The Medium is the Message
I’ve spent roughly a week and a bit trying to wrap my head around what the meaning behind this abstract concept introduced to us in BCM 112 actually means. From what I can gather (and from what I’ve read from Marshall Mcluhan, Canadian philosopher of the communicative arts) the message is not exactly the content of the medium, but instead the changes associated with introducing a new innovation into human existence.
So basically the message is actually a definitive idea expressed beyond the content and medium.
An example would be this budget infographic from Imgur;
So what is the message here? It’s painfully obvious that the author’s aim was to express to an audience that there are possible alternatives to expensive articles of clothing, but as I stated in the title we can go deeper.
While the initial goal of an infographic is to educate people, we can see that it being shared first on Imgur and soon after Reddit, enforces the idea that the underlying message is to breed discussion and cause controversy.
Is it possible to appropriate those cheaper pieces to create that look?
What about quality control and other issues?
So what about the medium?
Mcluhan states that although the medium is an extension of ourselves, to do more than we can do on our own, it also has to be a growing medium, it has to be anything from which change emerges. So as shown in the infographic, the medium is the media platform, Imgur, and later on the website Reddit.
So finally what does it mean, the medium is the message? My guess is that we shouldn’t be distracted by the content of the medium, and instead that the medium itself embodies itself as the message.