McLuhan: Social Media, a Prosthetic Extension of What?

Herbert Marshall McLuhan, the famous Canadian literary theorist, made certain observations about media. These observations and theories have revolutionized the way scholars view media today. McLuhan was of the opinion that the message channelized through a certain medium is greatly influenced by the medium itself. McLuhan compared media to an extension of the human self, much like a prosthetic extension. Social media in its myriad forms and ever evolving avatars; is gradually dominating the lives of individuals around the world. An internet blog which voices one’s opinions and feelings can be regarded as a loud speaker that sends one’s message across to a larger audience. Hence blogs are akin to an extension of one’s voice. His famous theses on the contribution of media in shaping the society is detailed in the books Understanding Media, The Medium is the Massage and The Gutenberg Galaxy.

The bi-directionality, crowd-sourced, group-structuring and global interconnected and dynamic yet personal aspects of Social Media would likely cause McLuhan to forecast something grandious or dire consequences.

Since the word is filled with Dire trends with rays of potential, perhaps this one can mitigate the negative effects of other trends?