In his cross-cultural speech, US diplomat Tim Richardson poses the question of whether the use of social media is breaking down barriers or making communication more difficult. The speaker describes social media as an essential diplomatic tool. As diplomats are experts in cross-cultural communication, social media is a means to get a message out.
The cross-cultural speech looks at how the internet and social media have broken down a lot of political and geographic barriers. But when it comes to breaking down cultural ones, Tim Richardson finds the answer is more mixed.
The diplomat believes that media consumers, at the end of the day, are going to choose what is most familiar to them. It is human nature for us to try to shape what we're seeing or experiencing within the context of our own culture. He further notes nuances get lost in social media, because it often is about one way communication and there isn't interplay you would have in person.