In 1974, only 3 percent of Americans had a passport, according to Road Warrior Voices. Now, 38 percent have passports. While the 35 percent increase is laudable, it still is small in comparison to citizens in other countries. For instance, 60 percent of Canadians and 75 percent of people in the United Kingdom have passports.
Does this mean that Americans are not interested in being members of the global community? Not necessarily. Fast Company explains that technology is enabling people to lead more global and connected lives. The study shows that Americans are more willing to adopt social technology and interact with people in different countries.
What Is Global Citizenship?While people technically can’t be citizens of the world, global citizenship transcends the standard definition of citizenship. It is more about social justice and how people treat everybody in the world, regardless of their nationality. People being aware of the world around them is global education; however, a global citizen is not only aware of world issues, but is also concerned and involved with those issues. It’s about action, even if it is just a tweet or Facebook post.
Updated smartphones with strong connectivity, like the latest Samsung Galaxy S7, and worldwide social media platforms, like Twitter, are leading the charge in helping youth become global citizens. Technologically savvy individuals are leading more globally connected lives because they use social media confidently to engage with others around the world and to promote face-to-face communication. They believe that the online presence promotes bonds between people from all over the world.
Technology and Global Citizenship
Connecting with people on social media is similar to the idea of writing letters to other students within the United States or in other countries. These used to be handwritten letters that necessitated envelopes and stamps. But now, even teachers in underfunded schools can connect their classrooms to those around the globe through social media networks and video conferencing. Students can friend and follow people from every corner of the Earth, enabling them to keep in contact with a slew of international associates 24-hours a day. This is a drastic change in how kids can learn about global citizenship from just a few years ago.
Global Products and Global CitizenshipBranded products provide another path to global citizenship. An article published in the Journal of International Marketing claims that branded products promote “cultural openness and consumer ethnocentrism.” For parents and teachers looking to lead young minds to becoming global citizens, global brands offer many teachable moments. Kids can study the brand's origins, controversies surrounding the product, the manufacturing of the product and how the product fits in with the culture and politics in the United States and around the world.
Global citizenship is important and needs to be instilled in future generations. It connects people to the rest of the world and keeps them engaged with world issues, many of which directly affect the United States. It also helps citizens think more critically about their place in the world, pushing them to become better as a whole.