The emergence of “new media” and “social media” — it has all looked fairly revolutionary, the beginning of something entirely new. But, when you step back and consider it, these innovations mark perhaps just an acceleration of a trend that began long ago — one that Marshall McLuhan, the famed communication theorist, first outlined in the 1960s. The vintage clip above gives you a feel for this, and McLuhan himself appears at around the 2:45 minute mark. As you watch this video, you start to realize how prescient McLuhan was, and how social media is almost the logical fulfillment of the trend he saw emerging. We’ve added this piece to our big collection of 275 Cultural Icons, which features great writers, artists and thinkers speaking in their own words.