The Medium is the Message

So I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the notion that “the medium is the message” and in all honesty I’ve been putting off this post for a while just because I had no idea where to start with it.

So first things first to clarify- McLuhan Describes “medium” as an extension of ourselves. With this in mind the meaning of “the medium is the message” becomes more clear in the sense that we ourselves (and any things associated) become a subject matter. What we emit develops into an outcome, and as a result, a message.

Several factors effect mediums, ranging from societal, technological advances or purely cultural. I myself have been in the generation of  societal and technological changes over the period of a decade that have influenced and created new and powerful mediums, and in turn messages.

Take for instance the gold old Nintendo DS. As a nine year old this was as top notch as portable gaming got. Oh what a thrill it was to connect my Nintendogs account with my sister via her DS and extend my dog breed selection, or to battle it out in numerous rounds of Mario Kart. A prominent memory was using PictoChat, a chat forum tool built on Nintendo’s to send messages to each other. Equally as thrilling was borrowing mums early generation iPod nano and fighting over who got to listen to it next on long car trips while we fumbled over the cables from the portable car DVD player.

Fast forward ten years and my youngest nine year old sisters laughs at the fact that we messaged via picto chat and finds it so amusing that we spent saved up money for new DS games. Yes, laughs. Besotted and amused, considering today she has the easy access of the same content but on new advanced digital levels. I don’t even think she would have a clue what a portable car DVD player is either. In her young mind these ‘pre historic’ digital media’s that were once technologically advanced have diminished and hold no value to her. And why would they? Convergence has allowed audiences of today to utilise one device in compensation for several others at once. These new mediums in my nine year old sister’s case means that she will never have the problem of being tangled between cables on long car trips or bored from being bound to only 5gb worth of songs.

A lot has developed within digital media in a span of ten years. While my middle sister and I fought over who was going to listen to the iPod despite being occupied with our Nintendo’s and portable car DVD players, my youngest sister has the simple pleasure of a multi faceted iPod touch which has all of these capabilities and more due to expanding convergences between these media platforms. She, along with the rest of us are now permitted with exclusive and elaborate random access in contrast to these older devices, creating a shift in audience’s attitudes.

So with this post in mind, I think I really can confer that the medium is the message made evident through change in society, evident in my nine year old sisters shock reaction to early platforms of digital entertainment “Nintendo’s are so 2005”.


3 Replies to “The Medium is the Message”

  1. I really enjoyed your post! I struggled with the whole medium/message concept and you put it nice and simply for me. Although the post was a bit wordy, the use of a personal story and real life examples kept me interested and helped make it easy to understand. Thanks!


  2. I agree with both you and ep073, this was a well rounded post. One that i clearly understood and can easily connect with thus allowing you to communicate the message a lot clearer. When you stated that ‘the medium is the message and evident through change in society’ it hit home. Well finished and well thought of. Just a question to leave you with, which is one you left me with after reading this, If the medium and message are constantly changing within society, could we eventually forget about original messages?


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