By now many of you surely have watched or at least heard about Googlezon, the Orwellian tale of the impact of new media or more specifically networked media on the news in by the year 2014.
In writing his seminal “The Medium is the Message” Marshall McLuhan asks us to not get blinded by the content but to also pay attention to the form of the medium in which the content is contained. He asks us to be aware that a media are extensions of ourselves and that they do not exist in a vacuum but are influenced by and a product of society.
The whole point in being aware of the message of a medium, according to McLuhan is to have an impact on what the change is. McLuhan says, “Control over change would seem to consist in moving not with it but ahead of it. Anticipation gives the power to deflect and control force.”
In other words the folks that created the Googlezon scenario are doing exactly what McLuhan had hoped we would do. By questioning and imagining the possibility we are moving ahead of what has happened and can anticipate the change and deflect or control its impact in order to stop something like Googlezon if it’s perceived to be detrimental to society. The question now is do we preceive it as detrimental and if so will anyone actually heed the efforts to deflect the damage?