Social media use is a great predictor of how well an immigrant will adapt to the new country. It’s always important to see who the target audience of an immigrant’s social media output is.
In the notoriously unadaptable Russian-speaking immigrant community, for instance, there are some very popular bloggers, YouTubers, Instagramers, etc. But they speak exclusively to people back home or people who are immigrants from their own community. Facebookers prefer to write in Russian and address a Russian-speaking group of friends even if they have perfect English.
These are people who rank high in terms of educational and financial attainment and who don’t find it hard to make six figures but who have only emigrated in body and not in soul. (For obvious reasons, people who live in misery in our countries don’t emigrate to North America. Those who come here are already successful academically and professionally. The ones who flee misery go to Portugal.)
I recently had a conversation with somebody who emigrated from Russia at least 20 years ago and is living a very successful, comfortable life in the US.
“What do you think about the elections?” I asked, and my interlocutor plunged into an enthusiastic discussion of the elections of the mayor of Moscow. It took me a while to explain I meant a different election, and when I did, he lost all interest in the discussion.
It’s like when Russia and Canada played a major hockey game a few years ago, and the newspaper of the Russian immigrant community in Canada came out with the headline of “Our team won!” on the next day. When I saw the front page, I thought Canada won and felt happy. But that’s not what the publishers meant.
Immigration is very complex and can’t be understood with simplistic approaches.