Servant or Master

I am basing mine off of the use of social media and its impact .
Nearly sixty years after Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, Marshall McLuhan’s statement “the medium is the message” continues to be the most accurate axiom we have of how technology affects human life. That said, the exact meaning of this axiom is not readily apparent; and a whole host of scholars and critics have further muddled McLuhan’s meaning through asinine proclamations such as “the medium is no longer the message.” The folly of these proclamations resides in, and originates from, the assumption that McLuhan somehow meant that the information content should be seen as inconsequential and, therefore, ignored since the medium—that is, the channel for the content—supersedes the content in importance. What this axiom actually means (as Postman and Carr demonstrate) is that all mediums—that is, all conceived or created extensions of ourselves—have anticipated and unanticipated effects or messages on the scale or pace or pattern of human life; and these messages typically go unnoticed and unattended because they are not obvious. As you have in the first two essays, you will continue in this one to examine and evaluate a variety of our culture’s discourses. This time, however, you also will conduct and incorporate into your work more extensive research. In the process of conducting this research, you can expect to learn something about how we have become increasingly reliant upon technological mediums shape and govern our everyday lives, and—depending on what sort of medium you select—the potential of technology to not only edify, amuse, enchant, or distract a person, but also to emancipate or enslave a person politically. To begin this work, you must first select a topic—one that is researchable (that is, one you can investigate by consulting materials in Briggs Library). You may write upon any topic that you wish so long as you are able to argue how it fits into the themes of the unit. You may not, however, discuss the following topics: abortion, vaccines (especially in connection with autism), COVID-19, or anything concerning Donald Trump, Joe Biden, their staff, and the current election. Basic requirements for the essay are as follows. Its minimum length is 8-9 pages, not including the Works Cited. It must be typed in 12-point Times New Roman and follow MLA documentation style (see The New St. Martin’s Handbook). It must incorporate information from at least five different types of sources (that is, from books, journals, magazines, newspapers, reference texts, government documents, electronic sources, interviews, and so on). To initiate your work on this project, please compose a short proposal (1-2 typed pages) that 1) announces your topic (one that invites debate) and identifies your present assumptions about it; 2) explains why you wish to write about it; and 3) identifies your target audience as well as what you believe to be the attitudes and values of this audience. Your proposal is due by 3:00 p.m. on October 23. The final draft of the essay is due by 5:00 p.m. on December 3.

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