The Medium is the message?

So what does it mean when Marshall McLuhan say’s the medium is in the message?  It is mentioned in the reading ‘what is the meaning of the medium is the message‘ as the personal and social consequences of any medium – of any extension of ourselves –  results from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.

In simpler terms, it really just means that the medium which is seen as the extension of ourselves is the message – the change of scale, pace or pattern. Sound good so far?

This is an interesting theory, once you get your head around it (trust me I’m still trying). A couple of good examples were brought up in the BCM112 lecture, where Ted (the lecturer) was talking about the lecture hall being a medium (Yes, bear with me!). So he was saying that the message to the medium is our topic for that weeks lecture. If the set up of the medium were different – for example the lecture hall was fully lit, there wasn’t a screen behind the lecturer and everybody was on equal ground – the message would be absorbed and interpreted  differently due to power being removed from the lecturer. I guess out of all the examples that was given during this week this is the one that stuck with me more and made it easier to understand.

So overall the whole ‘the medium is the message’ is a paradoxical statement, which focuses on the form of the media and the medium rather than the content/message itself.

A paradoxical statement is one that seems absurd or is contradictory, which is very much present in the statement ‘the medium is the message’ as a medium can perform on its own without a message effectively, however without a message having a medium, the message will no longer exist.


Again, in the lecture it was said that the change in our societal or cultural ground conditions indicates the presence of a new message, that is, the effects of a new medium. So the medium platforms constantly change over time: from linear or sequential mediums such as papyrus scrolls to books, where there is access to random texts which don’t necessarily need to be read in order, to internet pages, where the information is all no-linear and most of our information can be accessed through the use of hyper texts. As the medium platform becomes more advanced, many of the old mediums are disregarded as they become upgraded and the messages change.

This is an interesting point to consider as our mediums are upgrading with the messages, however, what does this mean for older medium platforms? Well, in reality, in a way they become extinct. For example, we talked about a papyrus scroll and how it was a linear medium. If there were papyrus scrolls used in todays day in age, I can bet there would be many people complaining about how annoying it would be, which is why they were updated into a more non-linear function. And the old media becomes extinct within society.





4 thoughts on “The Medium is the message?

  1. Very good post! I liked how you touched on the fact that mediums change over time and that the message changes with it. Also, discussing the medium of the lecture was interesting. It would have ben cool if you compared it to a similar medium. Comparing mediums could show how changes within these mediums can alter how the audience interprets the message. Overall I liked this post. BRAVO!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed your outlook on the medium is the message, it was interesting your point on dying medium sand how the affect society today. I specifically liked your point about how audiences change with the change in technology however by adding more of a societal view It would have backed up your argument just a touch more. However I loved the post and you’re style of writing, especially the layout.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A great first effort at exploring the medium is the message theory, however a little more editing could have improved the post significantly. While i agree that this theory is a paradox, your explanation of how so was a little confusing. At one stage you asserted that the idea is to focus on the content, yet further on you state that a medium can stand on its own without a message, neither of which are quite the idea of the topic. The writing style is nice for a blog post, casual and relate-able, just don’t forget to go over your work a few times, maybe get someone else to read it too, just to make sure it all gels. Good luck on future posts! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your comment! I have re-read it and have noticed that there were quite a few spelling problems and such and have changed them so thank you for bringing that to my attention. Also, I’m going over it to fix it up a bit, some of this was rushed so I know that it still needs some fine tuning. Have a great day and thank you for your comment 🙂


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