Sunday, November 4, 2012

My Mantra

This week we were encouraged to develop a mantra for our work as media psychologists. Since my interest in this program from the beginning lay at the intersection of social media and brands, I felt like this would be a fairly simple exercise. Here’s the rub: the mantra had to fit in a Twitter feed – 140 characters maximum (letters, spaces, punctuation, etc.). It’s easy for me to sit down and write two to three pages as I explore my philosophy and engagement in this field of inquiry. But getting it to a succinct statement that plumbs the depths and yet captures the essence of the subject is not so easily done. For consideration in this statement are concepts such as:

-   The 4 Laws of Media: the Tetrad (McLuhan, 1964) – the extensions, amputations, retrievals, and limitations of any new media or innovation
-   The effects of innovation, technology, and media, on literacy, education, cognition, social awareness/ social presence, and our public and private institutions
-   The ancient need for all of us to tell our stories and to be known (Isbouts & Ohler, 2011)
-   The ancient need for us to gather in communities and be part of a larger narrative (Isbouts & Ohler, 2011).
-   Our dependence on innovations that rapidly move from figure to ground and go largely unnoticed in our daily lives – until we don’t have them any more (Burke, 2009).
Using these foundational concepts, I envision using and being involved in social media to help individuals, organizations and corporations see the gains and losses, the extensions and amputations, as well as the limitations and effects of innovation, technology, and new media (including social media) so as to create intelligent personal and corporate brands in the always-on digital world. By moving the technology and media which have become part of our unconscious social competence into focus, we can see them as tools to enrich the narratives of our collective stories, to create an enduring, positive, digital footprint, and for the advancement of critical thought in the anarchy of the information age.

In essence:
Bringing media and technology into focus for a clear view of their effects on personal and corporate brands in the always-on digital world.


Burke, J. (2009). The day the universe changed, Episode 4: The way we are. Retrieved from 
Isbouts, J. and Ohler, J. (2011). From Aristotle to augmented reality. The Oxford handbook of Media (Dill, Ed.)

McLuhan, Marshall (1964). Understanding media: The extensions of man. Critical Edition, Terence Gordon (Ed.). Berkeley, CA. Gingko Press, Inc.
McLuhan’s Laws of Media. Retrieved from:

Ohler, Jason (2010). Digital community, digital citizen. Thousand Oaks, CA. Corwin


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