Internet+ Effects Irresistible

Effects of Internet+ (that is, effects of the Internet plus smartphones, Google, cloud computing, sensors, and other attendant hard- and software) are irresistible, cannot be overcome, largely because these effects are invisible to us; we’re not aware of what they’re doing to us, not aware that they’re “massaging. . . . us over completely” (The Medium Is The Massage).  But regardless of why Internet+ effects are irresistible, the more important point is that that the are irresistible.  Here’s McLuhan’s statement on the irresistibility of technology’s effects: “The spiritual and cultural reservations that . . . people . . . may have toward our technology will avail them not at all.  The effects of technology do not occur at the level of opinion [survey researchers can’t help us] and concepts [nor can philosophers], but alter sense ratios or patterns of perception steadily and without resistance.

What to do? what to do?  Answer:  Focus on  effects of Internet+ on us and on our institutions (governments, banks, etc.), processes/procedures/activities (politics, elections, decision making, etc).  This is to say, identify and seek to understand the effects of Internet+ on our individual psyches and behaviors and on our situation/environment.  Ignore the content of Internet+; that is, ignore the meaning of what’s on the Internet, such as the meaning/content of Facebook feeds, the Trumper’s and the Pope’s Tweets–yes (but after you read it) the content of this blog post.  The medium itself, not its content, is the message, is the massage!  The medium, not it’s content, is working us over!  Focus on what Internet+ (not its contents) is doing to us and, actually, to the world.

For more of my posts on the Internet, Internet+, and related matters, type internet into the Search box at the top right of this page.

About georgebeam

George Beam is an educator and author. The perspectives that inform his interpretations of the topics of this blog–-as well as his other writings and university courses -–are system analysis, behaviorism, and Internet effects. Specific interests include quality management, methodology, and politics. He is Associate Professor Emeritus, Department of Public Administration; Affiliated Faculty, Department of Political Science; and, previously, Head, Department of Public Administration, University of Illinois at Chicago
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