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  • What Does “The Medium Is The Message” Really Mean?

    Posted on February 28th, 2012 halliedominick No comments

    Reading “The Medium Is The Message” by Marshall McLuhan left me a bit foggy. I understood several nuggets of information but they seemed to float around within my mind. I wasn’t able to connect them. I think confusion may be an appropriate word to describe how I felt. However, I decided to do some addition research to better understand McLuhan.

    After reading “The Medium Is The Message” by Jason Gross I gained a whole new understanding of McLuhan’s point(s). The first point was that “the medium through which a message is experienced shapes the user’s perception of the message.” The second point was that “a medium can be the message itself if it is delivering content that would otherwise be impossible to access.”

    After coming to this realization a light bulb went off in my head. Everything FINALLY made sense. It isn’t the invention but the way we perceive the invention that helps us understand the message. It isn’t just the invention but the way we use the invention. This doesn’t just pertain to technology. We can bring this idea back to the some of the oldest inventions. What first comes to my mind is the invention of the wheel. Some may have viewed it as a strange rock formation. However, when the first person picked up that strange rock formation and allowed it to roll we had a completely new medium which created a completely new message. The wheel is our medium and the action of it rolling is the message. Our message is motion. Motion is of no use without the wheel. We view motion as it is through the rolling of the wheel. If we were to experience motion through another medium we may have a different perception of it today.  A more relevant example today may be with the invention of the computer. We were given this medium of the computer and through the message of the internet we have gained mass amounts of knowledge. Without the internet the computer would simply be another technological device. We would not have the level of communication that we would have today. The internet would be of no use without the computer. If we were to experience the internet only through applications such as the kindle, the iPad, or the nook, we may have a totally different perception of it. When thinking about how this medium has shaped the message it is mind blowing how it can go full circle and before you know it the message is shaping the medium.

     

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