Extending Marshall McLuhan – Second Edition
Chapter 37. The Smartphone
← 290 | 291 →
· 37 ·
“The electric implosion now brings oral and tribal ear-culture to the literate West.”
—McLuhan (1964, p. 50)
When McLuhan wrote this line he was probably thinking about television and other electric media of his day, but in light of the emergence of the cell phone followed by the smartphone it takes on added meaning. McLuhan would probably suggest that the reason that the cell phone was initially even more ubiquitous in some Asian nations such as Korea and Japan than it was in the West is because the Asians are closer to their oral roots than Westerners. Who knows, this probe may even be correct. The smartphone, however, with all its analytic functions such as its connection to the Internet is now a ubiquitous global phenomenon, as much a part of Western culture as Eastern.
Content and extension: The content of the smartphone is the spoken and written word, hence the smartphone extends the ear, the voice, the spoken word, the written word, and the mind, but it also extends the telephone system through radio transmission.
Cascade: The cascade is from the mind to the spoken word to the transmitting smartphone to the receiving smartphone or telephone to the ear of the receiving party. ← 291 | 292 →
LOM: The cell phone enhances the mobility of telephone communication and its accessibility, obsolesces the landline, retrieves nomadic existence, and reverses into a...
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