Marshall McLuhan and the Next Normal

Resource Type
RTM Publication
Publish Date
Jim Euchner
Managing Emerging Technologies, Tools & Techniques
Associated Event

Volume 64, Issue 6, November-December 2021, Page 9-10

Marshall McLuhan had a long view of technological change. He defined technology very broadly—as any “extension of man”—and he was primarily interested in the eventual (and inevitable) cultural implications of a new technology. In McLuhan’s model, people create technologies (or new “media”) to fulfill a particular design intent; it is only later—often decades later—that the technologies manifest their cultural implications (what McLuhan called their “message”). This message—this emergent meaning—is often as unobserved as it is unanticipated. The message can wash over us and change us without our even knowing it.