Hypnotized by Electronic Media

In today’s world, we are seeing drastic changes within the realm of technology and new media. From reading both articles, “The Galaxy Reconfigured” and “The Medium Is The Message,” written by Marshall McLuhan, he sees that the technology in our society is coming and going at a fast pace, especially from books turning into “electronic media.” “While McLuhan’s theories can be applied to the computer in its manipulations of different media or in its appearance as a new medium, the shift he described, from book-culture to a culture of electronic media, has certainly taken place already” (McLuhan 194). With the shift of “book-cuture” to “electronic media,” the job market is sliding in a downward spiral from “automation” and from how the new technologies of “electronic media” is taking place of print. From McLuhan’s article, “The Medium is the Message,” he writes, “Thus, with automation, for example, the new patterns of human association tend to eliminate jobs, it is true. That is the negative result” (McLuhan 203). On the other hand, many positive results can come out of new technologies coming into the world every year, or even every month. With these two articles, McLuhan is able to distinguish how “electronic media” is changing the world.

From these two articles, I found myself thinking, is new and “electronic media” hurting or helping the world, and the people in it?  McLuhan believes that, “Western man knows that his values and modalities are the product of literacy. Yet the very means of extending those values, technologically, seem to deny and reverse them” (McLuhan 197). Is this true? Is the end result of technology reversing and making us deny our values and modalities? Can the technologies of the world today be making us not think decisions through the way we should? These thoughts are very interesting to me because I had never thought about technology making us not thinking things through before we do something; we have become impulsive in some matter because of this. Overall, McLuhan makes a very good point, “And new technology possesses the power to hypnotize because it isolates the senses” (McLuhan 199). We are numb to the old ways of doing simple tasks, like reading, and writing in print, and now we are “hypnotized” by “electronic media,” and the many aspects it brings with it.

Marshall McLuhan

Marshall McLuhan


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