Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The price of eternal vigilance is indifference

Sentenced to a cell(phone)
Cellphones give a sense of staying connected, but a new study finds the devices are actually interfering with family life.
By Marilyn Gardner

Evidence from interviews quoted in above article distilled into McLuhan's Tetrad, The Four Laws of Media:

Tetrad of Cell Phone Use 2005

What is enhanced, intensified, accelerated or made possible?
Stay connected with family and work
Being in touch.
Being reachable.
Flexibility in scheduling time.

What is replaced, pushed aside, displaced or rendered obsolete?
Separation of home and work lives.
Being unreachable.
Sacrificing family for work.
Boundaries between work and family time.
Being out of touch.

What older, previously obsolesced, is retrieved or brought back?
Connection with family
Able to attend children’s activities.
Caring for older family members.
Family input into decisions.

When pushed to an extreme, what is produced or what does it reverse into?
Intrusions from work into home life.
Ringing about trivial issues
Bringing job worries into the home.

“Absent Presence”
McLuhan – “When you are on the phone, you have no body.”

“You trivialize me.”

Addiction to being in touch.
Fear of missing something.
Losing our ability to concentrate on one task.

The Estate of Marshall McLuhan


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