26th March, 2023
The Medium is the Message

The Medium is the Message

To be completely honest, I went into this weeks content thinking, “Oh! It’s media effects theory! I covered this last year!”…someone makes (encodes) media, that media is then consumed (decoded) by an audience through a medium (for example, a television, a radio show, an artwork or a conversation).

When I read the title, I thought no. You’re wrong. The medium is NOT the message. The message is the message. In some ways, the message is the maker. In some ways, the message is the audiences’ understanding of the message. It’s definitely not the medium, though.

It did not turn out to be quite that simple.

Here’s why.

Marshall McLuhan defines a medium as “any extension of ourselves”. As Ted explained, that could mean anything from the media you produce/consume to the shirt you’re wearing and the language you speak. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, we,, as human beings, infuse meaning in everything we interact with. Every part of your reality represents something else. Everything is reflective of something else. All media originates from other media and creates more media.

By this definition, we can understand that a “medium” is measurable through the change that it inevitably creates – its effect. That effect is where the message/meaning lies. The meaning we derive from media exists based on its make-up, being other forms of media. For example, the way you understand this blog post is through your understanding of language.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading. Hopefully next week’s topic isn’t so mind-boggling to me.

“Take care, have fun”

Tyneesha Williams

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