"If a communicator is from a nation or culture which values profit-making endeavors in the short-term, and is writing to an audience who values a more long-term approach, there will likely be some points of friction in communication."
I agree with Kirk that there are different types of friction points. Perhaps it's useful to think of these types as hardware, software, and networking. For instance, there are infrastructural problems that slow communication processes (hardware challenges), there are cultural similarities and differences (think of Geert Hofstede, Gert Jan Hofstede, and Michael Minkov's (2010) culture as software of the mind), and there are networking or connection inconsistencies (the sort of "what's lost in translation" effect). Each of these types of friction points shift all the time. There are new technological advances in different countries or organizations, new levels of training or requirements to use specific tools, or new impulses to travel and spend time elsewhere working in communities which augment one's cultural values. We are constantly reviewing differences in our training and the training employees receive in workplace environments, and we are always behind. Imagine differences between how we prepare students and how programs in other countries prepare students. The attitudes, values, and beliefs one has, as Arjun Appadurai (1996) said, change like a seascape over time.
"Think about your own neighborhood over the last 20 years. People move in and out of the neighborhood, changing it all the time while simultaneously amalgamating to it in different ways. These shifts in the local impact the global directly, because both readers and writers are always already changing."
Appadurai is a social-cultural anthropologist whose impact on globalization studies has in recent years been applied to fields in composition, rhetoric, and technical communication. Two of his concepts about media and migration have informed our understanding of friction points directly. First, he explores the impact of locality on neighborhoods and situated communities. For Appadurai, there are complex structures impacted by local conditions which affect daily interactions and social relationships in both predictive and nonpredictive ways. Think about your own neighborhood over the last 20 years. People move in and out of the neighborhood, changing it all the time while simultaneously amalgamating to it in different ways. I'm not Texan, but Texas wants me any way (so Lyle Lovett says). These shifts in the local impact the global directly, because both readers and writers are always already changing.
Larger global shifts, what Appadurai called "disjunctive global cultural flows," are like seascapes where you can never step into the same river twice, constantly ebbing and flowing. Think of these infrastructures outlined by Appadurai: ethnoscapes (the migration of people across cultures), mediascapes (the use of media to shape our understanding), technoscapes (interaction through technologies), financescapes (capital across borders), and ideoscapes (the global flow of ideological beliefs). So in addition to local changes like shifts in social beliefs in our own communities, how we relate and change according to larger shifting global structures is forever in flux.
Ilike to juxtapose Hofstede et al.'s heuristic models of cultural dimensions with Appadurai's ever-shifting cultural flows. Hofstede et al. investigate dimensions of national cultures as they relate to power distance, individualism vs. collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity vs. femininity, long-term vs. short-term orientation, and indulgence vs. restraint. For instance, if a communicator is from a nation or culture which values profit-making endeavors in the short-term, and is writing to an audience who values a more long-term approach, there will likely be some points of friction in communication. Hofstede et al. related many perceived differences between cultures on these value dimensions that are useful to study and consider, while also keeping in mind that local cultural flows impact and change larger global shifts as well. Masculinity as a cultural value dimension in Nordic countries may be low on value scales relative to other countries like Japan; however, with continued virtual exchanges and neighborhood shifts perceived disparities may change over time. And keep in mind that not everyone in Norway believes X, and not everyone in Japan believes Y.
Interaction through online media can be very challenging given cultural value differences and shifts. Indeed, yes, friction points.