Social Media Use in Developing Countries

Our class discussion this week made me nostalgic for the simple, old technology we grew up with. It seemed like we grew up in a time when technology was developing at lightning speed. It made me wonder if technology around the world is moving as fast. This article from LiveScience.com talks about social media use in developing countries versus the US. The data shows that while the US has the highest population percentage that uses the internet, 17 developing countries outrank the U.S. in the proportion of internet users who log on to social sites. In both the U.S. and Brazil, 73% of Internet users regularly access social networking sites. Egypt, Russia, the Philippines, Tunisia, Indonesia, Jordan, Venezuela, Nigeria, Turkey, Ghana, Mexico, Chile, Malaysia, Kenya, Argentina, El Salvador and Senegal all report social media use greater than 73% of Internet users. I thought this was very interesting because it seems like our society is obsessed with social media but apparently we aren’t the only ones.

The article also mentions that cellphone use is increasingly widespread outside of the US. Unlike us, however, most cellphone users don’t have smart phones. In China, for example, 95% of people have a cell phone but only 37% of those have a smart phone. In Pakistan, 53% of people have cellphones and only 3% use smartphones. Nearly every person I know in the US has an iPhone, so its interesting to see that not every society is obsessed with having the newest technology out there.

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3 responses to “Social Media Use in Developing Countries

  • cmahoney2014

    This is very interesting, and I’ve noticed it when I travel. Whenever i visit my grandparents in Costa Rica, I am shocked to see how many people are hooked on the internet, from Facebook to online gaming. It doesn’t matter if they live in the city or in a small rural community. The yearn for technology is the same for everyone, but the want for the newest of new technologies differs due to economic levels.

  • jgallag2

    Regarding other societies’ obsession with having the newest technology, I am wondering if it has more to do with ability than desire. I feel like if certain countries had the economic flexibility to acquire updated technologies then maybe they would. I agree with the social media statements too. Both for that I miss the simpler days and the people I know who live in Brazil and Honduras as two of my most active Facebook friends quite honestly.

  • bridgetslattery

    I also think that it is very interesting to notice that several of the countries that are “more hooked” on social media than the United States including Egypt, Tunisia, Indonesia, Jordan, Russia, and Turkey are nations that have in the last few years experienced mass protests against authoritarian regimes which relied heavily on social media. The ability of organizers in these nations to reach such a large percentage of their population via the Internet and social media sites especially might explain their success. We haven’t really discussed in class the political implications of expanding ICT access but increased ability to organize and protest is definitely one of the most exciting results.

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