The Medium is The Message

So what does it really mean by the medium is the message?


McLuhan describes the medium as any extension of ourselves, meaning it could be the shoes we are wearing, our phones or even the lecture theatre we sat in while learning about this topic. It was when I was told this that I finally got rid of the traditional meaning of what a medium is such as TV, Radio etc. and could now understand the true meaning of the medium is the message.

It was then after doing further research that I found this quote from Andrew McLuhan “The medium is the message because it is the medium that shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action” (medium.com) This explains it perfectly in my eyes because it is 100% true, it is the medium that has so much control and influence that it becomes the message.

Just to get things clear…

Medium: one of the means or channels of general communication, information,or entertainment in society, as newspapers, radio, or television. (dictionary.com)

Message: a communication containing some information, news, advice, request, or the like, sent by messenger, telephone, email, or other means. (dictionary.com)


To actually define what memes are, lifewire.com define memes as “a virally-transmitted cultural symbol or social idea” most other definitions are the same.

I always used to think about how smart and funny meme creators must have to be… this week I learnt it was a lie. Imagur.com is the worlds easiest website to use, I even created a
6K5s6r0.png meme in under 2 minutes and not much thinking was involved. The ease of creating memes is what makes it so powerful, everyone becomes a publisher, everyone can use them to get a message across and express themselves. Memes can be made viral very easily and it doesn’t always matter who publishes it because if the message it relatable whether its serious (yes memes can in fact be serious :O) or funny then people will share it and it goes from there. In this weeks lecture we talked about wiki leaks and how they expressed information found out about the CIA in the form of memes and this is just another example of how powerful memes can be, people shared them, they were all over social media.

Reflection Time:IBNl0Hy.png

I have already included a lot of my thoughts into the actual blog above but if I had to add anything to it, it’s that I was glad to be able to learn about the medium is the message again as I have briefly learnt about it in another subject before. It wasn’t in the depth as week 3’s lecture so it was great to learn about McLuhan and then other peoples view on what he means by the medium is the message. I do agree with what McLuhan has to say but I don’t think it is a simple as the medium is the message because what does the rest of the communication/content mean if the medium is the message itself.

  1. https://medium.com/@andrewmcluhan/the-meaning-of-medium-is-the-message-9bbe732869a7#.dwpau0fka
  2. http://www.dictionary.com
  3. lifewire.com
  4. imgur.com

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