When I first heard the phrase “The Medium is the Message”, I thought we were about to watch Long Island Medium with Theresa Caputo and I was like YEEEEAAAAHHHHH! *cue CSI intro*
Turns out, reading the minds of the dead seems to be a lot easier than interpreting the endless possibilities that “the medium is the message” could represent. And I can never look at a chair again without me thinking its trying to tell me something. *shivers furiously*
After reading/listening/eating chicken I realised that Marshall McLuhan actually knows what he is talking about (even if I have absolutely NO IDEA).
From what I have interpreted, McLuhan discusses that every medium is an extension of ourselves. The consequent message that gets conveyed changes our behaviour in order to appropriately react to a situation or proceed how I have been conditioned to.
I consider it a subliminal message of sorts, a bit of information or instruction we don’t even know we are taking in until we are alerted to that fact. For example, I watch a teacher talk to me from the medium of a lecture theatre. I allow my lecturer to talk, rely information to me, to stand in a certain place and hold authority over me because of his position. My brain has already interpreted the message before I’ve even sat down.
It is an insane concept to wrap your head around, I know. I sat in the lecture theatre and stared into space trying to fathom what the hell was being said. To be honest with you, I’m not even 100% sure I was there.
But I think one of the most important things to take away from the phrase ‘The Medium is The Message’ is that media – from the radio to the case tape to the laptop – has varied significantly over the last century and therefore the messages have changed too. In addition, how we react or use a product is not only different from 20/30 years ago, but also from person to person. It isn’t necessarily what the message conveys that is most important, it is that we recognise that there is a message being relayed in the first place.