Victorian Internet- – Question to discuss: How does the excitement around the success of the Trans-Atlantic-Telegraph appear similar or different from the technological utopianism experienced at the advent and popularization of the Internet? How would you suggest we break this cycle of McLuhan-esque thought that “the medium is the message,” and therefore, what we communicate falls second to the means by which we communicate?

The first question we were told to discuss is how the excitement around the success of the Trans-Atlantic Telegraph appears similar or different from the technological utopianism experienced at the advent and popularization of the internet. I could discuss at length the similar progressive phases that both the telegraph and the internet went through before becoming available to the public. However I will just summarize it by saying that both were first primarily used as military experiments, then moved into the world of business in some way, and eventually made their way into the retail world.  There paths are very similar in how they were indoctrinated by society and how they were perceived by the public at the time of their creation. In the beginning the telegraph and the internet both were not received especially well. However after proving that either of these devices worked and making them available to the public they both took off in popularity. With the creation of the internet they idea that the world could come together in peace through communication was reborn. Just as the telegram had done the idea of being able to instantly communicate with people across the world seemed to mean the end of conflict.

To address the problem with McLuhan-esque thought I believe that people need to realize that what they are using to transmit a message is important, however the actual message that is being sent can have far more priority than that which is sending it. Peoples fixation on new technology is as much a curse as a gift, because while it brings forth new innovations it also causes people to gloss over much more pressing issues in the world around them. The most important message in the world could be sent by internet, by telegram, or by messenger and the message would be of the same importance. That is why people need to prioritize the way that they view what we communicate in relation to how it is communicated.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s