Social Media, the Separation of Time and Space, and a Plea for a Critical Look at Technology

Considered by James Carey to be the first medium of electronic communication, the telegraph was a revolutionary development, since it was the first communication medium to separate time and space for the purposes of communication. Before the invention of the telegraph, message speed was bound to how fast a messenger could travel: by foot, horse, or railroad. After the invention of the telegraph, messages could travel faster than a messenger ever could. This development thus had ripple effects on markets, democratic participation and community.

A picture of a telegraph machine
Telegraph by SparkFun Electronics. Available on Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/fCs2oC (CC by 2.0)

 

 

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Social Media, the Separation of Time and Space, and a Plea for a Critical Look at Technology