Marshall McLuhan

Why should communication students learn about him?

It is important for communication students to learn about Marshall McLuhan because he developed a new way of viewing media and its impact on society.  He predicted that media would make the world smaller.  As we know, he was correct.  A message can be sent across the world instantly now, instead of taking weeks or months like it previously did.  The world is more connected now than it ever was before.  It is also important for communication students to study his first book, Understanding Media, which was published in 1964.  This book describes mass media and its impact in society.  The book was written just as the era of mass media was beginning, so it is also important to study it for that reason.

What is his legacy?

Marshall McLuhan wrote 15 books about mass media and media theory, he developed a new way of looking at media, and he introduced the idea of a global community.

What do we remember him for?

I believe that Marshall McLuhan is most remembered for his quote, “The medium is the message”.  There are a lot of different opinions about what this quote actually means, but  I honestly don’t understand what it means.

Famous Quotes and Their Meanings

“I don’t necessarily agree with everything I say.”

In today’s media, TV anchors and their interviewees have words put into their mouths via a media coach or a teleprompter.  The same goes for all actors especially those who are in commercials.  They what they have to just to get paid, it doesn’t matter if they agree with it or not.  The problem even exists on the internet.  People create false identities to make themselves seem more appealing to others.  Opinions can often be shaped by what is the popular  choice.

 

“Mass transportation is doomed to failure in North America because a person’s car is the only place where he can be alone and think”

I think this statement is true, at least for those who own cars.  There is nothing quite like the sensation of being alone in your car and singing your heart out to the radio! You don’t have a care in the world.   Also, for anyone who comes from a big family, it is very possible that the only place to find privacy is in one’s car.  If you have to deal with a crowd at home, what would you want to deal with a crowd on a bus or a train?  Everyone needs a little alone time, even if it is just during a commute.

Does he live on in new media today?

Yes, he does.  There is so much information about Marshall that can be found on the Internet.   If you type “Marshall McLuhan” into the search bar on YouTube, you will have 1,200 results to choose from. The first of which is this video.


Marshall McLuhan even has a posthumous Facebook account and fan page.  Check it out:  http://tinyurl.com/4tjrrpy

His legacy will live on.

(Photos courtesy of istockphoto.com)

Reaction to the Kaiser Study

I recently skimmed “Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18- Year-Olds” which was compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation.  I learned a few interesting facts while reading.  For example, the study states that an adolescent’s level of contentment is inversely related to how often he or she utilizes media.  It intrigues me that the more unhappy a child is the more he or she uses media.  Whatever happened to interpersonal relationships?  A depressed child should be able to turn to their biological parents for comforting and advice; he or she shouldn’t have to turn to tv shows like “Full House” or “Good Luck, Charlie” to experience the feeling of family and love.

The study can be found at http://www.kff.org/entmedia/mh012010pkg.cfm

Please leave me feedback below.  I would love to know your thoughts on the subject!

Generation Y

I know that I am a member of Generation Y because:

  •  I was born between 1982 and 1997. 
  •  I know how to use and own a computer
  • I know how to use and own a mp3 player
  • I consider myself creative
  • I am environmentally conscious ( I recycle everything!) 

Other than that, I don’t really belong in this generation because I am not majoring in business or technology.

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