Into the Maelstrom: How the hyperconnected age is tearing us apart

Writing during the twilight age of literature, maverick media theorist Marshall McLuhan devoted his life to the understanding of the global mass media and its effect on human behaviour. He argued that by changing our sense ratios, different communication technologies altered the focus of our mental attention and affected us both on an individual and societal level. For example, the communications satellite acted as a ‘proscenium arch’ that made the TV generation all want to be performers, which led collectively to vast shifts in the nature of society as new industries emerged in response. In contemplating the humble photocopier in the 1960s, he saw the seeds of the audience participation and self-publishing that would come to characterise the internet: