McLuhan’s Technological Determinism Theory

In 1964, Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian theorist of media and technology, set the stage for technology and human consumption. His main ideas were that as technology advanced, it shaped us versus the alternative of us shaping society around the technology.

From V. Thitvesa

People are pushing toward a future with more virtual contact than physical.

While McLuhan later in life came back to change his opinions as people became more proactive in the consumption of media, still his points helped shape our understanding of the overall impact of our progression.

McLuhan has some great ideas and concepts established in 1964. His main arguments were that as technology advances, our society advances alongside it. The progression of technology allows us, humans, to advance. The second point is as we increase our technological innovations, the untended consequences lead us further in a direction unknown, altering the course of further progression in that field. The third point is the limited advancement by singular donors that push toward a mass audience that takes the developments toward their contrived future. The general masses do not compete with the technology built but allow it to alter their direction in life. Simply, the intelligence creating the advancement does not compete with the general uses that firmly dictate where the advancements will go.

From Seven Stones Consulting

The opposing argument is that without human advancement, technology would not further. Similarly, as we progress, we look toward shortcuts or ease of use to improve our lives. This idea dictates our progression as we look for advances to help our ease of use generally. One of my last primary arguments is that the way we consume media has changed in the last twenty years. With the development of mobile phones allowing the accessibility of multiple news sites, our ideas have become more niched and singular to the sources we read. This allows us to choose what impacts us and not be dictated by the tech around us.

My question is simple. Would our opinions be the same without the news that has been fed to us as we progress as an individual? Has the technology that has shaped our upcoming changed the way we view the world around us?

What do you think?


Pursuing a master's in Mass Communications at the University of Florida. Telling my stories through videos and medium articles. Join me on my adventures.