It was a pleasant surprise to know that my friend Param, now based in Washington, shares his birthday with the country – August 31. The information would have escaped my mind if not for Facebook which Param had wanted me to join. Since he left Bernama to join AFP, Param has gone places including to a city where we were once based almost the same time.
“Yes, I have been marking my birthday for the last 14 years outside Malaysia but always in the company of Malaysians whether I was in Spore, Manila or DC. Most of the times at the Malaysian embassy for the Merdeka celebrations - so double bonus lah brudder! All best and nice to see you again on facebook. Cheers-Param" he wrote today.
Nani, another ex-Bernama journalist now living in New York, is also connected to friends in Malaysia through Facebook or ‘Mukabuku’ as she describes it.
Its amazing how you can be linked with friends and in turn discover that both of you might know the same people either from school, college or work. Small world!
As the internet increasingly linked people together across the globe, the concept of a global village envisioned by Marshall McLuhan, more than 40 years ago, has somewhat become a reality. In his book Understanding Media published in 1964, McLuhan had described how electronic mass media collapsed space and time barriers in human communication, enabling people to interact and live on a global scale.
In this sense, the globe has been turned into a village by the electronic mass media.