I enjoyed reading McLuhan’s “Medium is the Massage” because it brought up many points surrounding how digital and electronic communication technologies were changing the ways in which we communicate with one another.
McLuhan brings to light the key concept of a “global village” and strongly contrasts this with the idea of a primitive village. In a global village, our vast world is largely condensed allowing for the immediate transmission of information allowing for connections in spite of geographical distance. In class, I brought up the example of how much applications like Skype and FaceTime have in a sense lessened the distance between my family and I and allowed us to keep in touch. The term global village can also be applied to online communities where people can communicate through social networking site, chats, and forums and establish a community around a common interest. In addition to online communities, the global network has also created a greater presence of crowdsourcing and crowdsolving intiatives. It’s hard not to forget BP’s oil spill crowdsourcing intiative or even Amazon Turk’s ability to revolutionize digital labor through crowdsolving strategies outsourced to thousands of people.
McLuhan also noted how digital media is an extension of our senses through altering our sense ratios and patterns. Just in our generation, viewing TV has changed to once a family tradition – watching the news after dinner, to watching TV on our computers to even watching TV on our phones. How has this changed our sense perceptions? I think more now than ever the information usually contained on news sites has become white noise for us – this constant background droning noise intermixed with media and continuous notifications to “buy this, or do that” from our phones and computers.
From Week 7: Early Video Art Collectives