A quirky thing about explanations of everything is that you can agree with some of the outcomes while being highly skeptical of the premise.
Such was the case recently listening to Eric McLuhan, son of Marshall McLuhan and a significant communications theorist in his own right, during a conference on Social Media and Human Flourishing.
McLuhan began with an overview of his father's pioneering thinking from the 1960s on the creation of modern "electrical man" through 19th century technologies such as the telegraph. For the first time in history, McLuhan contended, human communication became instantaneous regardless of distance. The tapped message of a telegraph key was heard at the same time in the office from which it was transmitted in Vancouver as the office where it was received in Montreal. So too with radio waves, TV signals, telephone, microwave, satellite and so on.
More importantly, communication was no longer primarily a matter of exchange between specific individuals. Disembodied "electrical man" acquired global reach but lost all sense of - and direct connection to - audience. For McLuhan fils, there was an even more profound loss: the incapacity of disembodied communicants to understand, much less enter into, sacramental life.
The argument for loss is powerfully persuasive, more so because of the ease of its verification by simply observing the world around us on a daily basis. The unnatural scorning, during the past half-century, of humanity's inherent religious sense demonstrably emerged by detaching signs and symbols from their embodied, concrete, located origins. The utter failure of even devout Catholics to grasp the centrality of the Eucharist to our faith is but one example. We don't take the host on our tongues because we like the taste of salt-free wafers.
As beings with bodies, we join ourselves physically to the body and blood of God incarnate, He who gave up His life for us yet remains ever present to us. It's not a rote act. Its very meaning as sign is made manifest in the manual repetition specific to the species: hand, mouth, tongue, Body embodied within our bodies.
In an intimately related way, human sexuality has been emptied of the understanding that it occurs between human bodies ordered by biology and psychology to particular purpose. The promised revolution instead reduced sexuality to copulation minus the corporal, that is to the mere tap-tap-tap of stimulus and response telegraphing the message of the pleasure principle. The indivisible procreative and unitive telos that we are built body and soul to express as authentic to our humanity has been banished to the dustbin of history.