From my perspectives, Marshall McLuhan’s work Understanding Media is considered as one of the most influential books that reflects the reality of today’s media. He came up with many different theories that I personally think that they are still relevant until now. “The medium is the message” is an extremely popular statement as this is not only applied to media in general, but also on clothes, money, automobile, housing, games, etc. (Bobbitt, 2011). And apparently, McLuhan’s theories are the reflection of our reality nowadays when there is a shift in changing the medium from conventional tools to technological extensions.
“Media is the extensions of ourselves”, what does it exactly mean? If book is the extension of our eyes, then the best example to illustrate this point above is social media. Social media can be seen as a breakthrough in new communication era since this is a big step to literally extend our human functions, which are social, psychological, physical systems and sense of community consciousness. We cannot deny such great benefits of what social media has brought. Communication becomes faster, less efforts and affordable. However, it has become over-extended that weakens oral communication, less face-to-face interaction and becomes the monopoly in the media industry that might threaten other means of communication. Social media seems to be both ‘lightweight, portable but still durable material’, which is extremely convenient, accessible and every information will be stored forever. “We know the advantages, even before implementation, but we choose to accept the disadvantages because there is a privileging of all types of technological extension, even deadly and horrific forms.” (Kappelman, 2001).
Marshall McLuhan was the first person who invented the term “global village” and he predicted the world would be like a small village living among the expansion of electric technology before it actually happened 30 years later. But McLuhan would rather have a look at the implications of technology more than the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ sides. In my opinion, global village has its own advantages and drawbacks. When the world is sharing and experiencing the same technology extensions platforms, there will be more economic opportunities across the world, human’s connection will be improved, more culture diversities, etc. For example, the Internet enables instant global connection via many online forums like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, … However, at the same time, global village is also viewed as a controversial problem, which might be a start of conflicts between culture conflicts, cultural hegemony or fragmentation of culture (Johnson 191-96). America will definitely the first name on the list of having such enormous media influence all around the world and boosted some negative impacts on certain cultures (Dixon, 2011). We can see America’s culture domination almost everywhere that has led to violence, sex, drugs…being shown in conservative Asian countries, or, we can see many products’ brands rise rapidly across the globe. In other words, this kind of globalisation is known as Americanisation.