hidden messages


I’ve a couple of Marshall McLuhan books lying about the house so I thought I would sell them on, but opening  one up and flicking through got me thinking about his famous phrase “The Medium is the Message“.

What are the messages of our highly networked, digital media?
Where do you even start?

I’m using the laptop to type this blog thinking that I’m writing something about the medium being the message. Yet perhaps there are far deeper messages about the way the world works slipping inside my being and affecting me the  whole time?

There is the way the laptop glows, with pixels and type appearing the instance I press these buttons, with little physical effort on my part.
By moving my finger I can cause the cursor on screen to move like a demented house fly.
What messages does the glow and light from laptop screen, my focusing with my eyes while sitting perfectly still send to my whole being?

Perhaps one of  the messages is that light and information/connection/data now go hand in hand, that there is a bright future and love out there for those who can manouevre the buttons in the right way.
Almost like you can “be” on the www, on places like Facebook or blog with minimal use of your body. Perhaps thats o

Not sure where I’m going with this, but perhaps there is some type of  link with gnosticism and our fascination with gadgets and technology, Facebook and being online?

My feeling is the digital revolution has happened so quickly that there hasn’t been time for all the ill effects to catch up with us yet. Perhaps that is unreasonable because inventions  have always been coming along that changed the way humanity functions but has the world changed as quickly as it has with the computer and internet?
Can we live healthy lives in a digital world that never sleeps, in which things happened instantly? What about some sense of limits, or boundaries or ‘a parish?
Surely boundaries and borders are good things for humans to have, they keep us healthy and reminds us of our limits.
Yet boundaries and borders seem to be things that the digital,electronic  revolution wants to eradicate. The revolution seems to be driven by corporations and companies who want us to consume more and continually drive up  their profits. So often I be on Google or Facebook and it never clicks that I’m inhabiting some sort of space created and maintained by by a huge company in the US. How much do they want to keep us in the consumption loop, feeding us dreams and lies to get us consuming more.

You’re expected to carry mobile phones around with you in case somethings happens and someone needs to get in contact with you. (By upgrading to that  new phone that we’re launching you can now do a), b), c) and d) and well as stay in contact)And once again the sales at Apple go up.
When you are on the computer your friends are going to bed in the Australia and waking up in the USA all at the same time. But what about any sense of limits or boundaries?

As Marshall McLuhan writes in The Medium is the Massage

‘Electric circuitry has overthrown the regime of “time” and “space” and pours upon us instantly and continously the concerns of all other men. It has reconstituted dialogue on a global scale….Nothing can be further from the spirit of the new technology than “a place for everything and everything in its place.”. You can’t go home again’

And he was writing that over 40 years ago in 1967, before those things like iPhones and ipods, Facebook and Twitter.

I guess I’m asking these questions of myself more than anyone else. I want to be aware of the hidden messages behind the gadgets and systems I use, not to be anti-technology but to be pro-human.

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One thought on “hidden messages”

  1. Some generations like to berate some aspects of our modern living (FaceBook?) whilst enjoying THEIR time-wasting pastimes (Coronation Street anyone?).

    Personally I hate all that anti-tech talk. Some are so eager to see the downsides of tech, blindly batting aside the incredible benefit humanity has obtained from them.

    B.

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