One of the first things that struck me while starting Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows was when Carr brings up McLuhan’s Understanding Media, and says how McLuhan was not necessarily just trying to celebrate the power of new technologies but was also trying to warn us against this power that they possess. This idea got me thinking. Are the technological advances that we’re experiencing taking us in a positive direction only? Social media is a way for people to create a connection with one another, share their own ideas and much more. Websites such as facebook began as a website mainly for college students. It was a way for them to meet one another before attending the schools of their choice. You would put in your information of what school you were going to attend, and it would show you other people your age who were also attending that school. Since it has come out, facebook has gone from this to a social media site for anyone and everyone. As we can see, there are many issues regarding social media websites such as facebook, and we tend to see this in the younger age groups. There have been many instances in which kids use it as a way to be unkind to one another or bully one another, and at certain times, kids have ended their own lives because of this. I think that this is a prime example of what McLuhan was trying to say. Despite these great technological ways of communication that have been created, there are also ways that these kinds of websites can bring about the negative. McLuhan felt that there was a large risk with this new technology, and that people would be “oblivious to that threat” (Carr). Facebook is such a popular site, and only continues to grow with the amount of users that it has. As I’m sure everyone reading this knows, many people do not think while putting things up on facebook, whether they be posts, pictures, status’, and so on. Many people will tell you to be careful with what you put up on the Internet because once it’s there, it’s there forever. However, people are oblivious to this idea. They do not realize that technology really is so advanced, and that things like facebook are a threat to your real life. Facebook has the power to ruin ones life, whether it be a relationship, or even job opportunities. Everything about you is shared with millions of people who you do not know, and security on these websites is only so good.
I shared a small article on the top 10 social media threats. It lists things such as impersonation, data leaks, phishing bait and so on.
I thought that this article is a good example of what McLuhan meant by looking at communication technologies and realizing that they are very powerful and can pose threats in our lives.