over the contents on the internet allowed for their resident. Like many countries, Canada has built a network of networks linking Canadian communities, businesses, government agencies and institutions. The Canadian government sees the information highway as a catalyst to help Canadians share information, and to gain an edge in productivity and information industries in global markets. Natural culture is found through the social acts of a country. The participation in this mass media (ie. surfing the net) has allowed almost all Canadians to share their uniqueness and culture.
The use of the Internet as a communication tool is extremely important in achieving our nation's goals in fields such as education, culture and health care. The Information Highway is a term used to describe the "infrastructure of complex technologies and services needed to transport the vast array of databases, images, conversations, multimedia files, and other electronic signals which will carry our economy forward" (Canada's Information Highway 94). Major components of this are already present in Canada. What makes Canada unique is the working together of different industries such as the Government and Universities in encouraging and making available services for all Canadian.