Medium is the Mess(age)


I feel like all of my problems this week stemmed from the phrase, “the medium is the message.”

Like what?

Trying the understand this phrase involved an embarrassing large amount of time screaming at my computer screen, “WHY IS THE MESSAGE NOT THE MESSAGE?” Another large amount of time questioning my decision to actually go to university and choose BCM 112. So, to try and find some semblance of sanity, justification and understanding, I went to this fabulous thing called the internet and it told me…

That Marshall McLuhan is the one I have to blame for all of this. McLuhan is the one who introduced a lot of observations about the impact of new forms of expression and media. His most renowned (and hardest to understand) being, “the medium is the message.”

The phrase sums up a much deeper communication theory, which is that the medium in which we choose to communicate in, holds as much, if not more worth than the actual message itself. In other words, how the content is conveyed is much more influential than what is actually being conveyed. And so, the medium through which this message is conveyed, plays a vital role in the way it is received.

New media is transforming the manner in which information is delivered, even if it is the exact same information being presented. This new introduction of media brings with it massive social, psychological and structural effects. This is because the technology that transfers the message, changes us and the society is which we live in. An example is a car. The message of the car itself is the field of effects introduced by the car. The answer is its effects on society through the introduction of car accidents, pollution, gas stations, commuter lifestyle, etc.

McLuhan believes we should pay more attention to the impact on the world that the medium has (for better or for worse), rather than the messages it carries. By doing this, we can notice changes within our societal or cultural conditions and can identify any new medium ourselves, deciding if the effects could be detrimental or beneficial and work from there. The beauty of this theory is that even though the world is constantly changing, we can still continue to test his theory against the ever-growing new technologies emerging. I can’t guarantee that you’ll always understand it though.

If you would like to read more:
– Source 1
– Source 2
– Source 3

Until next time, Georgie.

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6 thoughts on “Medium is the Mess(age)

  1. That first meme is much more relatable then I’d like to admit. I really enjoyed reading this blog post because it is so organised, I find it quite interesting that, as you said, we can test the theory ‘the medium is the message’ on new-technologies, furthermore I think it would be rad to explore the technologies that were once dead media but have adapted to become new again, such as vinyl. This was very interesting to read, thank you for your time!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Georgie!

    I really liked your post, I think you were very succinct in your explanation of the subject and the format of the post broke it down and made it easy to follow. The memes were great and super relatable, I found it really difficult to wrap my head around this as well! In my opinion one of the best things about this post is this bit at the end “The beauty of this theory is that even though the world is constantly changing, we can still continue to test his theory against the ever-growing new technologies emerging.” I think this point works really well in emphasising the value of McLuhan’s theory!
    Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This was really well structured and worded! It’s the clearest one I’ve read yet haha. I also really thought the ‘Why?’ paragraph added something unique that I don’t think anyone else has touched on that much and it was interesting to think about.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Georgie !

    Your blog impressed me right at the beginning as I saw the picture in your tweets. That meme was great that it indicated exactly how I am feeling now. This subject is the second one that I have to deal with ‘The medium is the message’ and for the first time, I actually ignored the question containing this idea for my final essay. Therefore don’t worry, there is at least another one here feeling the same 😉

    Your post has a great structure that I can see the main points pretty clearly. You divide your core ideas into three separated paragraphs starting with ‘What’, ‘How’ and ‘Why’ which is really easy to follow. Your example of a car is great that I also think the same, that the ‘medium’ here is not just the communication media but anything can be a medium.

    The only suggestions of mine is that maybe you should reflect a bit on the materials because I found Henry Jenkins’s video is pretty useful.

    That’s all for this decent post, maybe you can check mine to see if we both look in the same direction. Cheers !

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes- you have totally summed up all of my feelings, including the ‘how can I do this university thing if I don’t understand week 2???’ My only recommendation would be to include the 150 word remediation of your meme creation! Other than that, I loved the logical way you go through the theory and explain the how, what and why of it all. Overall, great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This was such an enlightening read! I was so confused by McLuhan’s “The Medium is the message” theory and this really broke it down for me. I think it is very smart of you to have broken your post into the headings “What, how, why”. This was a very easy to read and well-constructed post. If you’re still facing any confusion, this source was really helpful for me: . Very enjoyable post, looking forward to next week’s! Nice work Georgie!

    Liked by 1 person

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