Nirel Escalante – March 17

Marshall McLuhan stated “This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium—that is, of any extension of ourselves—result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves…” From my understanding, McLuhan is saying that the medium itself has a greater impact on the nature of society and culture than the message that is delivered through that medium. Media is an extension of human beings in that it has become an integral role in how we communicate and how it shapes the social and cultural structure of humanity itself. Take for example, facebook. Through facebook, you can communicate any message you want, but whatever you are communicating is not nearly as impactful as the platform itself. Not to take away the power that content can have, but compared to the medium as a whole, it is less impactful.

Although technology has streamlined communication, convenience, and manufacturing, there are some negative aspects to it as well. Technological progress often means than human workers get replaced with automation. Another downfall is that we are at a point in society where most technology is considered a necessity for day to day living. Not only that, it has changed the very fabric of our communication systems. Basically, we have become too dependent on technology. Marshall McLuhan states “Many people would be disposed to say that it was not the machine, but what one did with the machine, that was its meaning or message.” What he is saying is the way we send and receive messages is more important than the message itself. What I believe he is referring to is how in this modern age with advanced technology and forms of communication, we are no longer just consumers of media but we also became the producers. The fact that any ordinary person can be producers of content is a good thing, however a lot of people use it to spread hate, ignorance and false information.

Being a designer means being a part of what shapes and influences society. Design is everywhere in media, and we must use that to contribute the change we would like to see. We have a moral obligation to turn down spreading messages of hate and ignorance because the power we hold is bigger than we think.



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