“Most Americans under the age of 50 were raised on such a diet; the world has been created for us, and isn’t real unless we’ve seen it on the tube, or on YouTube. In predicting more than 45 years ago how the information age would change the world, Canadian sociologist Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) used the analogy of a fish. He said he didn’t know who discovered water, but he was fairly certain it wasn’t a fish.
“Like fish in a pond, McLuhan suggested, most of us in the information age are unsuspecting and uncritical about the mass media environment in which we live. We eat TV, we breathe media messages, we overhear news and read rumors on the Internet, and unknowingly absorb advertising and cultural attitudes through our gills and into our psyches and worldviews. This represents an enormous responsibility both for the producers of media messages, and for those who consume them. How healthy is this diet?”
—Syllabus, JCOM 2010: Media Smarts—Making Sense of the Information Age,
Utah State University, 2012
• Editorial Comment: Could I just have a nice burger?
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