McLuhan – The Global Village

Coined by Marshall McLuhan in the 1960’s, the global village is a term to describe the contraction of the globe into a village through the use of electronic media. Communication technology advanced from oral and tribal culture to the literate revolution, where The Gutenberg Revolution allowed worldwide changes to take place. With this mass distribution of information became possible but was expensive and therefore institutionalized (Stacy, 2008). Only now in the modern-day does information not conform to the Gutenberg Revolution, instead information and distribution has shaped and created not just organizations like the media but lead to the creation of mass consumer brands and controlled the relationship between individuals and institutions, both commercial and political. (Stacy, 2008) 

McLuhan’s Global Village is seen as both having positives and negatives. As the world becomes a smaller place in a sense immersion into other cultural traditions happens more often, however a lack of individualism becomes more apparent as the difference between cultures becomes less diverse. We care more about the group and what the group is doing (McLuhan, 2001) as opposed to concentrating on forging our own path so to speak.  

Social Media is the Message 

The term ‘Global Village’ is most prevalent in our society through the medium of Social Media. The interconnectivity that social media has brought is unlike anything seen before and perhaps beyond what McLuhan imagined.  

‘The Medium is the Message’ – a famous quote from McLuhan, can be divided into ‘hot’ and ‘cool’ mediums; Hot mediums being that which put out a high degree of information requiring little interaction from the viewer and cool mediums outputting a low level of information with the participation level being high. An example of a cool medium in social media is Twitter, posts are limited to 140 characters, and participation is at a high level.  



Richard Stacy. (2018). Gutenberg and the social media revolution: an investigation of the world where it costs nothing to distribute information – Richard Stacy. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 May 2018]. 

McLuhan, M. (2001). Understanding Media. Milton: Taylor & Francis. 


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