Are we losing ‘touch’ thanks to new media? PLUS women’s intuition [Marshall McLuhan Monday Makeup]

My apologies to all you Marshall McLuhan Monday fans; my Monday was spent without blogging opportunities. Hence, the extra ‘M’ today.

Are new media helping us lose touch with the world? It may well be. Consider this insightful probe from McLuhan (emphasis mine):

There is a great tradition that women are much more integral in their life and men much more specialized, fragmentary, and that’s why women are thought to be intuitive. The world of insight is primarily one of touch rather than sight, and so the woman’s intuition means the use of all the senses at once, a response to which is touch—active touch, that is, not just passive touch. Touch is our primary and deepest experiential mode of relating to the world.

Some points to note:

  • McLuhan’s son Eric has said that his father would have enjoyed tremendously John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. McLuhan clearly had the seedlings of that work, and applied them in probes like this one.
  • The ‘great tradition’ of feminine and masculine tendencies that McLuhan cites has today been seen in modern study of female and male brains.

IF “touch is our primary and deepest experiential mode of relating to the world,” AND our contemporary lived experience involves fewer personal interactions/increased digital interations with the world around us, THEN we must be ‘losing touch’ with the world compared to previous generations. How might that affect us evolutionarily and anthropologically?

IF “woman’s intuition means the use of all the senses at once” AND various media extend various human senses (another McLuhan probe), THEN does imbalanced media exposure affect women’s intuition?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.


One comment

  1. Nothing can replace face – to – face interaction since communication involves more than just words. Intuition relies on observing the whole person, not just their BBM. To understand the context of the conversation and situation, body language, facial expressions, even touching the other person needs to be part of the interaction. Our pre-occupation with BBM, internet, FB, et al, takes away from that. It also shortens communication to glib little sentences and acronyms.

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