JR Dingwall posted the following on quote on Twitter:
Of course we are all separate instances of homo sapiens, but the issue is — how do we see ourselves? Or did we even see ourself as a self? That separate-self view of things, McLuhan says, is an artifact of technology, in this case, the technology of the written word. The written word extended us as a species is such deeply transformative ways that it produced the means of social control needed to go beyond small bands or settled villages to urban forms of organization in which everyone doesn’t know everyone else. This is what McLuhan means by new media altering social organization.
Which brings us to the question of losing our individualism. I hope we do. Or I should say, I hope (and expect) that newer extensions of ourselves, extensions of our entire central nervous system and brain will alter sense ratios and social organization in such a way that our very sense of self and our so-called unique and separate individual consciousness will change. The feeling of losing something is anticipatory. As it actually happens, which it is right now even as we are having our Reading Group, it is experienced just as the way things are.
I do disagree with your example and statement about “not a loss of your individualism” Yes it is. It’s not a loss of an ability to express one’s individualism, but for anyone who did express it in that particular territory and now cannot, it is a loss of that part of their own individualism. Humans are adaptable, but when it comes to defining the self, my self, continuity is important. I think this is true for humanity as well: continuity is important. There’s also the domino effect to worry about in your example.
The ‘genie’ is out of the (Facebook) bottle and time will tell where that leads us. I personally subscribe to the model that we will ‘end-up’ in World State, a unified government which administers the entire planet, with a few isolated exceptions. This if we don’t blow ourselves up before.