Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Why did mobile phones and social networking turn out to be mere extensions and amplifiers of the mass media?

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It seems clear that the spread in usage of mobile phones and internet social networking websites of the Facebook type has been an exacerbation, a continuation of the trend, of the mass media  - and an extension and deepening of secular hedonism and alienation.

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Yet, in principle, if we had not experienced the opposite, it might be supposed that by keeping people in touch more of the time, the influence of the mass media would be held-back - that by people-interacting-with-people for more of the time, and with more people, the ideology of the mass media would be blocked.

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(Just as so many people - including myself - used to suppose that the internet would combat the domination by 'official' news media, to facilitate an informed society where everybody discovered the real facts behind the propaganda, and formed their own opinions. Ha! - How utterly and completely wrong can anyone be!)  

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This is obviously not the case, and the interpersonal media are instead serving as an addiction and a distraction: an addictive distraction.

In theory, the new interpersonal media should strengthen marriage and family relations by keeping the members in-touch; in practice these media are at the heart of a society zealously engaged in the coercive destruction of families.

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The main consequence of pervasive social communication media is that people are out of touch with their environment for more of the time, that they never self-remember, that they are prevented from experiencing the life they are in.

In the recent past, a person walking alone might be stimulated to look around, listen, smell, feel the air flowing past them - be where they are. Not now.

They almost never experience the here and the now. 

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Once again, the prime insight of Marshall McLuhan has been confirmed - that the primary effect of media is indifferent to content.

The fact of interpersonal mass media has an effect which quite overwhelms the specifics of interpersonal information exchange via these media.

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So, it hardly matters what is said, or heard, or seen via these media; the major consequence of the fact of the medium is vastly more powerful than the specifics of  communication.

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This explains how it is that our society has been able to absorb such incredible changes as the internet and ubiquitous mobile phones and vast social networking websites while - at a fundamental level - having been unaffected by them.

And without any significant overall economic benefits - indeed, increasingly obvious deep damage to economic productivity in the sense that Western societies have simply given-up even trying to run an economy.

The trends in place before the internet have continued. The advent and growth of the internet was imperceptible at a mass level of analysis.  

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We do not control these media; they control us.

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So interpersonal communications media are part of the mass media.

And the mass media is the primary domain of evil in our society, here and now.

Not only and not mostly in the sense of being loaded with accidental and deliberately corrupting communications of evil; but in the primary sense that the addictive distraction of the mass media is anti-good, is a turning-away-from reality (and therefore God).

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It is the fact of the medium which is the essence - and this fact is a fact: engagement can be moderated but participation is mandatory.

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