Personality or Excessive Use of Technology

The following sample essay talks about Marshall McLuhan’s text Wednesday is a Massage. Read the introduction, body and conclusion of the essay, scroll down.

In Marshall McLuhan’s text The Medium is the Massage, he states that the medium, or process, of our time – electric technology – is reshaping and restructuring patterns of social interdependence and every aspect of our personal life. What McLuhan is stating here, is that the goals we had of being individuals are gone due to the overuse of technology.

In this text, Marshall McLuhan discusses the means of the nature of a medium more important than the meaning or content of the message. We are docile bodies living in a global village where everyone knows everything about everyone. Today we are living in a television based society (the electronic era), and it is not only changing us, but destroying us, and many authors would argue that we`ve become illiterate. Without having knowledge of the functions of media, we would not be able to comprehend how society and people are changing.

An authentic journal article states that despite mounting evidence in the last several decades that literacy must be understood as a situation, social practice, an age-based ideology persists in public discourse on literacy. The ideology of literacy is a network of related beliefs or values, and is shaped by how we see the world with ideas and ideals. Even though the advanced technology is very helpful to us, we can no longer think or do ourselves since everything is at or fingertips.

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Is it not ironic that this essay is about technology destroying us, and it`s being used to produce this paper? There are many writers that think that literature can influence technological advancements through introducing new information that would give innovators or developers an idea to make or create something.

The age of technology is known as the golden age to some, and this corresponds to the second category of Knoblauch’s four categories of literacy. He believes that being literate gives you power in society. The four categories of literacy are functional, cultural, personal growth, and critical. Functional literacy is having the ability to read and write at a level that a person can survive in a society, with that uses writing extensively. An example of functional literacy is one filling out job applications, and performing activities from written instructions. Even jobs have become very simplistic also due to technology, and were only taught to do a specific task. An example would be that doctors have to refer patients to a specialist, since they are not taught to do anything beyond give information. The reason for this may be that we need more jobs for the amount of people here, or that the government has seen that we are less versatile since technology. It has also become harder for teachers to teach anything since technology has worsened our attention span and memory. Knoblauch`s point is not that it is good or bad that what a group believes and values shape how that group defines literacy. He does think that we need to be aware that there is not only one definition and we do not confine to one category.

The second category of literacy from Knoblauch is cultural literacy. Careful reading of certain kinds of writing preserves our cultural values. To be literate, one reads high culture literature (Shakespeare not detective novels), history, and speaks decorously. To speak decorously is to speak decently or polite to another. One could agree that speaking slang in the area you dwell is speaking decently, and knowing how to talk to people of higher authority than oneself is proper. The way we talk has changed drastically, as well as the number of people who read books.

Cultural literacy has dramatically and irreversibly shifted the content and meaning of public discourse, since two media so vastly different cannot accommodate the same ideas. (Postman, p.8) Not only does Neil Postman relate to Knoblauch in literacy, but Marshall McLuhan as well. The three writers seem to be very familiar with one another’s texts, however arguing different points. For example, Knoblauch is describing the types of literacies that we need to know but are changing everyday with technology, and McLuhan speaks as if he is in the future (since there is a constant change the book would already be aged) and thinks technology isn`t at all a bad thing. Lastly, I am not saying that Postman is a copycat of McLuhan, but he misreads what is being said and interprets it into what he thinks it is. Postman misreads The Medium is the Massage as “The Medium is the Message”. This could be intentful, except Postmans point is to help us see the message that literacy will always change culturally.

Reading and writing is a path to self discovery by developing our imagination, and lead us to be more accepting and better people. Literacy could help us to become well rounded people. In Knoblachs third category of literacy, he speaks about personal growth, and he privileges those individuals that want to become literate. In relation to the third category, we have created scriptures to help our imaginations expand through words. The ideology of our personal growth in literacy is that we have a broad acceptance of many cultures, and ethnicities with the hope that we can live together even if we are different. We promote multiculturalism without changing the system through literacy. Literacy in the early years is particularly important for children, since it gives them a head start in learning the essential life skills that they will use on a daily basis, as well as preparing them for when they begin school. We grow up learning literacy, then some spend the rest of their lives trying to avoid it unless it is digital. Digital literacy is the only type of literacy anyone is interested in anymore. People wanting to be writers and authors are in to discover that print based literacy is deteriorating.

Literacy is critical to economic development as well as individual and community well-being. Critical literacy encourages readers to actively analyze texts and offers strategies for what proponents describe as uncovering underlying messages. Being able to think and read critically, shows readers of all ages how to become more engaged in their readings. In addition to using their power to construct an understanding of the tex. Knoblauch believes that being literate at all, or critically literate is equivalent to having power. When you can understand something or think critically, it opens doors to new ways of thinking. Being able to think clearly and solve problems systematically is an asset for any career. Critical thinking is really important in the new knowledge economy. Good critical thinking skills is very important in the fast-changing workplace. The main purpose of critical thinking is to make better decisions and to get the positive results that come from better decisions. Knoblauch is discussing Critical thinking involves understanding how you think. It involves making sure that you are considering all alternatives and are making a rational choice between those alternatives.

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Personality or Excessive Use of Technology. (2019, Dec 13). Retrieved from

Personality or Excessive Use of Technology
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