Are we the fish in the water?

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“It’s like the fish in water,” he said, “we don’t know who discovered water but we know it wasn’t the fish. A pervasive medium is always beyond perception.” – Marshall McLuhan


Changes in information society that can be seen in the next 10 years are:

• Ubiquitous computing

• Computing as part of the eudaemonic space of the user

Websites in the future will not be as we know them today since the concept of the Internet itself will change towards the concept of ubiquitous computing and existential media will be absorbed into the eudaemonic space of the user (wearer). In fact, people will not even think of the Internet as a separate “space”, but as an integral part of their lives and to which they are always connected and interacting. Just as people now take electricity and telecommunications for granted, people will do the same with the Internet. Changes to the websites will be fueled by technological advances…. (refer to Future Sites of the Internet: Ubiquitous Computing for more information).

McLuhan’s Laws of Media

If we analyze these potential changes in the information society within the context of McLuhan’s Laws of Media, we can see that ubiquitous computing as part of the eudaemonic space of the user will have the following effects.

• It enhances the user’s senses of sight, hearing, speech, hearing, and touch across space and time.

• It obsolesces many technologies as they merge into one, including television, radio, CDs, DVDs, movie theatres, stereos, personal music players, phones (mobile and fixed line), libraries, books, computer as we know it (laptop or desktop), PDAs, keyboard, mouse, writing, monitors, virtual reality systems, gaming systems, cable television, malls, bricks-and-mortar stores, physical workplace, travel, message boards, blogs, instant messaging, etc.

• It retrieves verbal interaction, non-verbal cues, and freedom of movement without encumbering technological devices.

• It reverses control of our own space and time, privacy, and interaction with the “real” world.