Extending Marshall McLuhan – Second Edition
Chapter 5. The 15 Messages of “New Media”: An Overview
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THE 15 MESSAGES OF “NEW MEDIA”: AN OVERVIEW
“As technology advances, it reverses the characteristics of every situation again and again. The age of automation is going to be the age of do it yourself.”
—(McLuhan, 1957, in McLuhan & Zingrone, 1995, p. 283)
5.0 Differences Between the “New Media” and Mass Media
The focus of this chapter is to identify the characteristics of the “new media” and contrast them with the electric mass media that McLuhan dealt with. According to McLuhan, the medium is the message, so we begin our analysis by identifying the characteristics, or messages, of the “new media,” which will help us understand how they differ from electric mass media.
I actually began this exercise back in 1996 when I first identified the five messages of the Internet (Logan, M., & Logan, R. K., 1996), which subsequently appeared in the first edition of The Sixth Language in 2000 (Logan, 2004b). Back then, the notion of “new media” had not yet been formulated, but already at that early stage in their development I identified the following five messages of the Internet: ← 57 | 58 →
Although one or two of these characteristics apply to electric mass media, what is unique about the Internet is that all five of these characteristics apply and help define the impact of this medium. As it turns out, all of these characteristics also apply to...
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