Marshall McLuhan was a man known for being a ‘communication theorist.’ He studied how mass media is informing people. McLuhan claimed “We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us” is one of his famous quotes. In a nutshell, this means that you can remember how to use Command+F when you want to search for something, and that action might become immersed in the way your mind works.
For me, the ideas he had about “hot” and “cold” mediums of media, although accurate, have changed and improved with technology. Some examples of what I am talking about regarding “hot” media are film, photography, radio, etc. “Hot” media requires an immersion in the work but can sit back and relax. “Cold” media is inclusive and requires participation and engagement. Some examples of this type of media include virtual reality, the internet, tv, and your phone.
The way we receive a particular message, perhaps a political statement, would change based on what source you are receiving it. For example, Fox News is one news source that gives its content based on opinion with a Republican perspective. On the other side of the spectrum, CNN and The New York Times are opinions based on the Democratic perspective. If you choose to view those news sources, they are center structured content that is unbiased and reliable. NPR, BBC, USA Today, and many others refrain from opinion-based news and only share creditable and accurate information.
A “global village” is a term McLuhan used to describe how electronic media is used. Everyone gets the same information at the same time, thus ‘linking all people together.’ It is taking a localized village of information and globalizing it to the public. A current provider of this information that has blown up in the last year is TikTok. This media provider has allowed for a video up to 60-seconds long to blow up and find itself onto many people’s For You pages. Social Media outlets like TikTok or Instagram have allowed a comments section for people to state their opinion. Although causing some controversy, you can sometimes dig through the comments to find some more information on the topic. One example of TikTok spreading information quickly is the explosion that happened in Beirut, Lebanon in 2020.
When considering how media changes from different views, I believe that it will change the way I approach things. Being quick to judge or believe what I see off the bat will be one step in changing my approach. Fact-checking, researching, and looking at unbiased sources is a great way to improve the way I view and receive media. When I work on design projects, I want to make sure I understand the back story and information that I need to make sure it is thorough and transparent.