The Medium is the Message

McLuhan’s writing, The Medium is the Message, he is essentially focusing on the fact that what you watch on television, what you listen to on the radio, and what you view on the internet does not matter. McLuhan says that the way that we receive the message, is the important part. The other point that McLuhan is making is that all of these mediums are products of humans, meaning that stating that they are either inherently good or bad is really a reflection of us.

McLuhan came up with this idea decades ago. He was thinking very progressively. At the same time, he uses examples such as the writings of Shakespeare to demonstrate that the things that are being taken in to entertain us are the same, but the means to do so have changed. Shakespeare wrote plays, and no we watch the television. He also compares technological media to natural resources. Certain types of media have become fixations of entire communities much like how certain communities rely on specific natural resources to support the entire community. He also depicts how media can be viewed in different lights based on perspective. He tells how Napoleon would have rather faced an army then deal with written word that showed him in certain, bad light. It is interesting that Napoleon realized that in a sense, the act of printed word can affect how an entire group of people view him and can then make it much difficult for him to accomplish his end means. It did not matter if what had been written about him was true or not, but the fact that the idea of whatever was said can reach so many people could clearly concern someone like Napoleon.


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