McLuhan’s Maelstrom: Preview of Social Media and Mass Distraction?

McLuhan’s Maelstrom

During the time of his graduation, famous literary theorist Herbert Marshall McLuhan was inspired by a short story by Edgar Allen Poe called A Descent into the Maelstrom. In one of the paragraphs, the maelstrom was described remarkably. McLuhan found a connection between the flying debris of the maelstrom to the whirlpool of electronic media which would surround human beings in the near future.

Social media is the media which is engulfing individuals like a maelstrom. Social media nowadays affect several aspects of consumer decision making and behavior. Some of those aspects include information acquisition, post purchase communications, purchase behavior and opinions. Hence, for almost each step of consumer behavior and decision-making, social media in a multitude of forms, spin like a whirlpool, exerting a strong influence on the consumer’s mind. For now, the large majority of social media content does come from individuals expressing their true opinions and sharing ideas and preferences among friends. Perhaps with the hope of more notoriety, more public awareness and approval for their contributions.

Social Media like many new technology trends, comes with positive, negative and equivocal outcomes, depending on your point of view and circumstances. Of course there are unintended consequences and “the effects on children”. This is fertile territory for future posts.