Our Evolving (and Devolving) Forms of Media

Over twenty-five years ago, I read Amusing Ourselves to Death by NYU professor, Neil Postman. One of the many comments that stuck with me was this:

“…forms of media favor particular kinds of content and therefore are capable of taking command of a culture”

(You might want to read that again.)

Postman illustrates this by noting that, although we don’t know what Native Americans were communicating in smoke signals, it’s unlikely that they were conducting deep philosophical discussions. The media (smoke signals) would prohibit that kind of content.

As I observe our society, I have to wonder how Postman (who died in 2003), would react to memes on Facebook.

You're right - 9GAG
I’d put a political meme here, but my brain won’t let me.

Little, in my personal opinion, has served to disinform and thereby form our culture in recent times than social media and the memes contained there in. You probably won’t make important decisions based on something you saw in a meme, but memes shade your thinking one small step at a time.

Indeed, Dr. Postman, “…forms of media…are capable of taking command of a culture.”