“Global village”, with this term Herbert Marshall McLuhan became the first person to foresee the birth of the internet.
Born in Canada in 1911, Marshall McLuhan studied at the University of Manitoba and University of Cambridge. Before becoming famous for his predictions, Marshall McLuhan was a lecturer at the University of Toronto.
In his book called The Gutenberg Galaxy, released in the year 1962, McLuhan had outlined the concepts of four ages that divided the history. The acoustic age, the literary age, the print age and the electronic age. This book became widely popular due to this concept laid by McLuhan, as it marked the beginning of the electronic age. The term “global village” was used in this book.
McLuhan described “global village” as the world that has been “shrunk” by modern advances in communication. He used the example of the nervous system to explain how the vast network of communications is linking people to one another around the world.
His theories were often met with controversy in the academic circles. In 1989, when the internet was born after McLuhan’s death, he was looked upon with reintroduced interest. He had predicted the idea of internet 35 years before its birth.
He described “global village”, what we today call as he internet, as an age when everybody will be able to access same information through the evolution of technology. He then wrote a follow-up book called Understanding Media, in which he expanded the theory of “global village” to show that mode of communication will become the most influential part of the electronic age rather than the information itself. After which he became a TV figure, present regularly to explain his theory of why “the medium is the message.”
McLuhan had become the most renowned English teacher of the 20th century. His vision of the “computer as a research and communication instrument” made history.
Today, people have information from around the world at their fingertips. Use of laptops, desktops, tablets and smartphones has become so regular. This change was just considered as an impossible task to achieve during McLuhan’s days.
Marshall McLuhan’s predictions had caused a frenzy in the US and made media question whether or not he was right. He was the subject of an article written by Tom Wolfe titled “What if he was right?” published in the New York Magazine.
On his 106th birthday, Google has honoured him with a doodle on his famous concept of the ages of history.