In this week’s class we explored the ideas of Marshall Mcluhan. Before attending the class I read over reading list in our brightspace module. The readings are meaty, at first it was a lot to take in. I was not sure if I was interpreting them correctly. So I had to go down abit of a rabbit hole to make sure I had a proper grasp on the topic. Luckily, I found I was not the only one and there is a wealth of information online about his theories. The message is the medium is a deliberately paradoxical statement, the content, rather than its form. The way we send or recieve a message is more important than the message itself. He argues that throughout history what has been communicated is less important than the particular medium being used and that the technology changes the individual, us, the family, society, work and leisure basically everything!
Ironically a youtube, 4:50 mins long, attempts to compress his views, he would be proud. A shift from oral culture, to the printed word was given as an example of how the medium affects society. The shift from listening to reading makes us from visual. The shift from radio to Tv works in the same way and he was of the opinion that shift was unifying the population.
The conversation in class was about Mcluhan’s and Bowies outlook on the effect of the different mediums of communication and our lives. What I took from the close is to be speculative towards the medium I am engaging with. In the old days, radio was the bible, it was never questioned, which led to the abuse of the message the medium was conveying. Today, the internet is the new radio and the message is not specific to me, it is a global community, connected in more ways than I could ever possibly understand. So approach with caution. Another interesting point I stumbled across was the progression of how the medium affects how we communicate. Take for example the social media platform twitter, where once a reader would have to read a newspaper extract with 700 characters, a tweet sent out with as little as 100 characters and the message is still intact. Or the invention of emojis, why bother explaining one’s emotions, frustration, happiness and even love when we have a simple one click emoji that does the job for us!