The global village is a metaphoric shrinking of the world into a village through the use of electronic media. Global village is also a term to express the constituting relationship between economics and other social sciences throughout the world. The term was coined by Canadian-born Marshall McLuhan, popularized in his books The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (1962) and Understanding Media (1964). McLuhan described how the globe has been contracted into a village by electric technology and the instantaneous movement of information from every quarter to every point at the same time.
The new reality of the digital age has implications for forming new socially meaningful structures within the context of culture. Interchanging messages, stories, opinions, posts, and videos through channels on telecommunication pathways can cause miscommunication, especially through different cultures. Contemporary analysts question the causes of changes in community. Often they speculate on whether the consequences of these changes could lead to some potentially new sociological structure. Most of them have pointed out that the increased velocity of transactions has fostered international density, making social networks a technical catalyst for social change.
Across the global village people have reached out and transcended their neighborhood. They are involved in a complex community of networks stretching across cities, nations, oceans, governments and religions. Yet the ease with which telecommunications, networking through friendship on social media may also increase the density of interconnections within already existing social clusters. The global village's implications on sociological structures are yet to be fully realized. Not only does multimedia have the ability to impact individuals differently for cultural reasons, messages also affects people due to religion, politics, beliefs, business, money etc. The time in which messages are received also affects how a message is understood.
In Marshall McLuhan’s time, the global village was quite existent already, i.e., it was not just an idea. It was already a comprehensive and seminal way to grasp what was happening to the world at large at that time and on (and correspondingly, what should be done with this in mind): "The global village absolutely ensures maximal disagreement on all points" (McLuhan: Hot & Cool. New York: The New American Library, p. 272).
During the primitive years, people primarily stayed in tune with the simultaneous mode of their perception and thinking. Today human society struggles neurologically, with the simultaneous mode taking the upper hand once again. Our brain is constantly adapting and morphing to the modifications of technological advancements. Through technology, the creation of social media allows people to constantly comment on each others posts as well as creating them to share with the multi-media global world. 55 percent of teens possess a social media profile. Social media has connected people with jobs that they couldn’t have received before because of their geographic location. New social media has connected the world so cultures can be learned through interactions on social media as well as maintaining relationships from opposing countries.
Global village and media
People use technology to fit into a digital community in which they are no longer physically connected, they are now mentally connected. Each social media platform acts as a digital home for each individual which has allowed people to express themselves through the global village. A Review of General Semantics argues that media ecology and new media have unlimited the opportunity for who can create and view media texts. Since mass media has been in effect, this has called for the westernization of the world hence the global village. Without the mass media in effect countries like India or Turkey wouldn’t be living American lifestyle because they wouldn’t have the knowledge of what the acquisitions of the American nation constitute. Since most of the developing countries acquired the news and entertainment from developed nations like the U.S, the information received is biased in favor of developed nations which connects the world in similarities within the media.
On the Internet, physical distance is even less of a hindrance to the real-time communicative activities of people. Social Spheres are greatly expanded by the openness of the web and the ease at which people can search for online communities and interact with others who share the same interests and concerns. According to McLuhan, the enhanced "electric speed in bringing all social and political functions together in a sudden implosion has heightened human awareness of responsibility to an intense degree."  Increased speed of communication and the ability of people to read about, spread, and react to global news quickly, forces us to become more involved with one another from various social groups and countries around the world and to be more aware of our global responsibilities. Similarly, web-connected computers enable people to link their web sites together.
No chapter in Understanding Media, later books, contains the idea that the global village and the electronic media create unified communities. In an interview with Gerald Stearn, McLuhan says that it never occurred to him that uniformity and tranquility were the properties of the global village. McLuhan argued that the global village ensures maximal disagreement on all points because it creates more discontinuity and division and diversity under the increase of the village conditions. The global village is far more diverse.
After the publication of Understanding Media, McLuhan starts using the term global theater to emphasize the changeover from consumer to producer, from acquisition to involvement, from job holding to role playing, stressing that there is no more community to clothe the naked specialist.
Notes and references
- Wyndham Lewis's America and Cosmic Man (1948) and James Joyce's Finnegans Wake are sometimes credited as the source of the phrase, but neither used the words "Global Village" as it is. According to M. McLuhan's son Eric McLuhan, his father, a Joyce scholar and a close friend of Lewis, likely discussed the concept with Lewis during their association, but there is no evidence that he got the idea or the phrasing from either; McLuhan is generally credited as having coined the term. Source: Eric McLuhan (1996). "The source of the term 'global village'". McLuhan Studies (issue 2). Retrieved 2008-12-30.
- McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media. (Gingko Press, 1964, 2003) p 6.
- McLuhan, Marshall. Letters of Marshall McLuhan. (Oxford University Press, 1987) p. 254.
- Mcluhan, Eric (1995). Essential McLuhan. Concord, Ont. : Anansi: HarperCollins. pp. 7–186. ISBN 0-465-01995-1.
- Shachaf. "Cultural diversity and information and communication technology impacts on global virtual teams". Information & Management. 45: 131–142. doi:10.1016/j.im.2007.12.003.
- The Network Community: An Introduction to Networks and Global Village, By: Barry Wellman
- "Center for Media Literacy". www.medialit.org. Retrieved 2016-11-28.
- "Journal of Media Critiques [JMC]". www.mediacritiques.net. Retrieved 2016-11-28.
- Rebecca, Sawyer, (2011-01-01). "The Impact of New Social Media on Intercultural Adaptation".
- Valcanis, Tom (2011). "An iPhone in Every Hand: Media Ecology, Communication Structures, and the Global Village". ETC: A Review of General Semantics. 68: 33–45.
- M, Kraidy, Marwan (2002-01-01). "Globalization of Culture Through the Media". Encyclopedia of Communication and Information.
- Understanding Media, McGraw Hill, 1964, page 5
- Stearn, Gerald Emmanuel. McLuhan: Hot & Cool (1968), p. 272.
- McLuhan, Marshall and Nevitt, Barrington. From Take Today: The Executive as Dropout (Harcourt Brace, 1972) p 265 and back cover.