What Does Global Village Mean?

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A global village refers to a world connected by electronics and technology. The term was coined and popularized by Marshal McLuhan, a Canadian philosopher.

McLuhan was a philosopher of communication theory who is credited with predicting the Internet long before it happened. In the 1960s, McLuhan used the term "global village" to describe how the world was becoming more connected since the usage of public radio in the 1920s to spread information. McLuhan published two books, "The Gutenberg Galaxy" and "Understanding the Media," in which he discussed this phenomenon in which humankind would rely on electronic media for information. As a result, he argued, people would move toward a collective identity with a tribal base. He labeled this type of social organization a global village. McLuhan cautioned that such technology would damage individualism.

McLuhan predicted the end of the printed medium and the obsolescence of libraries. Three decades before the Internet was invented, McLuhan set forth the idea that electronic media would replace printed and oral or aural media. In "The Gutenberg Galaxy," McLuhan writes that "the next medium ... will transform television into an art form." He also wrote that "a computer as a research and communication instrument could enhance retrieval ... and flip into a private line to speedily tailored data of a salable kind."