Week 3 of BCM112 and I’m already in the stage of procrastination and intense lethargy every time I think about uni or course work (Welcome to University, Am I right?). But one thing that had me stressing out like crazy was our weekly lecture, based around the concept ‘The Medium is the Message.’ Now, for all of you non-Media students and individuals, I don’t expect you to fully understand this idea. I sure as hell didn’t! But after much study (and re-watching the same Youtube clip about a dozen times) I think I have a firmer grasp on the concept.
Now I know you lecturers don’t want us to regurgitate what was learnt, but for something as complex as this, a quick definition is in order. ‘The Medium is the Message’ was coined by Marshall McLuhan and loosely means that the technology or innovation (Medium) communicates to an audience and causes a change (Message) within us and society. (Now, feel free to comment if I get this totally wrong!) This change refers to how we think and respond to the technology or innovation, to the medium. For example, the advancement of technology, i.e. the television (Medium) conveys how society depended on the television (Message) for news and social interaction with family (again, is this right?).
— Megan Adler (@megan_anne246) March 13, 2017
Now I can only assume that when McLuhan developed this term, he rationalised that the method of communication is just as important, perhaps more so, than the message being communicated. With this, I whole-heartedly agree. Consider the advancement in technology and societies changing reaction towards it. When we think about the telephone and how it encouraged the individual to socialise with another, beyond the physical platform, it was groundbreaking how much society relied upon it for communication. And then to the technological advancement of the radio to the innovative design of the Television, and how the individuals reaction towards it developed from an auditory sense into a visual one with the emphasis relying on individual participation in the media being communicated. The evidence is substantial and supports the importance of the medium being the message.
However, one might consider the adverse effects the Medium is having on society with the advancement of technology paving the way for idealised interaction, but that’s an issue for another blog post.
Understand now? I still don’t think I do, but at least its something.