Electric media involve an extreme form of acceleration, in which they "eliminate time and space factors in human association…creating involvement in depth."[1]

Whereas mechanical media extend various faculties of the human body, electric media extend the central nervous system itself. Extensions are usually the central nervous system's response to stress, so McLuhan interprets the extension of the central nervous system itself as "a desperate and suicidal autoamputation" resulting from the increased acceleration of the mechanical age.[2]


Electricity ends the kind of sequences inherent in mechanization, because it is instantaneous instead. As a result, awareness of cause and effect is restored, after having been lost by mechanization.[3]



  1. UM, p. 9
  2. UM, p. 43
  3. UM, p. 12