By definition, pop culture is the entirety of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images, and other phenomena that are within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid-20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the late 20th and early 21st century. Pop culture is at the heart of everything; from the latest fast food restaurant to treads in fashion and art. The spread of consumerism and technology has furthered the pop culture influence, transcending ethnic barriers and promoting a melting pot of accepted values. Within recent years an explosion in technology has placed virtual culture in the hands of individuals.
Internet and television have not only revolutionized ways in which we share and spread information but also in the ways each culture interacts as a whole. The internet has the power to connect people from across the globe. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have literally changed the face of information sharing. In just seconds, a search may produce a million different results or connect people on different sides of the globe. Information may be shared instantly to anyone who has technology to access it. This, like television, has the power to spread cultural norms and change them.
Television is perhaps the biggest pop culture influencers. The popularity of shows such as Glee within in the united states, have spread American customs across the world like Prom. People from around the world become aware of these rituals and integrate them into their once distinct cultures. If you were to visit a different country, you may be shocked to see how closely foreign programing parallels American based television. For example, the British show “Essex” resembles American’s show “the Jersey Shore.” Through the process of globalization, countries all over the world are taking cues from foreign television. America is also influenced through the spread of media. TV series such as “Big Brother” and “The Office,” which were popular in Britain, influenced the American spin off which share their names and likeness. Movies such as “Godzilla” and “The Ring” are all based on films that were originally Japanese. Through globalization and the spread of culture distinct programming, American Television and Film makers are able to transform these media into striking parallels of ethnic similarity.
Although Americans do take cues from other nations, most would argue that the spread of our pop culture is by far the biggest influencer across the globe. This is evidence in the power American television shows have to influence things beyond the media. Not only our culture customs are mimicked, but the popularity of shows aggressively promotes music, brands, and restaurants resulting in worldwide imitation. The advertisement of American brands in television shows has also made American brands popular in other countries as well.
A great example of the spread American popular culture would be McDonalds. What started out as a good old fashioned American food joint has spiraled into a global phenomenon that is one of the world’s leading food service retailers serving people in one hundred countries every day. Well known food chains such as McDonalds, Pizza Hut, and Starbucks are American staples yet they also practice globalism through the spread of their brand names. America has also taken hold of foreign brand names such as Hello Kitty and Pokémon, proving that the spread of globalism is not strictly reserved to the United States.