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The Internet and Human Relationships - Research Paper Example

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This paper evaluates the impact of the internet on human relationships and explains how it contradicts McLuhan’s prediction about the effects of the media in the future. The study shows that unlike much of what McLuhan felt about the evolving media, the internet has altered the positivity…
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The Internet and Human Relationships
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Download file to see previous pages The chapter Media Hot and Cold in Marshall McLuhan’s 1987 book, “Understanding Media”, though scripted long before today’s internet, predicted much of what is happening today. Concisely, today’s media, which McLuhan would define as “electric media” has all been offered all the power and capacity to alter society by us. In his understanding of the influence of media, McLuhan segregated it into two contexts; hot and cool. The hot is what he referred to as media that engages only one human sense completely, thus demanding little interaction from them. He provided printed text as an example. Cool media, on its part, is what he referred to as media that engages several human senses, thus demanding a great deal of interaction from humans. He cited the telephone as an example. In evaluation, and although he never lived to see it, McLuhan possibly predicted the influence that the internet would have on human societies in the future. However, rather than adhere to his definitions of hot and cool, the internet reversed his definitions. What he referred to as cool is today’s hot, and vice versa. One of the key statements by McLuhan that overly coincide with the internet is that while at first it was perceived as an overly new twist of events that would positively transform society, the opposite has resulted. As he stated in his book, “The effect of electronic technology had at first been anxiety. Now it appears to create boredom” (McLuhan 25). In this assertion, McLuhan had been referring to the onset of new forms of media such as television and radio which he clearly showed a preference for over print media. However, it seems, he stated the above after having realized that maybe he had been wrong all along in thinking that the new media, television, and radio, were cool. This is supported when he adds, “At least, our exhausted slump after the first encounter with the electric has inclined us to expect more problems” (26). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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