When I first heard this phrase, I had no idea what “The Message is the Medium” meant. From what I eventually gathered, the “message” is, “the change of scale or pace or pattern” which a new innovation “introduces into human affairs.” (McLuhan 7) Usually, I would imagine that the message is what provides a meaning, the content rather than the form in which it is presented. McLuhan, however, focused on the medium/form and suggested that in the past, what was communicated was less important than the medium that people communicated with.
Messages that are transferred through Technology have shaped our society and in return, have shaped us. An example of this is the shift from the transfer of information orally (i.e. people teaching one another things and sharing stories/experiences) to print based media (newspapers, magazines). In early orally-dependant cultures, the emphasis was on our sense of hearing and the dominant sense were the ears; whereas with the transition to print media, our focus shifted to an emphasis on the image and our sight.
I guess this means that the way information is presented to us can really shape our understanding of the message in which it is conveying. It isn’t until something changes in our society that we really can see the difference and realise the effects it has had on our understanding.
Medium. (2017). The Meaning of ‘Medium’ is the Message.. [online] Available at: https://medium.com/@andrewmcluhan/the-meaning-of-medium-is-the-message-9bbe732869a7#.jijwkohnk [Accessed 16 Mar. 2017].
The Medium is the Message. (2017). 1st ed. [ebook] pp.1,5,8,9. Available at: http://web.mit.edu/allanmc/www/mcluhan.mediummessage.pdf [Accessed 16 Mar. 2017].
YouTube. (2017). The Medium is the Message. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ko6J9v1C9zE [Accessed 16 Mar. 2017].