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“Human – business evolution” by patriziasoliani https://flickr.com/photos/55524309@N05/5377715421 is licensed under CC BY-NC

While reading through the articles by Blood and Rettberg, I found myself considering a couple concepts I encountered during the Mass Media and Society course at Bemidji State University. First being the concept of the “Global Village” coined by Marshall McLuhan in the early sixties.  In summary the concept outlines the effects of a social shift from a solely printed medium into our modern electronic media. His estimation is that social discourse moved from the  private sphere of book culture, where words and meanings are weighed privately in a relationship between reader and the written material . The result of electronic media was it brought society back non private state where discourse agaon becomes public through the electronically connected “global village”. This linked video, gives an explanation of McLuhan’s Global Village in his own words, though I would offer that the language is outdated and certainly out of line with modern terminology. However, if we agree with McLuhan’s theory (it does posses enough scholastic credibility to be found in a college course), then what does it mean for our current question of blogging? I would maybe offer an interesting concept which complimented McLuhan’s logic during the course, and I think it serves well here too. Neil Postman introduced the concept of the Peek-a-Boo world in his book  Amusing Ourselves to Death, published in 1985. I have found a good summary of the chapter in question and would like to introduce a couple salient points which I thought applied to the current topic of what constitutes blogging in the modern world. Right away the summary hits on Postman’s key point, that the telegraph had a detrimental impact on the way information is passed and at what level of quality it possesses. His argument seems to tackle head on the question of what effect did electronic media have on society. Beginning with the proposal that the telegraph brought with it “large scale: 1)irrelevance, 2)impotence, 3)incoherence"(Postman). His suggestion is something echoed in the current debate over what constitutes fake  news. His argument essentially, is that information has higher levels of non-relevance as more of it becomes available, and I think this is true when considered on the level of the typical social media experience. News has become so varied that factual representation has diluted into subjective statements on the credibility of ones source of information. News of the week becomes more prominent than news that really matters, and as we saw in this election campaign, outlets like twitter become tools of moving misinformation. So what do we do to remedy this? Does the disciplined approach, which blogging in its intended form is described as possessing, offer the solution to legitimizing the discussions we as a society are having. Am I wrong in sensing that social media has become plagued with a lack of ethical discourse, where important social issues are overwhelmed with copious amounts of misinformation. Where the atmosphere is clouded with an overall lack of informational credibility?  In general it feels to me, that we indeed have reached an era where participation in our society revolves around the argument of the minute. Where life in the global village passes from one Peek-a-Boo moment to the next, and quality discussion has dissipated into absurdity.

5 thoughts on “The Peek-a-Boo World of a Global Villager

  1. You seem to have done a great amount of research and cross-referenced past what one would expect for this. Your language comes off as highly educated and certainly points to an older audience with a bit more under their belt than the average college student. While I understood it, I had to focus far more than I’m used to in order to understand your points. This is nothing against you and more against me and the world that raised me to my current manner of thought.

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    1. So I have to thank you because I kind of wrote this late at night and hadn’t gone back to edit it, and it was definitely poorly worded lol. Thank you for muddling your way through it!

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