Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Is the medium the message?

For those interested in the confluence of communications and technology, the following video lecture is very interesting.

I've been immersing myself in social networking lately, having earlier rejected it as an obsessive narcissistic compulsion better suited to geeks and high school girls. As in "Q the musical" internet is for porn. And I might add; texting for teenagers, and twitting, for birds.

I remember when it was said that technology would isolate us. That we would become a society that walked around like zombies staring blankly into space as MP3 helmets of music block out everything around us.

And yes, that does happen; I do it myself, especially when I walk between Berri and Amherst Streets to avoid panhandlers and meth rants.

But the more that I am submersed in this social media pool, the more I realize that communicating is a very basic human need; up there with breathing, eating, and fucking. That we may hyper evolve the tools, but we will always use them to do the very basic task of reaching out to others; be it one to one, one to many or as in the case of twitter, many to many.

The social network has actually been the most democratic communication evolution yet. Everyone has a voice and the power to control the message. I wonder what Marshall McLuhan would have thought of this?

Rather than a waste of time, applications such as Twitter when used beyond the "What are you doing?" question, has given people the medium to personally engage with people from all walks of life, of tweeting Presidents, CEO's of companies as well as their BFF.

This video gives dramatic examples of how the new technology has changed global communications and democratized the process of disseminating the message.

(Thanks to Peter Cashmore of Mashable for the link.)

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