Marshal McLuhan’s communication theory

Marshall McLuhan’s “Hot vs Cold media” theory is a very abstract way of thinking about how the medium impacts the message or how the content is being interpreted by the viewer. A breaking news story on the front page a national newspaper will be interpreted differently on snapchat or similar social media apps; the same information and content will be adjusted depending on what form of media it is being communicated through. Those forms of media also have a certain level of engagement with the viewer. McLuhan’s hot and cold theory is about how active the role of the viewer is in the consumption of media, he suggests that the consumption certain forms of media are more fragmentary and others are more trial in nature. McLuhan’s communication theory has remained relevant over time through constant innovations in technology and new ways of consuming information.

It is important to consider the medium when sending a message now more than ever, with endless social media platforms and the access to information anywhere in the world, if the form of media cannot properly communicate the content then the message becomes misinterpreted or fails to be delivered to the viewer. This brings up the idea that with how interconnected the world has become through the internet and cellular communication that we now live in a global village. I find this idea to be faulty; traditionally village is referred to as a social division consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, or religious means with a common culture and dialect. Google even goes as far to say “typically having a recognized leader” which is impossible to say after the events that took place in Washington D.C. on the sixth of January this year. Even excluding a leadership figure or governing body and the thousands of languages currently used, the cultures of the world are far too diverse to be labeled as a global village.

Though we are far more aware of the events and cultures around the world, someone from Sweden would have a difficult time interpreting a message originating in China. Technological innovations have certainly helped to bridge the gap between cultures though the translation of languages and international forms of media, the idea of a global village relies too much on the fact that we can now easily send a message instantly through email to someone on the other side of the world and not the cultures that unites groups of people. The idea that really unites us as people is that we are all human.

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