Critical Reasoning- Understanding Media

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Critical Reasoning- Understanding Media

When people start debating on whether the effects of the Internet are good or bad, it is the content they wrestle over. What both enthusiasts and skeptics miss is the fact that as a window onto the world, and onto ourselves, the Internet shapes what we see and how we see it, and eventually, if we use it enough, changes who we are as individuals and as a society. It controls the scale and form of human association and delivers a new form of human being, whose qualities are suited to it. As Marshall McLuhan, author of ‘Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man’ wrote, the content of the medium is just the juicy bit of meat carried by the burglar to distract the watchdog of the mind.

Which of the following options best summarizes the main idea of this paragraph?

  1. The debate on the Internet’s content is pointless; content does not matter.
  2. The Internet is neither good nor bad; it is the way it is used that determines its value.
  3. The focus on the Internet’s content can blind us to its effects on our thought and action.
  4. The Internet distracts our mind by flooding us with content.
  5.  

    • Correct Answer
      Choice C

    Detailed Solution

    This paragraph contends that while debating the effects of the Internet, we tend to only discuss the content it delivers, while ignoring the larger effect the medium has in shaping what we see and how we interact. The Internet controls the scale and form of human association and in fact shapes us into a new form of human being, whose qualities are suited to it. The content is only a bait used by the medium to distract us from the effect it has on our mind.

    Option C summarizes this idea best.

    Option A rules that “content does not matter”. This takes the argument too far. The paragraph does state that the debate on the effects of the Internet should not focus only on the content. But this does not imply that content does not matter. The paragraph argues that the medium, by itself has a strong, even larger influence on our behaviour.

    Option B states that it is the way the Internet is used that determines its value. The paragraph given, in fact, asserts the opposite. According to the paragraph, just by using a medium, like the Internet, users are shaped by it and their behaviour changes over a period of time. This is regardless of the way they use it.

    Option D argues that the Internet distracts our mind “by flooding us with content”. The focus of the paragraph is not on the huge volume of content brought to us by the Internet, but on the effect the medium, by itself, has on us, its users.

    Correct Answer: Choice (C)



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